Firehouse Expo HOT Training to Offer New Experiences

Familiarization with rail cars, live burns and truck operations are among the opportunities.


­Firefighters headed to Firehouse Expo for hands-on-training in July will have a different experience – presented by the Baltimore City Fire Department.

They will have the opportunity to train and practice techniques in a new state-of-the-art burn building at the Baltimore Fire Academy.

On July 15-16, three courses include truck company operations, live burn, and dealing with railroad emergencies. The classes are available both days to enable firefighters to participate.

Learn more, register for HOT classes

Baltimore fire service veterans will lead the training this year. In addition to the work at the academy, a house­­­ has been obtained so crews can practice ventilation and other truck operations.

Also, if you have a railroad in your area, you’ll have the chance to climb aboard to get familiar with the engine and equipment as you rescue the crew.

Baltimore Deputy Chief Alexander J. Perricone said his staff has been working for months to make sure the training is not only challenging and realistic, but safe.

He noted that the city follows NFPA 1403, and any firefighter deemed unsafe will not be allowed to participate. Firefighters must meet certain criteria and have their own gear.

“I think we have a lot to offer,” Perricone said of the planned scenarios. 

Crews working in the new structure will find things unique to Baltimore such as a building with stoops and flat roofs. Designers also chose to stay with tradition as burning pallets gives firefighters a true feel for what they will likely encounter. 

While training, academy staff monitor the heat inside the various rooms, Perricone said, adding that if the atmosphere is deemed unsafe the activity can be stopped.

Here’s a look at the courses:

  • Truck Company Operations -- Topics covered in this class are the function and responsibilities of those on trucks such as forced entry, ground ladder use, techniques and procedures for locating victims, techniques for ventilation, overhauling, building construction, and utility control. Baltimore Capt. James Oliver, a 27-year veteran heads the training.
  • The Live-Burn Class -- Firefighters get a realistic opportunity to learn about fire behavior, auto fires, fire ground operations, effective use of a thermal imaging camera, and flashover training. It is recommended that students in the live fire exercise have a spare pair of gloves, hood, and two long-sleeve t-shirts. The evolutions are being led by Capt. Christopher Caisse, an 18-year veteran.
  • Railroad Safety – Responders will learn have an opportunity to climb aboard to learn about railroad emergencies involving passenger cars. The morning classroom session will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center. Working rail cars will be used for hands-on training in the afternoon at a location in downtown Baltimore. That’s when crews will practice getting hazard identification, gaining train car access and alternative removal of patients, locomotive familiarization. Students will be required to work from ladders and effectively rescue locomotive crew members.  

All hands-on training classes have a prerequisite training requirement. Registrants must be at least 18 years of age and must submit a copy of your NFPA 1001 Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications / Firefighter 1 completion card/certificate (minimum requirement, may send certificates that exceed FF1), or state/national professional qualifications certificate, or notarized letter from FD Chief that attests to completion of such training must be faxed to 443-984-5012 or emailed to fire.registration@baltimorecity.gov at time of registration. Please note on email/fax subject "Firehouse HOT class". When submitting your credentials please note the type of SCBA you will be using.