Thread: Fire Behavior Training
08-01-2002, 05:34 AM #1
Fire Behavior Training
It is a sad fact that the vast majority of firefighters and training officers still have little or no realistic appreciation of how fire gases form, transport and ignite under a wide range of conditions encountered in structural firefighting. When firefighters enter a burning structure, be it a real fire or a 'training' burn, it is essential that they understand how fire gases are able to behave like petrol vapors! Would they advance into a structure that they knew was swamped with petrol fumes?
What is a flashover? or a backdraft? or a smoke explosion? or a forward-induced explosion? or a flash-fire? where are you likely to encounter high-velocity fire gases? Can ventilation cause a flashover or is this a backdraft? What is the effect of creating a vent opening behind the advancing firefighters?
These are all questions that every firefighter and training officer should know the answers to! Do you?
The behavior of fires can only be taught safely and effectively in purpose-built fire behavior 'simulators' (container style) and even then, a basic introduction session is far from sufficient. Multi-compartment, observation and attack units are needed to provide the depth of knowledge required to understand how fire gases form and transport and tactical venting actions should be used to demonstrate likely effects at real fires, taking into account the effect of creating/widening ventilation parameters.
Firefighters will continue to die in fires until we provide them with this knowledge - fire gas formation, transport and potential for ignition.
08-01-2002, 08:25 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
I brought this subject up several months ago and found, at that time, that most people did not believe that the lack of knowledge on the part of fire officers regarding fire dynamics was a problem.
In my experience (note MY experience), most fire officers, esepcially from the volunteer ranks, do not have sufficient knowledge of fire science and fire dynamics to make consistently safe and intelligent decisions on the fireground. This is exemplified by the number of FF LODD where the proximate cause of the death is a poor decision by an officer. The report from Pompey is an excellent illustration.
This will tick some people off, but I believe that fire dynammics training is probably more important than ICS training before an officer hits the streets.
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