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  1. #1
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default The Art of Reading Smoke (awesome class)

    I just took Dave Dodson's class called "The Art of Reading
    Smoke". Dave is from Colorado and gave an awesome class in
    the Northern California area.

    The cost was only $35 and well worth the money. If you get a
    change, attend this one day class. Regardless is your a
    "greenhorn" or a 25 year veteran, there is something to be
    learned.

    Honestly, I can believe I have been in the fire service so
    long and just picked this stuff up.

    The website is- www.respondsafe.com/


  2. #2
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    Default Agree

    I agree...great class.

    Likely the best Fire Science class I have had to date.

  3. #3
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Default

    Tell us what you learned guys share the information ....

  4. #4
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Default

    I went this past fall when he was in youngstown. Did anyone throw the B.S. flag on him?
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  5. #5
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Yo...

    I could share my notes, but I dont think I would do you much
    justice or deliver all of the right information.

    All I can say is attend the class. Its well worth it regardless
    if your paid, volunteer, etc...

  6. #6
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Nope...

    Originally posted by fireguy919
    I went this past fall when he was in youngstown. Did anyone throw the B.S. flag on him?
    I didnt hear or see it.

    Again, I cant believe I have been in the fire service almost
    20 years and never heard this information before.

    The smoke of a burning structure is such a valuable tool.
    I walked away with stuff I could use that night.

    Good class, Bou.

  7. #7
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Default

    Its a looong way to come for a class C'mon there must be some tips you can share with us .... 10 golden tips in 'reading smoke'?

  8. #8
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nope...

    Originally posted by CALFFBOU


    I didnt hear or see it.

    Again, I cant believe I have been in the fire service almost
    20 years and never heard this information before.

    The smoke of a burning structure is such a valuable tool.
    I walked away with stuff I could use that night.

    Good class, Bou.
    no one in our class throgh it on him either. he was great after he shows you it like getting hit with a brick. Why did i not figure that out.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  9. #9
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Yo...

    Originally posted by PaulGRIMWOOD
    Its a looong way to come for a class C'mon there must be some tips you can share with us .... 10 golden tips in 'reading smoke'?
    I dont want to give away too much of his class because I dont
    want to give a "watered down version" or wrong information.

    But here is one nugget that sits with me-

    "Smoke is NOT an indicator of what is burning, rather more
    of an indicator of what temperature its burning at."

    I would just catch the class as soon as possible.

  10. #10
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree with Bou... It's a good class to take.

    Unfortunately I took the class right after coming off a long shift. It was in a training room with a temperature of about 82 degrees. As much as my mind wanted to learn... My body wanted to sleep. It took a lot of caffine to make it through that morning.

  11. #11
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Default

    "Smoke is NOT an indicator of what is burning, rather more of an indicator of what temperature its burning at."
    OK .... Are we talking about smoke exiting under 'pressure' .... color? .... velocity etc? If you can tell the forum just one thing learned at that class that might 'save someone's butt'I think that is not a breach of 'copyright' on the professional instructor.

  12. #12
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by PaulGRIMWOOD
    OK .... Are we talking about smoke exiting under 'pressure' .... color? .... velocity etc? If you can tell the forum just one thing learned at that class that might 'save someone's butt'I think that is not a breach of 'copyright' on the professional instructor.
    Dodson talks about all aspects of smoke -- volume, velocity, density & color. One of the the good things I learned is that the "fastest" smoke points to the seat of the fire. The more turbulent the smoke, the more intense the heat pushing it out.

  13. #13
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    Default

    Hrrmpphh...

    Was trying to steer more people here...good topic.

    One thing...and this isn't against the posters but what is a failure of our fire training I have seen but forget is so prevalent -- reading smoke shouldn't be coming as a revelation to people who've been on the job! (Or through basic training!)

    Again, not against the guys surprised what they're learning, dismay someone never taught them this before.

    One comment I have on the smoke indicates temperature not material...

    I don't know the context, but I'd have to say that's only partially true.

    Heavy, black smoke for instance is normally associated with petroleum-based fires. The amount of carbon available far excedes the amount of oxygen, so lots of incomplete combustion.

    You're not going to see that same kind of black from wood. Sure, the temps may be different, too. But wood doesn't have as *much* carbon overloading.

    Understanding in fires we usually run out of oxygen before fuel is important though. The fire out-running it's oxygen supply is what sets up situations like roll-overs, backdrafts, and smoke explosions.

    But don't let this old horse yack too much...come on, someone else contribute!
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  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Default

    I have to echo Paul's comments. There is always something to learn from anything you hear. I have heard a few people talk about this simple but effective presentation before and it is always well received.

    It may be full of stuff we do or don't know, stuff some of us knew and have now forgotten....but just a hint or a tip may make a difference until the rest of the people get to take this class.

    From my own point of view, smoke has been a great story teller throughout my career... lessons taught by seasoned veterans early in my career where they caught me by the collar and dragged me back to look at some imminent threat that the smoke was outlining.... right up to today, when I turn up has I have on a few occassions to be told "It's OK Guvnor, We've almost got it" and I'll come back with "Yeah, so what about that dark yellow smoke coming out from under the eaves then... get another crew with a larger line in there"
    Steve Dude
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    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  15. #15
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    Again, not against the guys surprised what they're learning, dismay someone never taught them this before.
    While I understand your point and agree to an extent. Sometimes it's the presentation that goes a long way. I've been doing this just over 10 years now and some obvious things sometimes reach out to grab you when it is stated in the right context by the right person.

    There are just some folks out there that explain things so well that a lightbulb that was missed earlier gets turned on and sometimes its just the different perspective the presenter provides.

    With regards to the agreeing part... this falls a little bit in the reactive vs. proactive mindset. Someguys just wait to see what they got when they get inside and others will use the smoke, etc and draw a picture in their head of based on the smoke that is presenting on the exterior, looks like it might be..... and then act accordingly.

  16. #16
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default

    "Reading smoke" is something any firefighter with anytime on the job should know like the back of their hand.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  17. #17
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Default

    C'm on Mikey .... give us an idea of what you would look for as prime indicators or warning signs of danger when 'reading' smoke conditions. I am trying to prompt some debate in what really is a very important topic for all firefighters.

  18. #18
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    I've been doing this just over 10 years now and some obvious things sometimes reach out to grab you when it is stated in the right context by the right person.

    "Field Training"

    That's what the cops call it.

    We may teach this in the beginning of a Fire School / Academy / Community College course. But then move on to skills, and most firefighter types like and pay attention to the skills much more.

    But when Officers get probies, they've got to start quizzing them on stuff like smoke. Point out to them during the fire when they can, ask them when you're taking up if that's the first chance you get (Hey, did you see that smoke coming from the eaves when we pulled up? Tell me what it looked like, and what story it told you."). Even little lessons like showing them smoke during overhaul reinforces it -- why you're ordering them to open up where the smoke looks under pressure first, that you'll get to the lazy smoke afterwards.

    The skills part of firefighting is pretty easy (mentally anyway). I'm not sure a lot of areas do a good job reinforcing and remembering the why part of firefighting.
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  19. #19
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    Even little lessons like showing them smoke during overhaul reinforces it -- why you're ordering them to open up where the smoke looks under pressure first, that you'll get to the lazy smoke afterwards.
    As much as the situation dictates, I do try to do that with my new guys. In non 'heat of the moment' tasks I try to explain why as we are doing or ask "why do you think we are doing this?" For the urgent things, I generally give the order and talk it over later with something like "remember when you got off the engine and I told you to do this? do you know why?" and discussion hopefully ensues from there.

    Hard, real life examples are always good. One of my final things for driver qualification, particularly on our ladder, is drive-by's. The trainer takes the student passed xyz corp and says it's 15:45 on Saturday and you are coming in with smoke showing side C floor 2, how you gonna setup and WHY?

  20. #20
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    C'm on Mikey .... give us an idea of what you would look for as prime indicators or warning signs of danger when 'reading' smoke conditions. I am trying to prompt some debate in what really is a very important topic for all firefighters.
    I'll bite.... with some simple things to get started.

    On arrival:

    Location
    Number of locations
    Type. Is it light wispy smoke or is it that thick, churning, "i don't care if I'm wearing a mask I'm gonna taste this" nasty crap.
    Amount. Is it rolling out the very top of the window frame or is it blowing out the entire window opening.
    Speed. Similar to above. Is it sort of lapping up the siding or is it coming out with some sort of force.

    During ops:

    Is it changing when my guys tell me they have water on the fire? If so, how? If not, then they are probably not getting the fire, just a section of it.


    Alright, who's next??????????

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