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  1. #1
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Default Live Fire Training

    The intent and purpose of live fire training is to educate firefighters in important aspects of fire behavior as well as providing an opportunity to practice techniques; tactics and SOPs. It is further an opportunity to teach firefighters under controlled but realistic conditions, using a range of scenarios.

    However, it is difficult to obtain structures for achieving these aims. It is also almost impossible to repeat certain aspects/events in training burns to an established level so that all students receive the same experience. Then there is the danger of breaching the fine lines of safety in an effort to achieve 'realism'.

    Do you consider that modular burn structures, based on the steel container design, can offer firefighters effective training? Below is a backdraft simulator - go to http://www.firetactics.com/TACTICAL-FIREFIGHTING.htm for more examples of modular trainers.



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    Using the shipping containers in modular format is probably the best way to get more firefighters around the world trained in CFBT because -

    a) shipping containers are a lot cheaper than building dedicated burn buildings, and being cheaper will have a far greater chance of getting the necessary funding

    b) designs already exist, plans are available, it's very easy to implement, you just need to train some instructors and follow the lesson plans, SOP's etc

    c) shiping containers don't need to be attached to foundations, just sat on concrete slabs, so you may not need building approvals etc before you can proceed, saving both time and money

    d) shipping containers are easily obtained just about anywhere on this planet and are fairly standardised throughout the world

    If nothing else the backdraft simulator should get the attention of all but the dopiest of firefighters - nice pic!

    Paul, are you able to post a description for all to see of a recommended CFBT facility layout a department would need using shipping containers, detailing -

    1) number of shipping containers needed (and sizes 20 foot, 40 foot etc)
    2) how each would be used (1 for backdraft simulation, 1 for entry technique training, 1 for flashover simulation/control training, x for multi compartment training, 1 for observation of fire gas formation, etc etc)
    3) what modifications would be needed to each container to suit it's particular role without going into huge detail
    4) what consumables are needed per burn for each container

    I get the feeling that if these particular pieces of information were even more readily available so that departments could see what was needed to build a facility to see whether it was feasible within their budgets without having to send people on fact finding missions, then a lot more departments would take to CFBT. Once they know how many containers they need, it's just a matter of picking up the phone and getting a price for some shipping containers from a local dealer and multiplying X number of containers by Y$ and then adding in the cost of modifying the containers to suit, plus knowing annual operating costs (consumables etc per burn times number of burns per annum x cost of consumables).

    I think that a lot of departments will find that such a facility built using shipping containers would be far cheaper than what they think, and that this false impression of a high cost (or not know what it will cost) could be what is holding back a lot of departments from becoming involved in CFBT
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    stillPSFB, you took most of my questions/comments.

    I agree that details of a basic design would be most beneficial. There are a couple of forums that discuss CFBT - so there certainly is the expertise out there connected through the internet.

    Who deals in shipping containers (i.e. who should I call for price quotes, including transportation since I live a few hundred miles inland)?

    Are railroad shipping containers made of sufficiently thick steel?

    Paul, what are your recommendations on instructor training? I know the commercial dealers offer instructor training - but probably only if you buy their unit. The only other option is learning from existing instructors - with this route, do you have minimum recommendations. When are you putting out an instructor video series ?

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    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Default Definitely....

    Shipping containers; definitely. Definitely, shipping containers. Going to go watch Wapner now.

    You can stack them. You can set them side by side. You can use them for confined space and RIT simulators.
    Our regional training site has five of them and are going to get more of them. They are low maintenance and their use is limitless.
    They are cheap and readily available.
    Also, Paul: what happened to the guy on the other end of that hose?
    TC & SS.
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    Default Re: Definitely....

    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    Also, Paul: what happened to the guy on the other end of that hose?
    TC & SS.
    Well with the weather in the UK you have to go to extreme lengths to get a suntan
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    Originally posted by bpevans
    Who deals in shipping containers (i.e. who should I call for price quotes, including transportation since I live a few hundred miles inland)?
    You should be able to find someone through the Yellow Pages or similar. I just looked in the "Fast Find Index" for "Shipping Containers" and it referred me to the category "Cargo & Freight Containers &/or Services" on page 511 of our local YP directory - there are about a dozen companies there with adds for containers for sale or hire. If you get nothing from your local directory then try the YP's for the nearest large city (assuming you don't already live in one) and if still no luck try the YP's for the nearest city with a cargo container port. Someone will have them.


    Are railroad shipping containers made of sufficiently thick steel?
    I don't know the differences between the two, however a lot of containers that you see on railraod flatbeds will probably be shipping containers packed with imported goods that have come off the docks and are being transported to their final destination.[/B]
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    Paul,

    Could you come up with some plans/details like I mentioned in my first post for -

    - A basic fire training ground setup to teach CFBT
    - an add-on 2nd stage that could be added at a later date to make it a more advanced setup (or included from the start if the department has the money)
    - The full blown 5th-alarm money-no-object setup

    bpevans,

    I just rang a local supplier of containers, a 20 foot container sells for $1300 for good condition, $1800 for excellant condition, 40 foot containers $2000/$2500. These prices are $Australian , so if the only difference in price to where you are is the exchange rate then expect to pay about half those prices in the U.S. - I must admit that these prices were about a third of what I expected they would sell for - I might just be able to make this happen!
    Last edited by stillPSFB; 01-09-2003 at 10:27 PM.
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    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Also, Paul: what happened to the guy on the other end of that hose? Ha ha! I never even noticed that hoseline Chief! It serves no real purpose in this demo and should not have been laid across the front of the demonstrator like that! I don't think it is manned?! The backdraft demo uses shortened containers that are sealed 'tight' and then opened to demo how a backdraft presents itself, including some classic warning signs. You can alter the venting parameters to get different results - as you can see its pretty impressive! Students go away having seen a backdraft, up close, but within safe limits. This demonstrator is never occupied!

    StillPSFB makes some great points and poses some topical questions. Since the first firefighters, in Sweden, played around with the very first basic shipping container we have learned a great deal, in terms of how to construct the units together for safer and more effective burns, as well as increasing their burn life. These units take a fair bit of heat at various points and suffer through leakage after a certain number of burns. Close attention to construction can lengthen the life-span of a unit. Correct positioning of a unit can increase its effectiveness.

    There are various things you can do to the internal layout and venting hatches, as well as the roof, to improve the training facility. It would be difficult to 'post' such complex features on a forum. It is also a fact that many design specs are patented! However, it is perfectly feasable to build your own units at a fraction of the cost that a ready made unit would cost you and I can help interested parties in this respect.

    Most fire departments begin with an 'observation' unit and then add 'tactical attack units' and 'backdraft demonstrators' at a later stage - all designs are slightly different. Then the 'multi-compartment units' offer the next stage of advancement for tactical ventilation and structural firefighting. There are also a host of associated training aids including 'dolls houses' and 'bang-boxes' which offer a small-scale method of teaching firefighters the basics of fire behavior with impressive visual effects!

    This whole approach is CFBT - its a package. You can get a basic container and fuel-load it and learn a bit during some impressive burns - but this becomes a kind of fairground ride! Firefighters LOVE the experience but can come out having learned very little without a carefully thought out approach and clear training objectives. This requires some forethought as to what is achievable and how the learning objectives will be integrated into our tactical attack and SOPs. Its a pointless exercise without this necessary forethought and planning.

    To take on CFBT as a training package demands careful planning or you will waste money during the learning process.

    You can send a small team of instructors to train at source in the UK or in Sweden, or you can hire in CFBT specialists for a short period to set-up your programme. Or, you can do it on your own from scratch and go through the learning curve we have all been through. The first two options are the most effective and economical in the end.

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    Originally posted by PaulGRIMWOOD
    Since the first firefighters, in Sweden, played around with the very first basic shipping container we have learned a great deal, in terms of how to construct the units together for safer and more effective burns, as well as increasing their burn life. These units take a fair bit of heat at various points and suffer through leakage after a certain number of burns. Close attention to construction can lengthen the life-span of a unit. Correct positioning of a unit can increase its effectiveness.
    Paul, approxiametly what sort of life (number of evolutions) can you reasonably expect out of a container that is being used for tactical attack training?
    There are various things you can do to the internal layout and venting hatches, as well as the roof, to improve the training facility.
    Sounds like a good excuse for some training on the K12 cutting the vent hatch holes etc
    It would be difficult to 'post' such complex features on a forum. It is also a fact that many design specs are patented!
    Is it only private companies that are taking out Patents on this or are fire departments doing it as well (instead of helping make it easier for their brothers to take CFBT on)?
    However, it is perfectly feasable to build your own units at a fraction of the cost that a ready made unit would cost you and I can help interested parties in this respect.
    Certainly we would need to build our own in order to minimise cost if we did it - which would be largely up to the training department as to whether they want us taught CFBT or not - which would be largely decided on firefighting philosophy and politics. If they would allow it but can't provide the funding then perhaps we could get enough brigades together to fundraise the money needed to purchase the necessary containers etc and hold working bees to modify and fit them out - just about anything can be made to happen if there is sufficient enthusiasm and drive.
    Most fire departments begin with an 'observation' unit and then add 'tactical attack units' and 'backdraft demonstrators' at a later stage - all designs are slightly different.
    So I'm guessing that an observation unit would typically require a 20 foot container, a tactical attack unit would require a 40 foot container and a backdraft demonstrator would require a 10 foot container?
    Then the 'multi-compartment units' offer the next stage of advancement for tactical ventilation and structural firefighting.
    That I think would have to be stage two if we went ahead as it would be beyond our means initially.
    There are also a host of associated training aids including 'dolls houses' and 'bang-boxes' which offer a small-scale method of teaching firefighters the basics of fire behavior with impressive visual effects!
    I received the dolls house plans the other day from Shan for use as a training aid for a course on something else that I'm preparing at the moment.
    This whole approach is CFBT - its a package. You can get a basic container and fuel-load it and learn a bit during some impressive burns - but this becomes a kind of fairground ride! Firefighters LOVE the experience but can come out having learned very little without a carefully thought out approach and clear training objectives.
    Definently - like any form of practical instruction, to get the maximum benefit, the students need to come away knowing -
    1) What to do
    2) When to do it
    3) Why they are doing it - this extra level of understanding makes a big difference.
    This requires some forethought as to what is achievable and how the learning objectives will be integrated into our tactical attack and SOPs. Its a pointless exercise without this necessary forethought and planning.
    This could prove to be a stumbling block in a dept the size of ours.
    To take on CFBT as a training package demands careful planning or you will waste money during the learning process.
    This is where we will possibly need some help
    You can send a small team of instructors to train at source in the UK or in Sweden
    Dreams are free!
    or you can hire in CFBT specialists for a short period to set-up your programme.
    Maybe possible depending on cost
    Or, you can do it on your own from scratch and go through the learning curve we have all been through.
    This is quite possibly the way that we would end up going, but obviously the least desirable.

    Hmm plenty to think about.
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    Paul, I have only seen this training technique via video, but I have been very impressed. I am most impressed by the potential of learning alot, at a very high safety factor.

    As far as the availability of these containers, not for nothin', but if you drive anywhere near Port Newark, they are stacked 10 high all over the industrial areas of the city. There are literally thousands of them sitting idle. I wouldn't know who to call, but everything is for sale.

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    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    what sort of life (number of evolutions) can you reasonably expect out of a container that is being used for tactical attack training?

    Several hundred if you construct it to recognised design specs'....and yes - unfortunately, there are some fire departments who make a buck from this....but that is the way of the world! I have no problem though with those that use CFBT facilities to 'fund' the training of their own firefighters. You can create a CFBT training facility that will most likely attract departments from around to come in and pay for their firefighters to be trained. The program might even pay for itself from your own funding point of view.

    learning alot, at a very high safety factor

    You got it in one George!

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    Hi Paul, nothing to add, just thought I'd let you know I was still here. I love this post, just think of the possibilities, flashover simulators everywhere.

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    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Aaahhhhh Blacksheep - wake me up bro.........

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    Now THAT would make for one heck of a BA training maze!
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    We have used a portable burn building now for 5 years. Our trailer is a 40ft version. It has 3 rooms. Room 1 is at the rear of the trailer. There is no fire in this room. It has a stair to the top of the trailer here as well for basement attacks. Room 2 & 3 are where the burns take place. We have 2 tables to set pallets on, 1 for each room. We burn on average 7-8 pallets per burn.
    The inside of the trailer has been covered with 1/4 steel plate to minimize the burn effect. Rooms 2&3 also have 2 windows in each that can be opened or closed as desired. Also Room 2&3 have a vent the roof of each room to allow for steam and heat escape.
    We use this every year and train about 75 firefighters every year. The trailer is burn in about 350-400 times a year. So far no problem.
    When we are finished the truck comes and pulls it to its next destanation.

    Oh yes we got our trailer out from Savannah GA and it was modified in West GA.

    This is one of the best investments we have ever made.

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    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    This is one of the best investments we have ever made

    That sounds a most interesting set-up Chief and the fact that the unit is easily transportable makes the concept even more viable as it is shared between several fire departments.

    I would be interested to know what you learning objectives are in the facility?

    1. Do you teach fire behaviour or is this unit used solely for attack & rescue purposes.

    2. Do you use any form of wall panels as a fuel, in addition to the wood pallets?

    3. What form of attack is used in the unit? Are fog-patterns used?

    4. What are the most important aspects taught inside this unit?

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    Talking

    1. Do you teach fire behaviour or is this unit used solely for attack & rescue purposes.

    We teach fire behavior and fire & rescue classes.

    2. Do you use any form of wall panels as a fuel, in addition to the wood pallets?

    We do not use anything except pallets. We tried using a drum filled with wet hay for smoke but have since bought a smoke machine.

    3. What form of attack is used in the unit? Are fog-patterns used?

    We use a direct attack, and a combination attack. This burn trailer is made like a burn building. We do not use a fog pattern except for ventatilation.

    4. What are the most important aspects taught inside this unit?

    Depends on the class being taught.

    If you have any other questions e-mail me at jamgwill@southernco.com.

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