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Reality Training
by Reality Training

Reality Training: Firefighters thrown down stairs during flashover

Use this video and its discussion questions to improve your firefighting capabilities

By Robert Avsec

This feature is intended to spark the sharing of ideas, information and techniques to make firefighters safer and more effective. The following video and discussion points must not be used to berate, belittle or criticize those firefighters. Rather, in the spirit of near-miss reporting, please use this feature as another teaching tool to help you better do your job. Please leave your comments below and use this material in your own department. I hope you find this Reality Training valuable; stay safe and keep learning.

While responding to a fire on the second-floor of the home, firefighters were ordered to pull back when all the combustible material in one of the rooms suddenly burst into flames. Two firefighters escaped serious injury though one suffered a concussion and the other a fractured ankle. 

Flashover events and similar rapidly changing conditions on the fire ground test our ability to maintain unit cohesion and discipline. When such events do occur on the emergency scene, we have to be able to rely on our policies, procedures and training if we are to survive.

  • What is flashover and what conditions should firefighters and officers constantly be evaluating concerning the potential for flashover?
  • What actions should firefighters and officers immediately take if they believe flashover is imminent?

  • How many examples of unsafe fireground practices can you identify from the video and what behaviors does your department expect in these situations?
  • As an officer, how do you ensure that your firefighters consistently engage in fireground practices that are safe, effective and efficient?

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Dick Falat Dick Falat Tuesday, January 22, 2013 2:57:53 AM Escellent training and review questions.
Richard Speakman Richard Speakman Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:29:46 PM thick black smoke is un burned fuel, tempratures is rising its the spunge theory, cold cand go into heat but heat cannot go into cold, sheet rock the ceiling materials inside can only obsorb so much heat until it flashes, that's what is bad, but are we done fighting it no we venitlate the roof gotta get that heat out of that house, if were inside of a room and its going to flash pencil the ceiling with your nozzle six times accross the ceiling then get the hell out.
Ed Hartin Ed Hartin Friday, January 25, 2013 6:59:52 AM A better question would be how can firefighters manage the fire environment to prevent or reduce the probability of flashover? Control and coordinate ventilation and cool hot smoke (fuel) overhead!
John Kriska John Kriska Friday, January 25, 2013 7:14:51 AM Yes, you are absolutely correct Ed. We have been preaching that for years
Richard Speakman Richard Speakman Friday, January 25, 2013 7:55:53 AM ed iits called roof ventilation you gotta get that heat out of that house.
Ian Shelton Ian Shelton Wednesday, January 30, 2013 9:20:35 PM Compartment firefighting can follow 2 main strategies; 1, antiventilation to reduce oxygen in the compartment, apply 115 litres/min fog pulse pattern to cool smoke gases, reducing the flammable range, cool compartment to slow pyrolisation, throw blobs on walls to seal the pyro, dilute gas layer with fog and steam to reduce oxygen in the mix, locate and extinguish seat of fire to defeat the flashover; 2, ventilation conversely may release the fuel gases but potentially/likely introduce oxygen to the mix. Full PPC/ PPE/SCBA is essential.

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