Stopping Unsafe Practices

  INSTRUCTOR GUIDE TOPIC: STOPPING UNSAFE PRACTICES TIME REQUIRED: THREE HOURS MATERIALS: APPROPRIATE AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIALS REFERENCES: ESSENTIALS OF FIRE FIGHTING, FIFTH EDITION, IFSTA; CLOSE CALLS, FIREHOUSE MAGAZINE; FIREFIGHTER FATALITY...



  5. Maintain a regular exercise program to sustain physical fitness


  6. Maintain a diet that reduces cholesterol, fat, and sodium intake


  7. Be aware of cardiovascular and cancer risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels


  8. Have regular physicals and medical check-ups


  9. Participate in a physical fitness program that will keep personnel in good physical condition to handle the physical demands of the profession

B. Apparatus


  1. Remain seated with a seat belt fastened until the vehicle comes to a complete stop


  2. Observe traffic conditions when working around apparatus, on a roadway, or while the apparatus is in motion


  3. Using vehicles, traffic marking devices (cones and flares), or traffic control personnel to create a safe working area around the emergency scene


  4. Wear reflective vests when operating apparatus on a roadway


  5. Being careful that apparatus lighting does not blind on-coming traffic


  6. Being aware that motorists are probably not paying attention to traffic at the emergency scene

C. Staffing


  1. Delay certain activities until sufficient staffing is available so as not to create an potential safety problem for on scene personnel


  2. Request additional personnel to supplement those on the scene


  3. If there is not a known rescue and there are insufficient personnel to staff a rescue team, limit operations to the exterior


  4. Request additional personnel so that personnel on the scene can be rotated to rehab especially during extreme weather conditions or extended operations

D. Personal Protective Equipment


  1. Correctly wear personal protective equipment appropriate for the incident

  2. Use respiratory protection appropriate for the hazard and keep it in place until it has been determined that the atmosphere is safe to remove it

  3. Manage the air supply so that there is sufficient to exit to a safe area before the air supply is exhausted (Remember that a firefighter generally will get about 20 minutes of air from a 30-minute cylinder and will use about 15 minutes of it getting to the fire area with only about 5 minutes left to exit when the alarm activates)


  4. Keep personal protective clothing in place until it has been determined that it is no longer needed

E. Fire Attack



  1. Coordinate ventilation with fire attack to reduce the heat level, provide a means for steam to escape, and prevent uncontrolled fire spread

  2. Establish and maintain a water supply that is adequate for the fire flow requirements or reduce the level of fire attack so that it is within the supply capability

  3. Use proper attack methods for the size of the fire, e.g, direct attack for small fires with little heat and an indirect or combination attack for larger fires and high heat levels

  4. Use correct nozzle patterns and the appropriate type of nozzle for the specific fire to minimize steam production in occupied areas and to make sure that the stream is reaching where it is needed and providing protection for the firefighters

  5. Open the nozzle completely to achieve maximum flow capability based on the nozzle pressure being provided

  6. Account for all personnel on the attack line or in the area and make sure that they are in a safe location prior to initiating attack

  7. Use an adequate sized attack line and nozzle for the volume of fire and the needed fire flow

  8. Make sure that personnel are not attacking the fire from opposite directions

  9. Evaluate friction loss calculations and nozzle flows to make sure that nozzles are delivering the expected fire flows (this should be done prior to an incident)

F. Emergency Scene


  1. Recognize fire conditions such as backdraft and flashover and take precautions to protect firefighters from them

  2. Recognize dangerous building conditions that contribute to the spread and intensity of the fire or those that make the building susceptible to collapse

    a. Open walls, ceilings, floors, shafts, or pipe chases

    b. Void spaces