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The nation's only fire service membership network dedicated to promoting and advancing the realistic training needs of today's firefighters.

2016 Live-Fire Training Camp

April 17-19, 2016 — October 17-19, 2016

TrngCampFDTN's 2016 Live-Fire Training Camp dates are here — don't miss out — register today! FDTN's 3-day Training Camp features 6 blocks of live-fire training — each focusing on performing actual fireground skills under intense and realistic conditions. Students will rotate through each 4-hour training block during the 3 day camp.

Training Blocks Include:

  • Firefighter Survival
  • Forcible Entry
  • Residential Basement Operations
  • Searching without a Line
  • Hoarder Conditions
  • Firefighter Rescue & RIT

Students will perform multiple repetitions of each skill under simulated and live-fire conditions. Each training block is designed to develop, build, and enhance decision making and muscle memory skills needed to perform at a high level during actual fireground operations. FDTN's Live-Fire Training Camp WILL get you into fireground shape—both mentally and physically!

Learn the Job by Doing the Job … It's the FDTN Way!

Second-Due Truck Work

FT 2ndDueClick the image to download as a pdf.

Second-due truck company operations are only a discussion in many fire departments—they simply don’t have the staffing on the fireground to consider splitting first- and second-due truck work. In reality, second-due truck work is a continuation of the truck work that the first-due truck (or crew assigned to truck work) must accomplish.

In an ideal world, the fireground is staffed with multiple engines and trucks. With multiple companies, crews can simply fall in and perform the task that’s next on the priority list. Unfortunately, we don’t work in an ideal setting, and the jobs that must be performed are determined based on the fireground size-up and staffing.

In our last edition we talked about the priority list of jobs that the first-arriving truck company (or crew assigned to truck work) must perform: truck company size-up, forcible entry, search, initial engine company ventilation and laddering. To continue the discussion, let’s look at the jobs normally assigned to the second-due truck company (or the crew assigned to continue the truck work on the fireground).

The duties of the second-due truck company may include ventilation, checking for extension and performing overhaul (support of the engine company), laddering, search and support of the first-due truck company. The priority of these duties, as with first-due operations, is based on the overall fireground size-up that the second-due truck performs as well as the progress of the first-due truck company (one of the biggest factors that must be considered).


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First-Due Truck Work

FT 1stDueClick the image to download as a pdf.

Truck company operations have been performed on the fireground since the day firefighters started responding (way before you and I became involved). One of the things that’s happened in the last 10 or so years is that the emphasis on truck company operations, and the skills it takes to actually perform them, has really exploded-more awareness, more knowledge, more training. During all of this time a couple things have remained constant...the importance placed on the knowledge and skills it takes to get the job done varies with every individual firefighter-and solid truck company skills, performed at the right time, makes things easier on the fireground!

Successful truck company operations involve applying the right version of the skill that’s needed, at the right time, for the fireground that you’re faced with.

Prioritizing the Fireground First-Due Truck Company Operations

There’s an old acronym that’s used to remember the basic truck company skills that need to be considered on the fireground. The acronym-LOVERS_U-has been around for quite a while and has weathered the test of time. As a quick review the letters stand for: Ladders, Overhaul, Ventilation, Entry, Rescue (and Search), Salvage, and Utilities. It really is a great acronym for remembering the basics. What the acronym doesn’t address is the timing of the skills as it relates to the fireground.


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Forcible Entry Basics

FT EntryClick the image to download as a pdf.

Forcible entry, as with any fireground skill, is as difficult as you are competent. That’s right, it’s your ability to perform the right skill at the right time that really determines the difficulty of the entry situation. Let’s face it, you could be the best irons guy around but if the situation calls for the rotary saw (and all you have is a set of Irons) then you’re probably not going to get the job done. Successful forcible entry on the fireground includes forcible entry size-up, the right tools, and solid forcible entry skills — along with an ability to use common sense!

Forcible Entry Size-Up

One of the most important skills involved in forcible entry is the ability to size-up the possible (and actual) entry challenges and arrive at the entry location with the appropriate tools for the job. Size-up for forcible entry, like overall fireground size-up, begins by knowing your response district and listening to the initial dispatch to determine where you’re going. Knowing where you’re headed (residential neighborhood, commercial complex) and the entry challenges that are likely to be faced is the first step in successful forcible entry. It’s sets your mind in motion, confirming the tools you should be bringing and reviewing the basics of how to use the tools to get the job done. You should also quickly review the potential problems that might come up while performing the type of forcible entry challenges at the target location. Let’s face it, residential forcible entry is usually different than commercial building forcible entry, and each type requires different skill sets (and possibly tools) and presents different challenges.

It’s too late to learn entry techniques once the alarm goes off, there’s usually only enough time to determine which technique will be needed and to ensure the appropriate tools arrive at the entry location — it’s the amount of training you do ahead of time that determines the difficulty of the actual skill performed on the fireground.


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A Refresher Course in Vent-Enter-Search

Click image to left to download and print.VES Page 1

One of the fireground search techniques that seems to tweak a nerve (or start a heated discussion) is vent, enter, search (VES). You'll hear people say things like, "We don't do that; it's too dangerous!" or "We don't have enough people to do that!" So before we get into the actual skill, and how and when it is performed, let's try to have a civil discussion about why it is indeed a viable search technique on any fireground.

A Little Background

Simply put, VES is an approach to searching an area on the fireground where there's a pretty good chance that there's a victim in that area. In other words, either somebody on scene has told you that there's a victim in there or you strongly suspect (based on a solid scene size-up) that there's a victim inside. Remember our previous discussion on high-probability search areas and having a search plan?

In other past articles, we've touched on the roles of the first-due truck company and the second-due truck company. Regardless of whether you have a truck, the skills required by those companies will eventually have to be performed on your fireground. We've also talked about the basics of forcible entry, ground ladders and developing a search plan. When it comes down to the actual skills performed on the fireground, it really doesn't matter if you show up with five people or 50; proficiency determines performance, and performance determines success.


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2016 Calendar

FDTN's 2016 calendar is now available…and registration is open! take a look at our All-New Live-Fire Training Camp!

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