Firefighters Arrive in San Diego For Firehouse World

Firefighters began rolling into the San Diego area on Saturday to learn from veteran firefighters and other experts they don’t have access to in their own communities.

Two days of hands-on training at Firehouse World started Sunday at three locations around San Diego County.

Firehouse partnered with the Escondido Fire Academy, which opened in the fall of 2010, for the live fire hands-on session.

Battalion Chief Ken Slaven said the academy opened in the fall of 2010 behind Escondido Fire Station 1.

The facility includes a building divided into two, three and five-stories where Class A and B fires are set for intense live fire training. There is a roof prop that includes a burn area to create realistic smoke and ventilation conditions while students hone their ventilation skills.

“We are excited to be able to use this facility with Firehouse and that allows other firefighters to see what we have,” said Slaven. 

On Sunday, firefighters from California, Arizona and Nevada participated in the “Live Fire” program at Escondido, headed by CAL Fire Captain Dave Hudson.

He said students worked their way through five skill stations that covered hoseline operations, rapid intervention, roof ventilation, thermal imaging and the search for life.

“We are trying to keep as realistic, real world as possible,” said Hudson.

At the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Los Angeles County Firefighter Steve Chute and a cadre of instructors led an eight hour program on elevator rescue tactics. Using elevators inside the hospital and  props, attendees learned about elevator mechanical systems, elevator shaft safety and how to open a number of different elevators.

"Firehouse is very happy that we can continue to grow our local relationships while working with agencies in the San Diego area, including Scripps Hospital and the team in Escondido," said Ed Nichols, vice president of Firehouse Events. 

In San Diego, firefighters learned the fine art of forcible entry using a number of unique and homemade props at the National Training Center.

Capt. Andrew Mejia and his group of  instructors taught students how to use handtools, saws and their knowledge to force dozens of types of locks.

“Firehouse World 2013 has something for everyone,” according to Harvey Eisner, conference director and editor-in-chief of Firehouse Magazine.

The classroom sessions begin Monday and run through Thursday. 

“We have classes for firefighters, engineers, fire officers and more with instructors from around the country.”

On Wednesday, will live stream the opening ceremonies and two keynote addresses at 11 a.m. (ET)/8 a.m. (PT) at

Deputy National Fire Director Robert Baird will talk about the threat of pyro-terrorism  and Long Beach firefighter Nick Kalt will address overcoming adversity. Kalt was seriously injured during a training exercise with the U.S. Marine Corps and was still able to join the ranks of the fire service.

Learn more about the conference at

Find full coverage of Firehouse World 2013 here.