For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Update on the Principles of Modern Fire Attack Program
The International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) continues to move forward with delivery of a Principles of Modern Fire Attack Program. The ISFSI received funding from the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to deliver this material at 100 fire service venues across the USA in 2015. The program went through a pilot delivery at the Ohio Fire Academy in November and the finishing touches and refinements are just about complete. An ISFSI committee has selected a cadre of well-known and respected instructors from all sectors of the North American fire service. They completed a train-the-trainer session immediately following delivery of the pilot program. This session provided a remarkable opportunity for the instructors to work directly with research engineers and students to discuss both fire dynamics and the instructional methodology best suited to the delivery of a successful program.
A great deal of time and attention was placed on ensuring that the instructors have a clear understanding of the research supporting the tactical recommendations included in the program. A part of the program is a discussion of the SLICE-RS approach to fire ground tactical decision making for company officers and firefighters. This decision making guideline has been endorsed by the ISFSI, Volunteer Combination Officers Section, and the Firefighter Safety, Health & Survival Section of the IAFC. The SLICE-RS method was developed to incorporate research findings and recent experience applying this research at actual incidents into the actions of the first arriving engine company. Some of the areas of focus and clarification include:
•Rescue remains the highest strategic priority on the fire ground. The “R”for rescue was listed as an “action of opportunity,”indicating flexibility for the first due company, depending on the situation at hand. When companies are attempting a rescue ahead of the application of water, they should consider the Vent-Enter-Isolate-Search (VEIS) technique as a primary tactical option. As water is applied, they may very well utilize standard primary and secondary search methods, but still may opt for a VEIS approach if conditions warrant. In any case, all fire buildings should be searched to ensure no occupants are inside the IDLH atmosphere.
•Not all fires are cooled from the exterior prior to entry. Initial cooling is dependent on the presence of increased temperatures, high pressure, heavy smoke or heavy fire conditions within the structure. When these conditions exist, the fire department should attempt to apply water from a strategically advantageous position as quickly as possible in order to improve civilian survivability and remove the thermal threat to firefighters. In residential fires, this may often be achieved from an exterior position, but the specific method of the application of water is contingent on size up information gained at the incident on arrival.
•It is essential that firefighters use a solid or straight stream with limited nozzle movement when applying exterior streams immediately prior to initiating interior operations. This will help avoid the entrainment of air, blocking of the flow path (ventilation opening) and disturbance of the thermal balance, allowing firefighters to move and function more aggressively and efficiently upon entry.
•Fire Departments that incorporate these tactics should devote time to ensure their firefighters have received both classroom and hands-on training to ensure they understand the proper concepts and field application of the research. Simply editing standard operating procedures or guidelines without incorporating hands-on training should be avoided.
The ISFSI presented the program concept to the North American Fire Training Directors and looks forward to coordinating the grant-funded program deliveries with the State Training Director in each state. The Society wishes to extend thanks to NIST and UL for their continued support and for making it possible to bring practical science to the fire ground. Their work and assistance are the foundation of the Principles of Modern Fire Attack Program.
Each instructor for the Principles of Modern Fire Attack Program is committed to bringing this life saving research to as many firefighters as possible. Each is committed to a lifetime of fire service learning and working to ensure they have the latest and most accurate information available to help them carry this training message forward. Each of the instructors was selected because of their experience, their instructional expertise, and their commitment to officers and firefighters working in the trenches. These instructors, as well as the ISFSI as a whole, believe that the incorporation of fire dynamics research into the tactical plans of fire departments will allow us to effectively do our duty while helping to ensure that everyone goes home.
The Principles of Modern Fire Attack Instructor Team includes:
Michael Todd Nixon
Jamie Ponce de Leon
Peter Van Dorpe
Advisory assistance to Instructor Staff:
For more information on the Principles of Modern Fire Attack Program, contact the ISFSI home office or visit www.isfsi.org.