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 188.8.131.52 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.
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Thread: NFPA 1403 live fire training
03-20-2002, 03:20 PM #1
NFPA 1403 live fire training
03-20-2002, 03:26 PM #2
Have you ever read the report on the Milford, Michigan training accident that killed 3??
03-20-2002, 03:39 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
I second MOTOWN. Milford was a disaster. It was featured in FH magazine years ago. It is good that you have the standard.
On a small second note, and I am not preaching, but the standard exisits to be used. For the exact legal definitions, don't base it on what anyone here says. Seek advice from the NFPA and outside counsel. It is in the interest of understanding.
Best to you and your department.
03-20-2002, 03:47 PM #4
You can go to the United States Fire Administration web site and get a free copy of the incident along with several other reports on training accidents. I recomend reading them.
03-20-2002, 04:18 PM #5
Motown - yes I am familiar with the Michigan incident also with training disasters in Colorado and New Jersey in addition to Lairdsville. They all involve events, conditions, and chances taken that I find unfathomable.
Box Alarm - under no circumstances was I implying that I thought the standard wasn't meant to be used. I think it is a good standard.
As I stated in my original post I have always thought our live fire training was done properly and safely. We used good common sense, didn't try and hot-dog it and kept firefighter safety as priority 1. After reading 1403 I see we have some areas we should make some changes in and we will make those changes. After reading 1403 I thought it didn't make any unreasonable requirements and was based on good common sense.
03-20-2002, 05:08 PM #6
You can find an abstract of Milford, MI here and also order the publication for FREE. Too bad they don't have it for download on PDF file.
Update: I just looked on the "Technical Report Series" CD that the USFA has. The PDF version of that incident is on there. It's 10MB, so don't ask me to email it to you. However, for those who already have the CD, it is report number TR-015.
Last edited by Adze39; 03-20-2002 at 05:15 PM.
03-22-2002, 07:06 AM #7
Nice post gefd901. It seems as if your department was ahead of the game to begin with even though you were not aware of...or just not using NFPA 1403.
In answer to your questions:
#3 Yes ???? I beleive. If your state does not have a certification process and your department trains and certifies your firefighters and the City/town certifies the training then they are the authority having jurisdiction. The question is....what is the level of training of the "instructor" and where did they get it? Are they certified to teach or just put in that position by a popularity election? If your state has a training agency, then most likely the standard would be referring to the state. That is an item for some lawyer to make.
theboxalarm is a mixer of controversy. You are on the right track and should pay him no mind. I understood your post and your questions as an attempt to be safe, not an attempt to avoid using the standard. Keep up the good work...
For an even better example of what happens when you don't go by the standard, look at the post on this forum about the Lairdsville NY Training "ACCIDENT." Someone is gonna fry over the "lack of knowledge" of the standard and the overwhelming incompetence there!
Stay Safe09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.
12-27-2006, 11:18 AM #8
Can someone give me the list or provide the site that tells all the classes that are required for 1403... I'm in a vollie dept and trying to assist the training officer to set up all of the classes... but can't find the list or remember what the crap they are.... ThanksTurtle Power
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12-27-2006, 01:03 PM #9
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
Hey Turtle....Here are the prereq. classes from 1403; there has to be documentation of the training and the Chief has to attest to it prior to burning, as you may know. Be safe!
Fire Behavior Safety
Forcible Entry Fire Hose, Nozzle, and AppliancesVentilation Fire Streams
Hey 901! Great job with your prep....common sense, cover your arse, adhere to 1403 as closely as practical and you are fine...Personally, I leave no stone uncovered when I burn. As for the diesel, for year NC had a waiver from OSFM to use fuel for burning....after close calls, stupid egotistical instructors got burned and other dipsheet moves they changed how we burn, and we all had to attend upgrades on it...NOW, we can only spread fuel on walls, ceilings and straw/pallets, PRIOR to starting the fire. Then completely overhaul the fire room and props and start over....Some of us incorporate ONLY pallets and straw, class a burning, thats better anyway....Be safe!
12-27-2006, 02:11 PM #10
Here in Florida, the State has just recently implimented a state certification for "Live Fire Training Instructor".
I became certified a few weeks ago, along with a dozen or so from my department. We took a 40 hour course that consisted of 1402, 1403, live scenerios, etc., then took the state exam at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala. My department has a fixed class "A" burn facility, and we have been following 1403 all along, but now we have the State's stamp of approval for Certified Live Fire Instructors as well.
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