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Thread: Training accident... 16 year old "junior firefighter" criticallly injured.

  1. #41
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    I'd say outside of a vocational school or an Explorer's group, a 16 year old should not be fighting fire or a member of any dept. My POC dept. requires members to be 18 and certified, and any live fire training we do, we do with certified instructors. Sounds like PA needs to up their game.


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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    I'd say outside of a vocational school or an Explorer's group, a 16 year old should not be fighting fire or a member of any dept. My POC dept. requires members to be 18 and certified, and any live fire training we do, we do with certified instructors. Sounds like PA needs to up their game.
    The problem really won't be solved by PA "upping their game". Unless I'm mistaken, live fire training is supposed to be conducted with PA certified instructors. Any formal burn class in an academy setting or acquired structure (run thru an accredited agency) is conducted with certified instructors.

    I would bet that this incident was a department level in-house training evolution independent of any ties to a formal educational agency. It may have even been an impromptu idea for a training session since no chief officer appears to have been involved.

    Can this type of "rogue" training really be prevented by regulation? Would the agency responsible for enforcement even be able to know the training is taking place?

    All states require motor vehicles to be registered and inspected annually and require all operators to be licensed, but there are vehicles on the road without current inspections, registrations and/or being operated by people without licenses. We have laws about how fast you can drive on our roads, but how many people obey the speed limits 100% of the time? Drinking and driving is illegal, but that doesn't seem to deter a significant number of people from doing it. How many people do it and we never know because they didn't crash or cross paths with the PD on the way home?

    We absolutely should have "rules" regarding this type of training and what's appropriate for minors to participate in, however there will always be people that won't adhere to them and oftentimes we may not be aware that it's happening unless something goes wrong. The problem isn't really one that can be solved at the state level. It has to be done at the department/individual levels with the commitment to actually follow the applicable rules and exercise sound judgement.

  3. #43
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    I don't know that it's relevant to assess this incident as a training mishap. I can read between the lines well enough to infer that this was probably somebody's ginormous brush pile that the FD burned as a favor to somebody, and the "nozzle training" was just an excuse for being there.

    We have a few juniors, but the state tightly regulates what they can do. It's a good way to have a firefighter ready for experience and hands-on training the second he/she turns 18, but you have to do so prudently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    I don't know that it's relevant to assess this incident as a training mishap. I can read between the lines well enough to infer that this was probably somebody's ginormous brush pile that the FD burned as a favor to somebody, and the "nozzle training" was just an excuse for being there.

    We have a few juniors, but the state tightly regulates what they can do. It's a good way to have a firefighter ready for experience and hands-on training the second he/she turns 18, but you have to do so prudently.
    Sounds like the same thing to me.

    As far as the incident itself the issue isn't the junior, IMO, lighting the pile. The issue is whoever supervised the operation and allowed the use of the gasoline v. diesel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    The problem really won't be solved by PA "upping their game". Unless I'm mistaken, live fire training is supposed to be conducted with PA certified instructors. Any formal burn class in an academy setting or acquired structure (run thru an accredited agency) is conducted with certified instructors.

    I would bet that this incident was a department level in-house training evolution independent of any ties to a formal educational agency. It may have even been an impromptu idea for a training session since no chief officer appears to have been involved.

    Can this type of "rogue" training really be prevented by regulation? Would the agency responsible for enforcement even be able to know the training is taking place?

    All states require motor vehicles to be registered and inspected annually and require all operators to be licensed, but there are vehicles on the road without current inspections, registrations and/or being operated by people without licenses. We have laws about how fast you can drive on our roads, but how many people obey the speed limits 100% of the time? Drinking and driving is illegal, but that doesn't seem to deter a significant number of people from doing it. How many people do it and we never know because they didn't crash or cross paths with the PD on the way home?

    We absolutely should have "rules" regarding this type of training and what's appropriate for minors to participate in, however there will always be people that won't adhere to them and oftentimes we may not be aware that it's happening unless something goes wrong. The problem isn't really one that can be solved at the state level. It has to be done at the department/individual levels with the commitment to actually follow the applicable rules and exercise sound judgement.
    When you talk about a certified instructor in PA, are you talking about someone who

    A) Has Instructor I? Instructor II?
    B) Instructor I and/or Instructor II and some type of state test or certification?
    C) A state certification as an Instructor?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    When you talk about a certified instructor in PA, are you talking about someone who

    A) Has Instructor I? Instructor II?
    B) Instructor I and/or Instructor II and some type of state test or certification?
    C) A state certification as an Instructor?
    In order to become a certified suppression level instructor you must be:

    minimum instructor I
    Pa State Fire Academy structure I,II=80 hours
    and attend suppression level training, also at the state fire academy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    When you talk about a certified instructor in PA, are you talking about someone who

    A) Has Instructor I? Instructor II?
    B) Instructor I and/or Instructor II and some type of state test or certification?
    C) A state certification as an Instructor?
    Kind of all of the above. In PA there are two instructor levels - suppression and non-suppression. I'm not quite sure what the exact differences are but, I know live fire training obviously falls into the suppression category, which requires additional training/certification from the state. I'm pretty sure all instructors are required to have at least Instructor I and FF1. It takes a good bit of time/effort to reach the suppression level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Sounds like the same thing to me.

    As far as the incident itself the issue isn't the junior, IMO, lighting the pile. The issue is whoever supervised the operation and allowed the use of the gasoline v. diesel.
    If it is for fire department training NO accellerant of any kind may be used.

    Period.
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    If it is for fire department training NO accellerant of any kind may be used.

    Period.
    I think we need to define "training" in this case.

    I highly doubt that the department was planning any "offensive training" on a burn pile. As a previous poster has suggested this was more than likely simply going to be a case where the department was going to be on hand, probably using handlines to simply protect exposures, and writing it off as nozzle practice or fire streams as community service type of operation.

    There is a significant difference between this scenario and utilizing flammable liquid for structureal burns in either burn buildings or acquired structures where interior, offensive evolutions are going to be taking place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I think we need to define "training" in this case.

    There is no need to get all "semantical" on everyone here...This quote is from the OPs first post from the newspaper article.

    The training took place on Mountain Spring Drive and was supposed to teach newer members about nozzles and other equipment.
    The department called it TRAINING. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.

    I highly doubt that the department was planning any "offensive training" on a burn pile. As a previous poster has suggested this was more than likely simply going to be a case where the department was going to be on hand, probably using handlines to simply protect exposures, and writing it off as nozzle practice or fire streams as community service type of operation.

    Does it really matter what they planned, or poorly planned to do? A 16 year old youth got BURNED because of incompetence, poor leadership, and blatant stupidity.

    And despite the obvious flaws and inherent danger in this activity you will sit there and justify using gasoline, during TRAINING. Even better gasoline during training involving underage explorers...Just quit while you are only digging your grave.


    There is a significant difference between this scenario and utilizing flammable liquid for structureal burns in either burn buildings or acquired structures where interior, offensive evolutions are going to be taking place.

    There sure is a significant difference...1403 outright bans flammable liquids for structural fire training. Apparently the NFPA police need to write a standard for brush pile burning too. Say good bye once again to that old and long dead mainstay of society...common sense.
    Underage explorers are not to be subjected to incredibly stupid and incredibly dangerous activities like this. It is OBVIOUS that it is dangerous because if it weren't this youth would not be in the hospital suffering burn injuries.
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  11. #51
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    The department called it TRAINING. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.
    Sure. No possibility of it being called TRAINING after the fact, right? I mean, that would be stupid to do and this department is not capable of stupidity.

    Does it really matter what they planned, or poorly planned to do? A 16 year old youth got BURNED because of incompetence, poor leadership, and blatant stupidity.
    I'm sure that when the lawyers get ahold of this, it will matter tremendously. This is most likely being investigated by OSHA, as it is an industrial accident at the least. There are going to be statements given, and each one of those statements will be investigated by a qualified investigator. Their training records will be subject to review and a fine will most likely be handed down.
    They openly copped to using gasoline, so that should attract the attention of OSHA and the like.

    I have a feeling that semantics are going to be a big part of the aftermath of this fiasco.
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    I highly doubt that the department was planning any "offensive training" on a burn pile.
    So because it wasn't, in your mind, "offensive training", it's ok to use children and gasoline for live burn training.
    As a previous poster has suggested this was more than likely simply going to be a case where the department was going to be on hand, probably using handlines to simply protect exposures, and writing it off as nozzle practice or fire streams as community service type of operation.
    You really are a cancer in the fire service.
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    If it was a case of the fire department being asked to assist with the burning of a brush pile by the property owner (And to be frank, I've never actually seen this happen) even if the property owner lit the thing off the kid still shouldn't have been anywhere near it, much less close enough to it to get injured.

    That being said, I've never heard of a property owner around here asking for the fire department to assist with burning a brush pile. I think maybe the person who was responsible for this cluster f....er...incident knew someone who was going to burn a brush pile, and suddenly a light bulb went on in his skull (I'm not going to say 'brain'. He didn't have one). Gas obviously got into the mix through pure stupidity. Gasoline shouldn't have been anywhere within sight of the thing, much less used to light it off. The Jr should have been far far away from it.

    Though this was termed 'Training' my bet is this actually wasn't 'Training'. I have a feeling this was more like 'Hey y'all lets take the fire truck to old MacDonald's place when he burns that Ginormous Brush Pile and have some fun! It became 'Training' during the discussions immediately after the thing went 'WHOOOOMPH!'

    Around here when contractors clear land and burn a brush pile, they MAY use a bit of diesel fuel to help it along. But never gasoline. And the fire department doesn't use them for training.
    Last edited by fotowun; 09-25-2012 at 09:18 PM.

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    fotowun,

    One of the POC FDs I am a member of does grass fire burns and brush pile burns regularly in the spring. Not as training, but as a service for our citizens.

    We do not use gas, but do use a drip torch for lighting the grass we are burning.
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    I stand corrected then. And modify my comment to ...'In my area'. Thanks.

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    gas filled 2 1/2 gallon can, that's funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    fotowun,

    One of the POC FDs I am a member of does grass fire burns and brush pile burns regularly in the spring. Not as training, but as a service for our citizens.

    We do not use gas, but do use a drip torch for lighting the grass we are burning.
    If something was to go wrong and the fire gets out of control and does damage to another property, does the department assume responiblity or does it stay with the property owner?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    If something was to go wrong and the fire gets out of control and does damage to another property, does the department assume responiblity or does it stay with the property owner?
    I can ony assume that we would be responsible for any damages.
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    Post #45 ...

    As far as the incident itself the issue isn't the junior, IMO, lighting the pile. The issue is whoever supervised the operation and allowed the use of the gasoline v. diesel.

    Never did I say that it was acceptable to use gasoline.

    Never.

    I am fully aware of what NFPA states in terms of structural training regarding any flammable liquids in STRUCTURAL training, however, this wasn't a structure.

    It was a burnpile.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    You really are a cancer in the fire service.
    I may be.

    My current combo department allows junior firefighters to be involved in live fire training, under direct supervision, when utilizing our propane-fired props. We allow them to be actively involved in live fire training, under supervision, in our burn building. And we allow them to be involved, under supervision when we do live vehicle burns.

    And it's not a problem because they are trained and under supervision when involved in live fire training.

    And it's never been a problem.

    And yes, we use them in some situations in fire suppression, under supervision, on the fireground as well.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-26-2012 at 10:18 AM.
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