- High Rise Firefighting Tactics
- Increasing Your Attack Capabilities
- Operating With Limited Staffing
- Planning for Budget Cuts
- It’s Different Out Here-Rural Ops.
- Fire suppression operation: Basic fire stream management principles
Captain David P. Fornell is a certified fire service instructor specializing in engine company operations, company officer development, water flow and fire ground safety courses, on operations, management and safety issues…
He has taught nationwide:
Notre Dame Michiana Fire School,
University of Missouri,
Connecticut Fire School,
University of Akron,
South Carolina Fire Academy,
Illinois Fire Service Institute,
International Society of Fire Service Instructors Conference.
Annual Fire School,
International Association of Fire Chiefs
California Fire Instructors’ Annual Conference.
For his work on the bunker gear program in New York City, he holds the rank of Battalion Chief of the FDNY.
Capt. Fornell has written articles for a number of publications including in the U.S., Fire & Rescue, Military Firefighter in the United Kingdom.
He has hosted the rural water supply, engine company operations and line officer training segments of “The First Line Supervisor” for a television network.
Firefighter Safety & Survival Series
Hey, It’s Different out here
The Captain’s Transition to Rural Operations
It used to be so easy–arriving on the scene and after a quick size up, dropping the attack lines and sending the engine to the hydrant up the street. Well, those days are over after Captain Dave moved to the country and joined a busy department protecting 88 square miles of rural area.
The differences between urban and rural operations are discussed and emphasis is placed on crossover education where departments protecting such diverse areas can learn from each other.
Tactics and strategic planning for water supply, size up, effective attack, operating with limited staffing, mutual aid, and command are presented.
Captain Dave also discusses tactics for other common rural emergencies including vehicle accidents, chemical emergencies, rail incidents and drug labs.
Taking the big city approach to operations, Captain Fornell describes how rural departments need to sharpen their skills in forming a realistic attack plan, fighting fires in commercial occupancies, planning on upgrading search and rescue techniques, proper truck work including ventilation and overhaul operations and upgrading and improving water supply operations.
The program is tailored to be presented in two-hour segments and can include hands-on attack tactics and truck company operations as well
The first arriving officer
Incident command at the company level
Every officer has faced it. You’ve just been elected of promoted to your first officer’s position when suddenly; you begin to feel the awesome burden of responsibility. The lives of the firefighters under your command, the lives of those who may be trapped in a burning building, millions of dollars in property value and your own self esteem are on the line from the first moment you fasten the brass to your collar.
Captain Fornell discusses basic items that every company officer must know including personnel management, size-up procedures and options, formulating a comprehensive attack plan, size-up, safe attack practices, tactics for commercial building fires, accountability, ventilation, self escape options and safe operational tactics for firefighter assist teams.
Over the years, much misinformation and fire service lore has been presented when discussing fire attack risk management and water flow tactics. This course unravels the mystery, separating facts from fiction and presents a solid series of suggestions that will make fire attack more efficient and much safer.
Through an exciting Power Point presentation, reinforced with stunning video tape fire ground footage, Captain Fornell offers practical advice on motivating and training company personnel, developing and administering a practical safety plan, planning, coordinating and executing first arrival tactics, all helping the company officer deliver a efficient and safe performance on the fire ground.
The concepts presented in the class are reinforced by analyzing and learning the lessons of past incidents including the Sofa Super Store fire and the 23rd. Street Fire in New York.
While the basic class is delivered in the classroom, this course can be expanded to include command procedures at live burns. If the live burn section is included, all participating personnel must be certified firefighters and will be required to have NFPA protective clothing including breathing apparatus, coats and pants, hoods and helmets.
This class is generally best presented in an 8-hour, all-day environment; however, it can also be shortened to two-hour segments.
Engine Company Standpipe Operations
While firefighting water flow tactics have evolved over the years, the fire service, when encountering a fire in a standpipe equipped building, is usually operating with a system that had its standards adopted around the turn of the century.
This course shows the student how to identify the type of system and takes the student on a photographic walk-through from the roof to the water supply, identifying the system’s various components and discussing their proper and safe operation.
Pressure Regulating Valves and Pressure Reducing Devices will be illustrated and described in detail along with safety tips to help prevent suppression personnel from being caught with a limited water supply on the fire floor.
The discussion will analyze operations at the One Meridian Plaza fire in Philadelphia where three firefighters lost their lives, and will illustrate the testing performed by the NFPA Standard #14 committee in the wake of the fire.
Suggestions for efficient and safe engine company operations will be outlined in detail including hose selection; nozzle selection and tactical methods that will help insure that an adequate (and safe) fire flow is provided for. Hands-on portion will utilize water flow measuring hardware to show the student exactly how much water is being delivered at low pressures and steps that can be taken to increase the available flow rate.
This class can also be modified to include sprinkler systems and tactics for fighting fires in sprinkler equipped buildings.
Two hours should be scheduled for the classroom portion and one to two hours if outside, hand-on training is desired.
All water flow telemetry devices, hose and hardware will be supplied. Sponsor shall arrange for a standard pumper to supply the devices.
Lightweight Building Construction
New styles of lightweight building construction that incorporate constructed components such as floor and roof trusses, laminated beams and posts and glued particle board joists, can present extreme dangers to suppression personnel unfamiliar with their tendency toward early and abrupt failure when involved in fire.
Captain Fornell begins the class by showing the students the actual components, and both slides and videos of the components during the construction process. Students will be taught how to identify each style of structural member and will be shown aftermath photos of how each has reacted and failed in actual fire situations. Since identification is the key to survival when fire involves lightweight component structures, students will be shown how to recognize and identify buildings that could be prone to early collapse.
Strategy and tactics on dealing with intense fires in these structures will be presented along with practical guidelines, gathered from around the country that could help save a firefighter’s life.
At least two hours should be allotted for complete class, which includes discussion time. It has been found that many of the students want to relate individual experiences with lightweight construction so extra time has been allotted for class participation.
Attack Operations for Engine Companies
Attack Operations For Engine Companies course will describe and demonstrate the basic and advanced engine company operational fundamentals that underlie successful attack strategy. The information presented will begin on utilizing strategic planning and proper on-scene size-up to help develop effective operating procedures that the student can tailor to his or her specific department’s operations.
Recognizing the problems of light weight construction, Capt. Fornell will guide the student through identifying various building construction methods and show how building design and construction can and has proved fatal during firefighting operations. Practical recommendations are presented that emphasize firefighter safety at all times during attack operations.
A more practical portion of the class begins with helping the student understand the basics of water movement, nozzle reaction forces and flow rate, then goes on to explain the theories of direct and indirect attack using striking fire attack videos developed by the instructor specifically for this class. Research indicates that many tactics presently used for interior attack operations may actually intensify burning, hinder rapid fire suppression and expose personnel to elevated risks of thermal injury. The results of this research will be presented along with tested methods of integrating new, sensible tactics into engine company operations that are designed to quickly stop the fire while reducing exposure danger to suppression personnel. Methods of reducing or eliminating the effects of flashover, operating with limited initial on-scene personnel, moving and operating high flow hose lines and successfully utilizing incoming companies, will all be covered in detail.
The class will offer intensive instruction in methods of safely increasing flows, and tactics to safely apply those flows during aggressive fire attack using 2” and 2-1/2” hand lines as well as properly and safely utilizing new style personal portable monitors. All elements of instruction are illustrated by media presentations and exclusive instructional videos, along with actual, hands-on experience.
Students wanting to participate in the hands-on instruction will need to wear turnout gear.
Selecting Attack Nozzles
More and more departments are faced with the challenge of attacking more fire with fewer people than ever before. With firefighter safety as a primary consideration, selecting the proper waterflow hardware is more important than ever before.
This class will present the theory behind low-pressure nozzles, both smooth-bore and combination, and will present the results of practical testing by many departments including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Memphis.
The questions of what is a low-pressure nozzle and why they are so effective will be answered in a series of discussions illustrated by slides and exclusive videos that track the nozzle’s development from the end of World War II to the present day. The visual aids will illustrate low-pressure nozzle performance in actual fire situations and will be reinforced with detailed handouts that the students can utilize in evaluating hardware for their own departments. Smooth bore nozzles and their proper and safe use will also be presented to allow students to gain a realistic perspective on all aspects of how to safely flow more water on the fire ground.
The class will also will deal with hose size selection, how the goal of increasing flow rates impacts crew safety and how the proper waterflow hardware can make a material difference in attack crew performance.
If desired, the second half of the class will take place on the training ground where students can actually handle different nozzles and judge for themselves the stream performance, nozzle reactions and practicality of adopting the new hardware in their own particular firefighting operations.
The instructor will supply all water flow telemetry gear, nozzles and hose. Sponsor will need to supply a pumper and operator. Allow approximately two hours for the classroom portion and about two hours for the practical evolutions. While this class is very specific in identifying and developing hardware tactics, it becomes more useful if combined with the direct-indirect class.
Direct & Indirect Attack Tactics: Hands-On Version
Over the years, much misinformation and fire service lore has been presented when discussing fire attack water flow tactics. This course unravels the mystery, separating facts from fiction and presents a solid series of suggestions that will make fire attack more efficient and much safer.
Beginning with a historical perspective, tactics are traced from the turn of the century, through World War II and on to the Fire Department Instructors’ Conference in Memphis in 1952 when Chief Lloyd Layman presented his paper entitled “Little Drops of Water” that outlined his theories on indirect attack.
A far-reaching discussion will be presented that will show what Layman really said and how his theories have become distorted over the years. What actually happens when both direct and indirect attack tactics are used on actual fires will be graphically illustrated by exclusive videos. Both Layman’s practices and new safer techniques developed by forward-thinking fire departments and instructors will be presented sensible suggestions and lesson plans that will help the student develop safer and more efficient tactical suppression operations.
Two hours should be scheduled for this class. If burn facilities are available, the class can be expanded into actual demonstrations on live fires. If live burns are desired, contact the presenter for requirements as to safety personnel, number of certified instructors needed, etc. If live burns are to be included, allow one whole day for the class.
Captain David Fornell provides instruction to fire professionals and fire safety providers.
Based on his many years in the fire service inluding both city and rural firefighting on:
Company officer command,
Commercial building fire management
High rise fire management.
Books by Captain David Philip Fornell