CFBT Seminar-MSB Sandö

On 12-16 October 2009 a group of compartment fire behavior training (CFBT) instructors representing six nations gathered for a seminar at the Myndigheten för Samhällsskydd och Beredskap (MSB) (Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency) College in Sandö, Sweden. This was a unique event in that the group had the opportunity to learn the history of Swedish fire behavior training from Mats Rosander, Marcos Dominquez, and Nils Bergström, three pioneers in fire control methods and training.

Figure 1. Mats Rosander and Nils Bergström


(Left to Right) Mats Rosander, Ed Hartin, & Nils Bergström

In addition to presentations on the history and evolution of Swedish fire behavior training and fire control methods, workshop participants participated in representative examples of fire behavior classroom instruction laboratory exercises and practical evolutions conducted at Sandö.

Figure 2. Practical Exercises


The MSB College at Sandö has extensive live fire training facilities with demonstration, attack, window, and large volume cells as well as a variety of multi-compartment live fire training props.

Figure 3. Mats, Marcos, & Nisse Preparing the Aquarium


Figure 3. Backdraft Demonstration in the Classroom


Seminar Presentations

On Thursday morning, Shan Raffel, Peter McBride, John McDonough, and Ed Hartin delivered short presentations on Reading the Fire, Role of the Incident Safety Officer, Firefighter Behavior (transfer of training to incident operations), and Live Fire Training as Simulation: The Role of Fidelity in Effective Training. This segment of the workshop was open to college staff, students attending courses at the college, and local fire service personnel.

Figure 4. Seminar Presentation


Download Live Fire Training as Simulation: The Role of Fidelity in Effective Training.

So What?

Seminar participants all recognized this seminar as an extremely significant event. On the surface, it appears to be an ordinary seminar, but in reality it was really quite different. Great strides have been made in developing relationships between compartment fire behavior training practitioners around the world through the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) Compartment Firefighting Special Interest Group (SIG) International Fire Instructors Workshops held in Revenge, Sweden (2008) and Sydney, Australia (2009). However, this event was unique in that it provided a bridge back into history. Unfortunately, leaders and pioneers in many fields are not recognized during their lifetime, limiting researchers and students to often meager written records of their contributions. This workshop provided the participants with the opportunity to make a direct connection to the origins of many innovative concepts and developments in fire behavior and fire control theory.

Fire Behavior Pioneers Honored

Yesterday morning, Acting Inspector Shan Raffel, ASFM, CMIFireE, EngTec, presented certificates of recognition to Mats Rosander, Nils Bergström, Marcos Dominguez, and Krister Giselsson (posthumously) on behalf of the Institution IFE and fire services around the world for their pioneering work in fire behavior training and firefighting operations.

Special Thanks

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Roy Reyes, his colleague David Flatebö, and the staff of the MSB College at Sandö in facilitating this important seminar. This was an important step in forging a stronger network of fire service leaders committed to ensuring that firefighters have the knowledge and skills necessary to operate safely and effectively in an ever changing built environment.

What’s Next?

It will take some time to digest the tremendous amount of information from the Sandö Workshop. However, I look forward to sharing what I have learned and providing a bit of historical context for much of what we are doing in fire behavior training today.

My next post will return to examination of fire behavior indicators related to fires in the fully developed stage along with variations in conditions when fire conditions impact on multiple compartments (as is usually the case).

Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE, CFO


2 Responses to “CFBT Seminar-MSB Sandö”

  1. Jurgen Ernst Says:


    thank you for this report. I think all of us get a huge package of informations in Sandö. I hope to see you soon again!

    Kind regards,

    Jürgen from Germany

  2. Roy Says:

    You’re welcome Ed!
    Start planning your next trip to Sandö

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