Loading the Barrel of the Shot Gun…. Live Fire Training Comments

Are we teaching students to crawl under fire?

There is a serious concern as to how live fire instructors or departmental officers are ignoring the mental cues that lead to firefighter injuries and deaths during live fire training and signifies a critical problem with today’s fire service training. How many times must it be publicized that crawling under fire is a death trap?

Are we seriously training firefighters that our gear and our equipment is always reliable to protect us from such temperature extremes such as flashover?

Should we really be training firefighters to believe that crawling under fire is a safe practice? Rollover, is the precursor to flashover that can occur in a matter of seconds. These firefighters are kneeling and standing in an area being preheated and ready to light off, which means they are being pre-heated, as well.

Many of my students have heard me say, “The day we respond to a house fire involving wooden pallets will be our moment of glory!”. Are we training today’s firefighter to believe the fire behavior and heat ( British Thermal Unit ;BTU) production in a wooden pallet fire is identical to that of the same magnitude in a fire involving hydrocarbon-based products found in today’s household furnishings? I hope not… but why do our tactics in training not reflect how we should engage the enemy? Today’s fires burn more rapidly and hotter than ever, why are we still allowing firefighters to enter such unpredictable environments?

While our turnouts will provide some element of protection from thermal insult, are we relying upon our equipment and our live fire experience in wooden pallet fires to serve as the measuring stick for when it is time to “un-ass” the area? Understanding the NFPA 1403 standard was developed to protect firefighters during live burns which it has, is it leaving tommorrow’s firefighters with the impression this is as bad as it gets?

What if the nozzle malfunctions? Assume the rookie firefighter doesn’t completely open the bailer of the nozzle, don’t forget about the presence of kinks in our attack lines? Do a little research on wind-driven fires from NIOSH’s live burn’s on Governor’s Island and Chicago and you’ll soon discover such tactics of kneeling under rollover is like “staring down the barrel of a shotgun”.

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Comments
Edward Mills
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
It is a shame! Tradition and knowing where you came from is as important as training. It brings a sense of pride that you carry on. I gave a class on tradition to our explorers, because I thought it was important. They have to know where the fire service came from and it's beginnings!!
2013-03-17 11:03:44
Edward Mills
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
Thats why last November I gave a one hour presentation to our explorers about the history and traditions of the Fire Dept. It seems that when you join a fire department today, you are trained on SOP's and firefighting practices. You are trained on the use of all the equiptment BUT no one mentions history…
2013-02-05 18:04:04
XTRUKY
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
Now days you can be suspended or terminated for putting water in a Probie's boots. No more teasing the new kids? get real. If you are upset cause your feet got wet, and everyone laughed at you, then perhaps the Fire Service is not for you, pack up your panties and go to the police…
2013-02-02 11:18:25
Lee
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
I am one of those administration folks that is trying to keep what common sense and life I have left. I agree with everything you say. Fire Department across the country are built on traditions...one tradition I saw go away was pushing in a new rig in the station by firefighters instead of backing in…
2013-02-02 07:59:02
Chris Davis
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
I swear sometimes what people try to do int the name of "political correctness" makes my sick! I have NEVER heard of a new rig not getting a wet-down. I thought that tradition was one of the biggest parts of our profession. If we have sunk so low as to forget our history then as…
2013-01-25 18:57:52

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