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  1. #1
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    Default Flashover simulators

    Hi all i am looking for some info and experiences peaple have had with flashover simulators.


  2. #2
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    It's funny that yoy ask about this now...I just this past weekend went through a flashover simulation put on by the Massachusetts Fire Academy. They have a trailer that they can safely simulate a flashover situation numerous times. A group of 8 FF's and 3 instructors are in the trailer for approx. 15 minutes. The instructors simulate about 4-5 flashovers per group. It is an intense experience which I think every interior FF should go though. The trailer is comming back our way in May, and I hope to take a video camera in to record a few flashovers.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

  3. #3
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    I have gone through the flashover trainer a number of times. It is good training, though NO firefighter should ever be caught in that environment in real life. The training has to remind folks that if they start feeling the heat or see the signs, GET OUT!
    Have great day!

  4. #4
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    I have to agree with you Capt Jake. even though the trailer is a controled environment, people did have some reflective striping and patches on their gear start to melt. Also one person got a little "sunburn" from it. The academy stresses that this is to show the signs of an impending flashover and for FF's to recognize them to get the He!! out of the place if one really does occur.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, we had a few melted items as well! The inside of the thermal sheild on my helmet blistered (not the outside, the INSIDE). In addition, the last time I went through, we simulated emergency proceedures (wide fog directed directly at the ceiling) Man was that hot! I got the sunburn on that one (I was on the nozzle as everbody else scurried).

  6. #6
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    IMHO this training is a must!! It is the type of thing that the classroom alone cannot adequately teach. The best way is to see and feel what the conditions are in that situation.

    As for damaged gear,I didn't damage anything af mine. I did what I was told to do by the instructors.I also removed my bourkes before going in.One guy looked right up at it instead of turning his head, he melted the facepiece on his SCBA.How would youlike to explain that to the chief! Another guy deliberately melted his bourkes. I personally think that is totally ignorant! Now he has no usable eye protection.

    Training scars don't count!!!!
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
    "Chet, get an inch and a half on that!"

    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

  7. #7
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    A couple of people had melted striping caused by the airpack harness heating up and being right on the striping. The patches were ones that the members had put on themselves(EMT, Dept patches..etc..) Last I heard, that invalidates the warrantee from most of the gear manufacturers due to the stitching breaking the fire retardant. We did not use our own airpacks or helmets, the academy provided them. The helmets had a fire shelter like lining over them, with no face sheild (due to the probablility of melting). The instructors did a through checking of everyones gear before they even put it on. A couple of sets got pulled due to age and the fire retardant lining being not up to par.
    I also agree that this training should be mandatory. I have been involved with the FD for 10 years and wish I could have gone through it sooner.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

  8. #8
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    Hey guys, I'm not talking about the loss of melted gear. In the real world, anybody caught in this situation is TOAST! That is a much larger loss! I just hate to see these Flashover trainers used as a 'macho' device to see who can endure the longest. These trainers keep you at a safe level below the intense heat. Real world, if you see these signs, you're on the same level as that heat, and on to the next life. Just be safe and take care.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Thanks

    Hey thanks for all your replys.I work for Tucson Fire and am just trying to come up with a good subject for a research paper, we have a simulator and i think that there is a good topic in there somewhere
    thanks again Hammar

  10. #10
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    Default Flashovers

    In Ohio we have a Fire Behavioral Simulator Lab, A well thoughtout and proven design. The Trailer allows for 10 trainees, 1 ventilation operator (to facilitate rapid removal of steam during rotation of trainees), 2 saftys', 1 backup nozzleman, and the instructor (who is also the lead nozzleman) the lab can run everyone in the training element to cycle through each seat in the trainer to effectively see the conditions leading up to and resulting in flashover. Flashover is not as violent as one may think, its all hot, all now! no explosions or anything like that just shake and bake hot now. I'm not interested in the damaged gear myself, I just want to know that the guys on my crew learned and recognized what to look for so we can go home at the end of the day.

  11. #11
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    Default Flashover simulators

    Hammar, I am a flashover instructor with the Australian Capital Territory Fire Brigade (Canberra, Australia). I take fire fighters and recruits through our facility about once a fortnight. Our system operates as a training package so we present theory for about an hour to an hour and a half before any practical training occurs.
    The theory concentrates on fire development in compartments and fire behaviour. We discuss pyrolysis and how this creates a flammable vapour environment within the compartment. we then discuss what occurs as the explosive range approaches and how the pyrolised products are approaching the stoichiometric (ideal) mixture. We then discuss the indicators of impending flashover such as lengthening flames across the ceiling and through the smoke plume and the sparkles of flame (dancing angels), darkening smoke and sudden intensifying heat. we also instruct the students to watch the neutral zone as it moves and thins out.
    There is some discussion of diffusion and premix flames, the stages of fire development (incipient, flame, heat and decay)and the difference between fuel and ventillation controlled fires.
    Once the dry but necessary theory is over we conduct three demonstrations on a flame aquarium which runs off liquified petroleum gas (lpg) or propane I think you call it in the States. This is a small box about 3ftx2ftx2ft made of metal and safety glass it has blast flaps at the top and an access door in the side. We turn on an internal fan using a remote control console then vent gas into the chamber. the whole time we have an electric ignition source going and in the first demonstration when the Lower explosive level is reached the mixture detonates. The second demo is a concealed ignition source which is achieved by concealing the ignition source with a fold up metal compartment. This demonstration simulates a fire gas explosion. The third and final demonstration is a backdraught. In this demo we run the gas for 35 seconds and then operate the ignition source. This does not result in any ignition as the mixture is above the upper explosive limit e.g. the mixture is too rich to burn. The side door is then opened and air is allowed in and after a period of time a backdraught or deflagration occurs.
    After all this we use our flashover training cell which is a 40ft shipping container that has been modified with vents, baffles and numerous access points. We can only burn carbonacious material due to pollution legislation so we use five sheets of particle board, a bale of hay and a wooden pallet.
    The particle board forms three walls and the ceiling and is held in place with specially fitted rails and fixtures. The hay is placed in a metal basket and is the initial source of heat and the wooden pallet is used to simulate a coffee table or such like. The idea being that it is not involved in the fire until flashover occurs. This allows us to point out modes of heat transfer and to demonstrate pyrolysis.
    Our students participate in two burns and in between the burns as the cell cools down we watch some videos on ventillation and flashovers.
    I have used one other type of flashover simulator cell in New South Wales (the neighbouring state) which was a better design as it was split level allowing the students to watch in more comfort and actually take note of the indicators rather than worrying how hot they were getting.
    Our staffing for these burns is 4 students (a pumper crew) and the instructor and a safety officer.
    We have had some equipment damage but we have managed to stop this by implementing some safety procedures. We only used decommissioned helmets in the cell. We get all the students to turn their SCBA pressure guages around to stop melting and all personnel wear flash hoods. The flash hoods are not issued operationally as we determined that more testing is required and that if your ears are burning it is time to leave or use the hose stream applications (fog pulses at the ceiling) that they are shown by us.
    As an instructor I love what I do and the knowledge that I can give to help keep firies alive and safe. I do these duties aswell as serving as an operational fire fighter at our #1 station and although I love getting in amongst it I agree with some of your other responses it is not to see who can handle the most heat it is to learn to save your life.
    If you want any more information about our presentation or facilities email me at mavandkellie@hotmail.com

  12. #12
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    Well put!

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