Weekly Skill Drills: A Training
Template for Fireground Success
Chief Forest Reeder, Tinley Park (IL) Fire Department
Can you improve your fireground success by training on a single
topic or skill? This back-to-basics training program provides simple-to-use templates and subjects to help you develop a year-long
calendar of skills that can enhance and become the backbone of
your training program. These skill drills have been featured on the
Firefighter Close Calls and fireengineering.com Web sites for more
than a decade and have proven to be effective in passing along and
reinforcing basic skills, one at a time. All levels of job descriptions,
from firefighter to chief officer, can use this concept. The class features
examples of every job skill level. Attendees will receive access to
hundreds of completed drills and can build their own templates for
presenting them in their departments. Come see how to improve skill
retention and your department’s effectiveness on the fireground.
Culture, Cancer, and Firefghting PPE in 2018
Lieutenant Jim Reidy, San Antonio (TX) Fire Department
This class provides an overview of cancer-causing carcinogen
contamination of firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE) and
firefighters. It provides discussion and up-to-date data on realistic
protection expectations. It explains, identifies, and justifies the increasing
risks of cancer that firefighers face, along with established proven
strategies and practices for reducing contamination. It starts with a
recap of how firefighter PPE works and the protection it renders to
firefighters. It evolves into a discussion of the chemicals and carcinogens
generated as by-products of the fire. Routes of contamination are
presented along with current data on justification. The hood interface
and its unintended effect on contamination along with new products and
updating of National Fire Protection Association standards are included.
From Size-Up to Mayday
Captain Jaime Reyes, Plano (TX) Fire Rescue
Having reliable communications on the fireground is critical to the
safety of all firefighters on scene. Dependable communications start
when your shift starts. It begins with the daily check of your radio and
progresses throughout the shift. This presentation addresses all aspects of
fireground communications—everything from knowing the capabilities
and limitations of your department’s radio system to understanding
each person’s role in achieving reliable fireground communications and
getting dispatch involved in your training. This presentation introduces
skills that can immediately improve communications as well as provides
a plan for developing and implementing a communications model for
your department. How should fire departments handle the Mayday?
One channel or two? The class explores different options and shows
how radio programming could help departments make that decision.
Air-Supported Structure Emergencies
Lieutenant Stephen Rhine, Fire Department of New York
Air-supported structures have been becoming more prevalent from
large cities to rural areas. These structures are one-third less the cost
of conventional brick and mortar construction and are cheaper to
maintain. This class presents and discusses the history of this type of
structure, case studies, written codes, building construction, preplanning
strategies, research studies, hazards, and proper techniques for operating
in an inflated or deflated air-supported structure. Tactics for mass-casualty incidents and fires within the structure are also covered.
Leading Expert, or Leader of Experts?
Running a High-Performance Team
Allan Rice, City Administrator, Hoover, Alabama
The fire service has shifted from a skilled trade to a high-stakes profession
that attracts people with substantial inner drive and a commitment
to excellence. As beneficial as this is, it also brings challenges when
shaping the efforts of this newer breed of firefighters. It is easy to
lead a group with one or two star performers and a supporting cast;
the real challenge is in coordinating the energy of several high-impact
people. This presentation focuses on the leadership skills necessary
to manage a group of high-performance individuals; the personality
type and psychology behind today’s firefighters; the collaborative
and confrontational aspects of their makeup; and the most effective
ways to corral their energy into a cohesive, focused effort.
Thermal Imaging Training:
Does Your Program Measure Up?
Major/Division Chief of Training & Safety Mike Richardson,
St. Matthews (KY) Fire Department
Here’s how firefighters can develop an effective thermal imaging training
program. The class covers applicable National Fire Protection Association
standards for thermal imaging; key components of an effective thermal
imaging training program; thermal imaging technology, features, and
concepts; potential sources of key resources for use in the program;
and measurement methods for determining program success. Students
are given an overview of how to build a successful program and an
opportunity to discuss what is or is not working in their current programs.
Size-Up for Small Commercial Structures
Battalion Chief (Ret.) Katherine Ridenhour,
Aurora (CO) Fire Department
Fighting fire in a commercial occupancy is different from fighting fire in
a single-family dwelling. Whether you are the incident commander, the
first-due officer, or a firefighter, you need to understand the differences
in construction, fire behavior, and resource needs. Size-up basics and
common issues inherent to these types of commercial buildings are
reviewed as are the size-up factors you may not be familiar with and
the risk vs. benefit considerations for small commercial occupancies.
Learn to combat these fires safely by understanding the size-up factors
you need to know prior to deciding your strategy and tactics.