Vindicator Nozzle Offers Interior Line
Flexibility with Higher Flows
BY PAUL SHAPIRO
As you know when it comes
to extinguishing fires,
water is almost exclusively
used—with few exceptions.
The method of delivery
has always been through
discharge evolutions made
up of hose, appliances, and
nozzles. I like to think of
the nozzle as an applicator
for applying the water for
Over the years, there have been several types of nozzles used for firefighting with
various results. The Vindicator nozzle developed by First Strike Technologies, although
not new, is one of the latest nozzles to enter
into the fire service. It is neither a combination nozzle nor a smooth bore nozzle. I’ve heard some people describe it as a
large-bore nozzle; however, it varies from a
smooth bore in many ways.
The Vindicator nozzle is a fixed-gal-lonage nozzle in that it delivers a specific flow at a specific nozzle base pressure.
It has a flow range that delivers a workable stream varying from low to high with
an accompanying nozzle base pressure.
The nozzle base pressure varies from 40
pounds per square inch (psi) to 100 psi,
offering a very wide flow capacity range and optimal stream performance for the Heavy and Blitz
The Vindicator nozzle only
provides a straight stream. It
consists of two parts: the ball
valve and the barrel. The ball
valve has a 13⁄8-inch waterway
with flow capabilities up to 500
gallons per minute (gpm) while
the master stream nozzle flows
up to 1,000 gpm. Inside the barrel there is a stream shaper and
a stream deflector that develops the water into a workable
firefighting straight stream,
which offers lower nozzle reaction characteristics. The handline barrel portion of the nozzle
utilizes 1½-inch couplings; the
master stream has 2½-inch couplings. The barrel has air intake
ports at the base similar to a
foam nozzle designed to introduce air into the fire stream,
which creates large droplets
There are four Vindicator noz-
■ Light Attack: 90- to 200-gpm
flow range and nozzle pres-
sure range of 50 psi at 95 gpm
to 100 psi at 200 gpm.
■ Heavy Attack: 175- to 425-gpm flow
range and nozzle pressure range of 50 psi
at 250 gpm to 100 psi at 425 gpm.
■ Blitz Attack: 250- to 500-gpm flow range
and nozzle pressure range of 50 psi at
325 gpm to 100 psi at 500 gpm.
■ Master Attack: 675- to 1,000-gpm flow
range and nozzle pressure range of 65 to
The following flow tests were done by an
independent agency to compare the performance capabilities of a Vindicator Heavy
Attack nozzle against a
bore tip. The tests included flow delivery,
nozzle reaction, and flow impact.
Flow Delivery and
The flow tests for water delivery were
done a little differently than you might
be used to. They were based on the noz-
zle reaction of the
15⁄16-inch smooth bore
tip at 180 gpm: 62 pounds. The purpose
of this test was to get as close as possible
to the 62-pound nozzle reaction number
with the Vindicator nozzle and then reg-
ister the flow. The tests resulted in 240
gpm with 60-pound nozzle reaction for
the Vindicator Heavy Attack nozzle. The
Vindicator nozzle was able to flow 60
more gpm at the same basic nozzle reac-
tion as the
15⁄16-inch smooth bore tip flow-
ing 180 gpm.
This test was done using an impact
plate attached to a certified load cell
that measures actual impact in psi. This
test is meant to show which nozzle has
the best penetration capabilities based
on the power of the stream. Both nozzles
were tested at their respective flows. At
180 gpm, the smooth bore with a
tip had an impact measurement of 53.4
psi. The Vindicator Heavy Attack nozzle,
at 240 gpm, had an impact measurement
of 60.2 psi.
Let’s take a look at some nozzle compari-
sons to see how the Vindicator stands up:
■ A combination nozzle flowing 150 gpm
with 100-psi nozzle base pressure has a
nozzle reaction of 76 pounds.
■ A combination nozzle flowing 250 gpm
with a 100-psi nozzle base pressure has a
nozzle reaction of 126 pounds.
■ A combination nozzle flowing 250 gpm
with a 50-psi nozzle base pressure has a
nozzle reaction of 89 pounds.
■ A smooth bore nozzle with one-inch
tip flowing 210 gpm with a 50-psi nozzle pressure has a nozzle reaction of
■ A smooth bore nozzle with a 11⁄8-inch
tip flowing 265 gpm with a 50-psi nozzle pressure has a nozzle reaction of
■ A Vindicator Heavy Attack nozzle
flowing 240 gpm with a 45-psi nozzle
base pressure has a nozzle reaction of
What do all these numbers tell you?
Basically, the Vindicator nozzle offers
the flexibility of an interior attack line
with flows reaching the capabilities of a
The air inlet ports at the base of the
barrel help create the large droplets of
water in the fire stream. Besides this
capability, the air inlet ports also let
you use the Vindicator as a foam nozzle.
Depending on the foam manufacturer, you
can expect foam expansion ratios ranging
from 7:1 up to 15:1 without a reduction in
Based on the preceding, the Vindicator
nozzle offers the following desired capabilities of a fire nozzle:
1. High flows.
2. Low nozzle reaction.
3. Rapid heat absorption.
4. Durability and reliability.
5. No maintenance other than cleaning.
6. Foam capabilities.
Kirk Allen, CEO, First Strike
Technologies, states that the Vindicator
nozzle should not replace every nozzle on
an engine company. It’s just another tool in
PAUL SHAPIRO is the director of Fire
Flow Technology. He is a nationally recognized
instructor on large-flow water delivery. He is
also a retired engineer from the Las Vegas
(NV) Fire Department. He has authored
numerous articles for fire trade magazines. He
has been in the fire service since 1981, is the
author of Layin’ the Big Lines, and produced
the first in a series of videos on large-flow
1 The Vindicator nozzle consists of two parts:
the ball valve and the barrel. The ball valve has a
13⁄8-inch waterway with flow capabilities up to 500
gpm, while the master stream nozzle flows up to
2 Shown here is a Vindicator Master
Attack nozzle flowing 1,000 gpm.
3 Shown here is
a Vindicator Heavy Attack nozzle being operated at
the end of a 1¾-inch handline.