International Fire Instructors Workshop &
Firefighting Safety Conference

In May 2008 I was fortunate to be one of 12 instructors, fire officers, and fire scientists who met in Revinge, Sweden at the invitation of Dr. Stefan Svensson of Räddnings Verket (Swedish Rescue Services Agency). Stefan was intrigued by the idea of putting a dozen or so leading fire service professionals with an interest in fire behavior, but divergent perspectives on strategies and tactics in the same room. His research question was to “see what would happen”. Stefan invited participants from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, Germany, Spain, France, and the United States to this unique event.

Figure 1. Participants in the 2008 International Fire Instructors Workshop


What happened was that we found tremendous commonality of interest and commitment to improving firefighter safety and fire protection across the world. Surprisingly, while we often disagreed on technical issues and discussion was at times quite vigorous, we left the workshop with greater understanding and a stronger bond.

Special Interest Group

As an outgrowth of our meeting in Sweden, we formed a special interest group (SIG) under the umbrella of the Institution of Fire Engineers. The Compartment Fire Behavior Special Interest Group serves to construct knowledge by integrating fire behavior research, instruction, and practical application.

The first meeting of this newly formed SIG will be held 27-28 April 2009 in Sydney, Australia with the theme Finding the Common Foundation. Participants from around the world will be examining compartment fire behavior training principles and practices to find common ground and identify best practices. Immediately following the workshop, the participants will be presenting at the International Firefighting Safety Conference in Sydney on 29 April through 1 May and in Perth on 4-5 May 2009.

International Firefighting Safety Conference

The conference theme is Protecting the Protectors with a wide range of presentations on fire science, strategy and tactics, and fire behavior training.

I will be making two presentations in Sydney and one in Perth:

  • How Much Science? (Sydney)
  • Extreme Fire Behavior: Understanding the Hazard (Sydney)
  • Fire Development in a Compartment (Perth)

Additional information and a complete outline of the program is available on the conference web site .

Critical NIOSH Recommendation

On Thursday morning, I will be somewhere over the western Pacific, but use WordPress’ automated publishing feature to upload a post on NIOSH Report F2007-28 on the line-of-duty deaths of Captain Matthew Burton and Engineer Scott Desmond of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District while conducting primary search at a residential fire. In a groundbreaking first, NIOSH has identified the need for improvement in Firefighter and Fire Officer Professional Qualifications Standards in the area of fire behavior knowledge:

Standard setting agencies, states, municipalities, and authorities having jurisdiction should: consider developing more comprehensive training requirements for fire behavior to be required in NFPA 1001 Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications and NFPA 1021 Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications and states, municipalities, and authorities having jurisdiction should ensure that fire fighters within their district are trained to these requirements.

Following the conference, I will publish a series of posts from a CFBT-US case study on this incident and the potential influence of the ventilation tactics used on the extreme fire behavior phenomena that occured.

Reports from the Workshop and Conference

I will be posting on information presented at the workshop conference over the next two weeks.

Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE, CFO

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One Response to “International Fire Instructors Workshop &
Firefighting Safety Conference”

  1. Steve Trotter Says:

    Some good information came out of the LODD. Being present that night, I will carry this traggic incident for a long time to come.

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