NFPA 1403 live fire training
I just received our copy of NFPA 1403 Standard On Live Fire Training Evolutions 2002 Edition. Although I had never read this I was familiar with many aspects of it. I have always felt that our live fire training evolutions were conducted safely and properly but after so much has been written of the Lairdsville incident I ordered a copy to see just exactly where we stood in regard to compliance. After reading through it, I still feel good about what we have done in the past. I see a couple of minor procedural changes we need to address and a couple of potentially more significant areas also. My questions and comments follow.
1. It has always been my understanding that small amounts of diesel or kerosene were permissible to use to start the fires. We have always used 1-2 quarts of diesel to start our fires. Section 4.3.6 forbids the use of this. Is this a change in the new 2002 edition?
2. We have always provided backup lines and always have our second engine and at least 1 mutual aid engine on the scene however, backup lines have always been provided by the same engine providing the attack line. We will need to make a change here.
3. Our officers have always conducted a final walk through prior to starting the fire but we have tried to keep the other members out of the structure prior to them conducting their attack. We will need to change this procedure and allow everyone to walk through and be more familiar with the structure prior to the burn. I see the reasoning behind this.
4. One concern I had about other comments I have read or heard regarding 1403 was that if the structure was in or was put in as good of a condition as 1403 requires that no one would ever donate a structure in that good of shape for the fire department to burn. After reading the requirements in this area I don't see anything here that is required that we haven't been doing anyway. The possible exception to this would be 18.104.22.168 regarding the removal of insect hives. We have always killed wasps in all visible nests prior to doing a burn but almost always have to contend with wasps that have nested in the walls or inaccessible or hidden areas of the structure unless we are burning during the winter.
5. Another concern I had prior to reading 1403 was what I have heard regarding that State Certified Training Instructors must be present and conducting the training evolution. 4.5.1 states "all instructors shall be qualified to deliver fire fighter training according to the authority having jurisdiction." We are "the Authority having jurisdiction" so my interpretation of this would be that as long as the Department felt it's instructors and officers had the knowledge, training and ability to conduct the evolution that would be permissible.