Development of the Fire Resistant Firehose
Last Call Foundation is funding the research to develop a next generation fire attack hose that will reliably extinguish every fire.
No firefighter should be killed because his most basic tool, a fire hose, fails him.
Last Call Foundation is calling for updated common sense thermal compliance standards to insure vastly improved thermal protection for Fire Hose the most important of firefighters tools.
The Last Call Foundation began by funding a grant to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) of $75,000. The seed money funded the discovery that even a “charged” hose line, meaning a hose line filled with water, can burn through. The reason for these burn-throughs, astonishingly, is that fabric used to create and or jacket fire hoses is flammable and or can melt at fire ground temperatures.
The vulnerable nature of fire hoses fabrics naturally makes them susceptible to burn-through events. Such burn-throughs obviously endanger firefighter safety and can limit the ability to reach victims, too often result in injury or death.
WPI discovered that compliance standards regarding hose line thermal performance have not been updated in decades. In fact, we can't even uncover documentation of when the current standard **NFPA 1961 was implemented.
The good news is that in recent years there have been significant breakthroughs in fiber and fabric thermal technology. However, the will and research dollars necessary to drive this effort have not been present. Until now. The Last Call Foundation is spearheading the effort to push for new research and development in thermal improvements to fire hose manufacturing as well as advocating for an update of compliance standards.
To support new fire hose development, Last Call Foundation is funding $100k of research at Fire & Risk Alliance, LLC., a fire protection and life safety consulting company specializing in applied research that has partnered with University of Maryland. Currently, testing is underway to evaluate current available thermally-improved fibers and fabrics. The research is focused on viable candidate fabrics suitable for adaptation for fire hose or fire hose jacketing.
Last Call Foundation is also funding the development of an apparatus that will test the fire hose's thermal resistance under typical operating conditions. We seek input from stakeholders and welcome the **NFPA 1961 Technical Committee to comment and participate in developing a testing proposal and protocols to present to 'UL - Underwriters Laboratory for consideration to update fire hose compliance standards.