1. #1
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    Default Aquired Structures

    I would like to hear from those of you out there that have acquired structures in your communities and used them for training. I've never had the opportunity to use an acquired structure before, so I don't want to make any mistakes. I know about NFPA 1403, have read it several times, but what I'm looking for, are the things you would change about what you did with the structures. Were there things that went wrong? I just want to get as much information as possible before I take this on. Thank you for sharing you experiences with me.

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    We have acquired many structures over the years in our region (5 local depts), and while today we strive to do it right (i.e. following 1403), we have had a few "incidents" over the years. I'll describe a few for you:

    1. We used to "Run Blind" for realism, until we once had a crew become lost and separated from their hoseline during knockdown (as the smoke line dropped, they panicked). Luckily we had an interior safety crew in place (which I was on) with a charged hoseline, and we managed to recover. It had the makings of a newspaper headline though.

    2. We have lost several structures prematurely for any of the following reasons:
    -Failing to properly prepare the structure.
    -Use of accelerants.
    -Failure to establish a water supply beforehand (back to "realism").
    -Too much fuel load in the building.
    -"Playing" beforehand (i.e. experimenting with furniture ignition the day before the burn, and having a rekindle in the middle of the night).
    -Improper apparatus placement requiring a shut-down for repositioning mid-burn.

    3. We have also lost a lot of gear due to running the fires too hot. I have plenty of pictures of melted visors, helmets, jackets, and fire hose from one particularly hot burn. That was dangerous, and expensive!

    4. We have also inadvertently damaged neighbours property (mostly bushes and trees) through failure to consider and prepare all exposures.


    We had the opportunity to send our senior members up North in 2000 to take part in a huge Live Burn training initiative, and it was invaluable for us. We worked under very controlled conditions with experienced instructors for over 20 burns per group, and it really did change the way we train with acquired structures. I personally gained more experience in a week of burning, than I would have gained in 25 years of Firefighting in our rural area.

    Today we follow 1403, and spend days pre-planning and preparing the site and scenarios to not only make them safer, but to ensure we are getting the most out of our training time. We find that the extra time put into the planning phase, means we can focus on the training come burn day, and not reacting to unexpected complications.

    IMHO, NFPA 1403 should be LAW!
    Last edited by mcaldwell; 11-03-2005 at 04:28 AM.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Default

    Bro...come over to www.iacoj.com

    Register and I'll activate your account. This issue is being discussed at length.

    Dave

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    Thumbs up Phoenix

    I like the Phoenix Fire Department's approach.

    http://www.ci.phoenix.az.us/fire/vacant.html

    they have set-up a hotline that gives building owners the opportunity to allow the FD in before they remodel, demolish, etc. As far as its effectiveness, I'm not sure, does anyone from Phoenix have any more info?

    I would like to set something similar up on our website but wondering if they have hit any snags.

    -Matt

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    Default Tranning Fireman

    We no longer use these for live burns so much as Fire Fighter survival but with that we set up differant senareos and the crew goes in blind. We use gas (propane)heaters to simulat the heat. We set up basic fire fighting skill challenges to R.I.T. team skill requierments. When we get done the owners are requierd to tear down the house in 7 days so they and our dept. don't have the responcability of securing the property for to long.

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    We get a lot of them both residential and commerical. If the home owner releases it to our Department for training, they get a tax break. Our training division takes care of the paper work and then they open it up for use to train in, no burning allowed. We use rosco smoke. We do all kinds of training, Ladder Company in services, for venting, searching, RIT, forcible entry you name it we do it. Engine companies practice stretching lines, searching etc. Our Squads practice venting, RIT, we even collapsed a 2nd floor on one 2 story home and practiced shoring, lifting and moving. Our Battalion Chiefs are required to have profieiency training once a quarter for there companies, so they set up different evolutions to evaluate there skills. STAY SAFE

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    Miami Dade Fire Rescue just got about 80 homes this past month or so from some eminent domain thing. Were just starting to use them for training. Ill post later when I have more information.

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    Thumbs up

    that sounds like a great opportunity stang, wouldnt mind seeing some pictures when its done

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    Any ideas for scenarios in an aquired structure?? We plan to conduct live fire training, but prior to that we are looking to do more scenario based training...i.e. ventilation, stretching an attack line, search and rescue, utilities, etc. Anyone else used this approach?? any pro's/con's or ideas of a format for this style of training

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    That is how we usually do it locally. The normal daily progression (or multi-day if available and necessary) is as follows:

    1. Start with a group orientation of the property and hazard recognition.
    2. Conduct some cold smoke drills on search and rescue, and advancing hoselines.
    3. Conduct some ladder drills if the building is large enough.
    4. Conduct some forcible entry drills on any intact doors and hardware.
    5. Conduct ventilation drills on the roof/windows, etc. With cold smoke.
    6. Conduct the live burns as the building/situation permits.
    7. Conduct a final burn to raze the building.
    8. Clean up and secure (flag tape, etc.) for final contractor/homeowner.

    Utilities and any hardware of value are usually long gone by the time we get there, so we haven't done that specifically.

    As for specific scenarios, if you can dream it, you can do it (safely of course )
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Default

    My department cannot afford to subscribe to NFPA however we do try to follow it as much as we can. Is there a way for us to get a copy of NFPA 1403 so that I can conduct our trainings as close to that standard as possible? trailfreek@msn.com

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