In light of the tragedy at Lairdsville and this most recent incident (see the firehouse.com main page about 7 injured in NY), is it beyond our risk tolerances to continue burning real dwellings?
Should we confine our live burns to buildings designed for such?
Can we get as much out of those fires as a real house, or more?
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Thread: Time to stop training burns?
04-28-2002, 10:36 PM #1
Time to stop training burns?
04-28-2002, 11:35 PM #2
The outright ban of all non burn building live burns is way over the top. In comparison to the number of live burns conducted yearly in the United States to incidents such as Lairdsville, most are conducted w/o incident and good trainings can result for usualy several depts for one weekend at a house. I think that a possible revision or creation of individual state regulations concerning these types of trainings maybe needed, but to ban live burns and restrict it to academies and burn buildings would robb many depts of needed experience and training of its members ,as well as the interdepartment cooperation that can result from participating in such trainings.
What is needed is common sense and for people to learn from the mistakes and misfortunes of others, NOT taking valuable training away from FFs.Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
New England FOOL
As always these are strictly my own opinions and views
04-28-2002, 11:47 PM #3
I don't think stopping live burns in acquired structures is the answer. Using some degree of common sense is a good start. Whether you like NFPA 1403 or not, it just makes sense. It provides a check-off for conducting a drill, so it's not really difficult to follow the requirements. Another step would be to stop unqualified persons from conducting these drills.
One thing that has me thinking a lot is this. If an officer has no more knowledge about fire behavior and fire ground tactics than to be unaware that the floor above the fire is one of the most dangerous locations on a fireground, and that gasoline blows up when it's allowed to vaporize and reaches an ignition source, how in the world can they safely function as an Incident Commander, or an officer at all for that matter??
If I had someone like that in charge, I'd think I'd have to look at a greeters job at Walmart.Steve Gallagher
"I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes
04-29-2002, 12:17 AM #4
Perhaps only in Upstate NY
04-29-2002, 12:53 AM #5
OK, lets just punish everyone for a isolated few incidents.
Maybe we should all just bend over and take it like real men or we could use a little common sense. I do not agree that aquired structure use should be banned, however I do think that maybe something should be done to tighten the rules under which they occur.
The fact is that not all departments have easy access to these "burn buildings" that everyone refers to. Besides that, real structures or aquired structures are far better for "real life training". This of course is providing that the proper prep and saftey measures were taken. Pre-planning and a few extra minutes to ensure saftey is all that is needed, not drastic measures like "banning"!!Firefighter/NREMT-P/Public Safety Diver
May we ride into the darkness only to return as safe as we started!!
04-29-2002, 03:17 AM #6
Time to stop training burns?
Live fire training in acquired structures can be a valuable tool, IF it is done under the control of competent, experienced, knowledgeable officers. One would hope that somewhere in that cranial space they might have some "common sense!" You can not use non SCBA certified "probies" as victims and you can not send untrained firemen into situations without them being accompanied by an instructor or highly experienced firefighter. They're going to get into trouble!
Of course, senior officers, posessing basic knowledge regarding fire behavior, fire spread and the dangers of flammable vapors would also help....as it would seem that the officers involved with the aforementioned incidents lacked those basic skills. IMHO, a 19 or 20 year old officer can not possibly have the experience or fireground maturity to supervise any drills of this nature.
Continue the live training exercises....but do it with some COMPETENT, TRAINED and EXPERIENCED supervision. Follow guidelines. Consider having another departments FAST team in place while the drill is in progress. Keep backup lines charged, in position and at the ready.
Those officers might have been good decision makers under normal conditions, however:
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. -Publilius SyrusProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones
*Gathering Crust Since 1968*
On the web at www.section2wildfire.com
04-29-2002, 06:55 AM #7
I personally don't like live burns but I think banning them is not the way to proceed. I think the answer is in accountability. If a live burn is conducted it should be done so under the auspices of trained personnel who are responsible. That responsibility should be inclusive of all safety items. Naturally there are ways for errors to occur even if 1403 and common sense is followed. Fighting fire is like combat in that injury and death can come at the most unfortunate time. However, if the live burn goes bad and it is found that standards were not followed, then swift prosecution of those responsible should occur. Just my 3 cents.
04-29-2002, 08:31 AM #8
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
- No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
Banning live burns is not the answer. There is probably no other truer to life scenario that could prepare veterans and probies alike for what they will face. However, safety is paramount!!!!! The people that are running these trainings should be thoroughly experienced FF's or officers. Live victims should not be used, the overuse of any accelerants should be avoided, accountability should be strict, and handlines and sector safety officers should be utilized. I guess the prevailing attitude among many is that a training burn is a harmless fun activity. wrong!!! The incidents over the past few months have shown us the tragic consequences when a carefree attitude is taken. We don't approach a real structure fire with this attitude, nor should we with a training burn."I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."
Edward F. Croker
Fire Dept. City of New York
HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.
04-29-2002, 10:31 AM #9
Ban Training Burns...
That is not the answer by any stretch of the imagination. Live burn training in aquired structures is essential to the proper training of fire fighters. With-in a couple of burns, I can have the entire layout of a burn building memorized, great for basic training like fire streams, ventilation and ect, but is it a "real world" senario?
The paramount aspects of safety for live burn training are spelled out in NFPA 1403, that's where the burns need to start, not when you show up. Maybe the answer is to ban those fire departments that don't recognize the NFPA standards. We all that won't happen, so the next best thing would be to prosecute those responsible. Reckless homicide/endangerment comes to mind...I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but this job can be dangerous, maybe even deadly. The only way to give us the edge is real world training. If that is to much, stocking shelves a Wal-mart may be in order for some. This isn't a hobby.
You want to take the authority and perks that come with the white helmet, you had better damn well be able to take the responsibility that comes with it.
Last edited by SPFDRum; 04-29-2002 at 10:29 PM.My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
Co-author of the Second Amendment
during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
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04-29-2002, 11:07 AM #10
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
- Nicholasville KY
Alright, I haven't even started training yet, but in the past couple weeks I have learned quite a bit regarding common sense. One of the questions I was asked in my oral exam was what would you do if someone in authority asked you to do something you felt was life threatening or you didn't fully comprehend. Does that apply here. Shouldn't someone in both incidents have said, "Wait a minute, I don't think we are all on the same page." or " Sir, I don't believe I have enough experience for this."
All I'm saying is someone should have said something. Even if they get yelled at or something.
04-29-2002, 11:09 AM #11
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
- Silver City, Oklahoma USA
I agree with those that are for live fire training. It is priceless.
So is human life. Therefore, I think we should hold those responsible for these disasters accountable--particularly if they blatantly ignore established standards.
Accidents happen. But a total disregard for safety is no accident.Bryan Beall
Silver City, Oklahoma USA
04-29-2002, 01:33 PM #12Shouldn't someone in both incidents have said, "Wait a minute, I don't think we are all on the same page."
04-29-2002, 02:11 PM #13
I feel the only thing that should be banned are unsafe live burn operations.May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.
I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer
"Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree
04-29-2002, 02:53 PM #14
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
If you compare live fire training for FD's with hazardous training conducted in other occupations, very few of those occupations conduct their hazardous duty training without regulations or standards.
NJ was in desperate need of live fire training standards several years ago. A live fire training accident motivated the legislature to have them developed and promulgated. They were pushed by respected fire people in NJ who really cared.
Seems to me that there has to be alot of fire people who care in NYS. Maybe it's time you guys got together to motivate the legislature to enact some standards before anyone else gets hurt.
04-29-2002, 03:22 PM #15
All the standards in the world won't matter if they are not followed. Lairdsville is a perfect example. The standards already exist, they just didn't use them. As long as no one gets in trouble for it, why would they worry about it? Thank God that finally someone is being held accountable, although it should be more than one guy. I think that once a few departments get in some trouble for what they do and it is publicized, that will do more to force the issue.
04-29-2002, 03:29 PM #16
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
- Columbia Heights, MN
Yes, all live fire training should be banned, in the state of New York. It seems that fire departments in that state do not know how to put on a safe live burn exercise. They should be banned in that state until every department develops standards and procedures, preferably using NFPA 1403, covering the operation at live burn exercises.
Stopping live fire training will only hurt the fire service. If done properly, following strict safety guidelines, live fire training can be a very effective teaching tool.
Last edited by CHFD-LT; 04-29-2002 at 03:33 PM.
04-29-2002, 04:11 PM #17
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
I think that is an injustice to say that there isn't a FD in NYS that can run a safe live burn training operation. You don't really believe that do you? If you want to say that all live burn training in NYS should be suspended until safety regulations are adopted I could really agree with you. There are an awful lot of fire fighters in NYS who are committed to safety and would never get involved in a situation like that.
04-29-2002, 04:32 PM #18
Time to stop training burns?? No, that's not the answer. But stopping contributing factors to training injuries needs to be more of a focus.
1. It's time to stop letting any FF off the street acquire a structure, set it on fire and call it training. There needs to be a uniform level of training for those running the 'show' and it needs to be enforced by things such as applying for live fire training permits and in that application process someone (or more depending on instructor to student ratio) with an instructor cert and a live burn instructor cert needs to put his/her name on the line and take the responsibility of running this exercise safely.
2. Area 2 points right back to us as the FF's operating at the drill. Realize that ANY fire can go bad and can go bad quick. Take away the safety precautions built into some of today's academy burn buildings by using an acquired structure and you are just about learning via the old 'trial and error' method and those errors can and have cost lives. With that being said, we need to ditch the complacency and the 'it's training we don't need to be as serious here as we would be on a scene' attitude. Unfortunately complacency kills FF's. During Fire Prevention lectures we get upset when people don't take us serious and have the attitude of 'this won't ever happen to me' yet we turn around and do it to ourselves on the training ground. I doesn't add up!
Sorry for the preaching, but I guess that's what they made opinions for
04-29-2002, 04:48 PM #19
- Join Date
- Sep 2000
- Westchester Co., NY USA
Thank you George. The problems recently experienced in upstate NY is not a statewide problem. Just as Mercer and Mesa and the accident in NJ didn't mean their respective states were all screwed up. The fact also is NY is a home rule state, just as NFPA with their AHJ blanket statements in regards to certain policies. NYS OFPC has a live burn policy, but it is for their SFI's. While its a respectful idea of the legislature to enact legislation regarding training burns, it can also cause later problems. Today live burns tomorrow something else, and when each chief/department has their own way about everything, I'm willing to bet it would be nothing but headaches. We have a speed limit in NY and a no cell phone while driving law and people still speed and still talk on their phones. The fire service is no different.
For those of you who have read my past posts on this topic, many of you already know that I do not believe in acquired structure live fire training. I'm sure if all injuries related to live burns were actually reported properly the percentages would be much higher. We now have a great sense of awareness in regards to vacant large windowless commercial buildings from the Worcester fatalities, I've seen chiefs on TV and lectures talk about incidents in their areas and not putting firefighters into these buildings and many of us supporting those tactics. However, we still have these fatalities and injuries in training burns regardless of what is supposed to be followed. We have the ability to control these deaths/injuries. It also bothers me to see how much we take note to incidents like Worcester, Houston, and other fatalities that involve tactic type scenarios but many of us still do not have physical training policies or physical training equipment in our firehouses to reduce cardiac illnesses. Burn buildings may not be the most realistic form of live fire training, however it is safer, and controlled. It still allows the basics to be practiced, hose advancement and stream placement. You can also achieve much higher temperatures in a burn building then you can in an acquired structure, much higher then what you will see in your average (I know I hate that word also) structure fire.
04-29-2002, 05:41 PM #20
I agree with ALSff, live fire training can be held in burn buildings, use the acquired structures for forcible entry, ventilation, overhaul, or anything else you cant do in burn buildings.
As for the people that seem to be making gross generalizations, like I said in the other forum on this topic, you tend to detract from your credibility when you make those statements, not everyone in NY is an imbicile.Shawn M. Cecula
IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS
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