Firefighter Pre-Basic I

The firefighter will demonstrate a basic understanding of the organization and operation of a fire department and the concept and principles of fire behavior. Session Reference: 1 Topic: Firefighter Pre-Basic I Level of Instruction...

• Rescue Technician or similar training for vehicle extrication operations

• Hazardous Materials Operations for anyone responding on emergency alarms

Station Operations

• Watch office operations including the base radio station, if present


• Location of equipment and apparatus


• Apparatus dispatching

• Local alarms (brush, trash, automatic alarms)

• Structural alarms (single-family, multiple family, commercial)

• Medical emergencies

• Other types of alarms


• Apparatus staffing

• Apparatus boarding and safe riding


Emergency Scene Operations

• Standard operating procedures

• Fires

• Medical emergencies

• Other types of incidents

• Personnel accountability system

• Personal safety (protective clothing)


• Incident command system overview

• Five major areas

1. Command - strategic planning and overall incident responsibility

2. Operations - tactical planning and operational management

3. Planning - research and incident analysis

4. Logistics - supply and scene support

5. Finance/Administration - recordkeeping and administrative support


• Staff positions

• Information - public relations and media coordination

• Safety - scene safety

• Liaison - coordination with non-fire agencies



Introduction to Fire Behavior

• Fire is rapid oxidation accompanied by light and heat


• Combustion is a rapid chemical reaction that gives off energy or products that cause further reaction


• Products of combustion

• Smoke which contains carbon particles

• Heat - thermal and radiant

• Gases - carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, water vapor



• Flash point - point at which there is sufficient fuel and oxygen vapors to form an ignitable mixture - gasoline has a flash point of =45oF

• Ignition temperature - point at which fuel vapors ignite automatically with sufficient oxygen - gasoline has an ignition temperature of 536oF

• Flammable range - range in which there is sufficient fuel vapors to form an ignitable mixture with oxygen - gasoline has a flammable range of 1.4% to 7.6% by volume mixed with air

• Specific gravity - weight of a liquid or solid in relation to an equal volume of water with water having a weight of one - gasoline has a specific gravity of 3 to 4

• Vapor density - weight of fuel vapor in relation to air with air having a weight of one - gasoline has a vapor density of .8


Fire Tetrahedron

• Oxygen

• Air contains 21% oxygen

• At least 16% required to sustain life and combustion

• Also referred to as an oxidizer


• Fuel

• All fuels must be converted to vapor to burn

• Solid fuels convert to vapor through pyrolysis

• Liquid fuels convert to vapor through vaporization

• Gases already exist in vapor form

• Proportion of vapors must be in proper flammable range to burn

• Surface-to-mass ratio can affect how quickly something will ignite or burn (smaller materials ignite quicker but burn out quicker)

• Size and arrangement of fuel can affect the ability to ignite and burn (materials that are tightly packed are harder to ignite and burn)

• Fuel energy is measured in British thermal units or BTUs


• Heat

• Needed to produce vapor in solid or liquid fuels

• Sources of heat include mechanical processes, chemical reactions, electrical resistance, solar energy, and nuclear releases

• Heat is measured in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius


• Self-sustained chemical reaction

• Fuel in a vapor state, an oxidizer, and heat energy come together in a very specific way

• Combustion can only continue when enough heat energy is produced to cause continued development of fuel vapors