Live Burn Tips/Advice
My FD Has Recently Been Asked To Burn Down And Old House On A Piece Of Property. We Asked The Home Owner If We Could Use It For A Day To Do A Live Burn In It For Training Purposed. No Problem They Said And Were More Than Happy To Let Us 'Play' With Their House To Do Some Training In It Before We Spark It Up To Bring It Down! We've Gone Through The Dep't Of Enviroment, They Don't Mind Us Burning It, As Long As We Take Off The Shingles, So The Province Doesn't Mind Us Doing This(which is a plus for a change). The Way I Want To Set This Up Is On THe Morning Of Aug 5th, My FD Will Go To The Next FD District(where the house is) For A Planned Extrication Practice, Once There, The Neighbouring FD Will Be Toned Out For A Working Structure Fire And Will Then Say, You Guys Come WIth Us. What I'm Looking For Here Are Some Suggestions To Throw Some 'Snags' Into All Of This, The House Is As Safe As It Can Be, The Chimney Has Been Torn Down And The House Is Relatively Sound. We Were Thinking About Haveing A Victime(rescure randy) In The House, And Have It Come Across The Pagers As A Victims Trapped. If Anyone Has Any Suggestions That Would Help To Making This A Training Session They Won't Forget/Safer, Please Let Me Know! I've Got One Week! Thanks A Million!
Best Regards To All Fire Fighters,
But Hats Off To The Volunteer Professional!
First, do not put it over the pagers as a victim trapped, etc... Somebody might not have gotten the word that it is just a training session.
Next, widely publicize that you are having this rare training session of a house burn. You can get more people there that way. Also invite all departments in your area, not just a neighboring one.
Do not set the whole place on fire at once. Do one room at a time and let teams go in to try and get the thing out.
Have ladders ready outside the room you burn, or have them set up by the teams going in.
Have an instructor there in the room where the team is going in.
Have a bunch of people in the room and set a chair or a couple hay bales burning while they are in there so they can get a feel what it is like to be in a burning room if they have never done this before. Make sure you got a very qualified instructor there, good gear, and a charged line or two.
Have an ambulance there with crew. Even with a supervised burn you can have heat exhaustion, or smoke inhalation, or something else going screwy.
Have plenty of air tanks handy. If you have newbies going in, there might be a tendency for them to get excited and to suck down air faster.
Don't send newbies in without an experienced member on the hoseline or rescue.
Use a dummy for the rescue, not a live person. Too many things can go wrong (Murphy's Law) and you do not want it to become a real live rescue.
Experiment with different types of attack (Like that Discovery Channel special about attacking the hot gases on the ceiling or positive pressure ventilation, etc...).
When the house has been torched to the point of totally burning it down, don't press your luck by keeping people inside too long.
Finally, have some food and plenty of drinks handy.
And, good luck!
(My two and a half cents)(and I miss spellcheck real bad now!)
The Doc is out now :cool:
[ 07-28-2001: Message edited by: Dr. Law ]
Depending on how many FF you have on the day, take your time. As Dr Law said, burn it room by room. Do a quick debrief after every attack. Check the structural integrity after ever burn. Have a RIT crew in case things go wrong. Get together with all the officers and instructors the day before and go over the structure looking for hazards, who will be the IC, the roles of the officers/instructors. Preplan, the worst thing you can do is try to do this on the day. While this can be a wonderful opportunity remember SAFETY is paramount on at any fire.
[ 07-30-2001: Message edited by: Fire Line ]
You might also want to consider a little review of Building Construction prior to lighting the place off. You can breech portions of interior walls/ceilings, etc and show your folks exactly what they keep hearing/reading about in FF class.
If you haven't done any FAST / RIT training (or even if you have - never hurts to review)this would be a good building to use because you don't have to worry about dammaging it.
The posibilities are endless, the main concern is Safety. Make sure everything is done as safely,slowly, and as controlled as possible.
Then - have Fun :D
Take Care - Stay Safe
We did this once on a training night in the local smoke house: We sent a firefighter in with the 1st search team and told him to get himself lost and then activate his PASS alarm. We wanted to see how the others reacted. Since you are talking about a live burn vs. our "smoke house", maybe you would want to use a resuce dummy w/ a PASS attached. This is also a good test for your RIT to see how they react.
Just a thought.......
Remember to enfore safety and accountability in all aspects of the burn. We have done several dwellings in our town and learn something everytime both about tactics and the personnel. The comments about communication to responding participants as well as the general public is very important. After one of our all day burns we got accused of "letting" a nice home burn to the ground while we sat around and did nothing. That person happened to come by while we were taking our lunch break and did not realize that we had been doing evolutions since 7am . Make sure there is no freelancing or macho attitudes with hidden agendas. We need to teach and instruct in life like scenarios but we do not need to cause harm to the participants or to the gear we wear.
It is getting harder to do live burns down here due to the fact we are in Dallas county and are in constant ozone alerts but we will continue to do them when they come our way.
Yeah, forgot about debriefing.
I would have, excepting the one time we did this, the back-up team stepped on me (I was low in the smoke where I could see, they walked in high and never saw me) and I lost my hoseline with them tripping over me. By the time everything got sorted out, my tank ran low. By the time I got out of the house, they said I looked white as a sheet (really, I felt fine) so I got a quick trip to the ambulance for O2 and a not-so-cute male nurse. You can see how I forgot about the debriefing portions. :D
This also points out that things can go bonkers quickly.
The Doc is out again. :cool:
I agree with doing the room by room rotation. have your crews rotate tasks such as interior attack, vent team, back up attack, RIT, ignition team, etc. Each of these will let everyone get a taste of each subject. Let the new guys/gals get a chance at the "knob" they need to learn in the controlled enviroment. Keep it safe, learn, and have fun!
I recomend the NFPA's requirements for live fire training. There are many, many things that need to happen long before you even think about torching a building. Some states mandate certified fire instructor's at live burns. Contact your states training headquarters and see if they could have a training officer come out and oversee the days festivities.
Stay low & go slow