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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?

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