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With the total number of working fire responses down across the US, it can be difficult to give personnel the experience they need to be effective firefighters and leaders when the tones go off.

How are you receiving your live fire training (if at all) and how is it being delivered? (acquired, fixed burn facility, mobile gas trailer, etc)
Do you feel the training is realistic and beneficial?
What do you feel would be more beneficial training?
How often do you get to participate in Live Fire training?
Please include the state in which you participate in this training.

I do not want to create a debate over what type of training is better than another, the safety aspect, NFPA 1403 or other legalities. Rather I am interested in seeing how many states, departments, or local training centers are actually training with Live Fires.

Currently in Oklahoma we utilize acquired structures, fixed burn facilities (class A and gas fired), mobile gas fired trailers and flashover trainers. I feel that the most realistic training we participate in is when we are conducting Acquired structure burns; followed by fixed burn (class A), then the gas fired trainers. The flashover trainers are great for fire behavior and a few other things.

While I'm not the norm in our state, I have the opportunity to participate in about 60-75 Live Burn Days a year with anywhere between 5-25 burns each day depending on the class and facility. My personal opinion is that the more fire I can see in a controlled environment, the safer and more effective firefighter I'll be when I'm on duty. So how many out there are keeping fire in their life?


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We do 2 to 3 Live Fire exercises a year in our Burn Tower  4 to 5 hrs long each session, 6 Vehicles Fires , 4 propane burns at our Training facility a year.

We follow NFPA 1403 and In New York State Fire Departments are the only one's who can do Live Fire Training under DEC Law.


As a friend of mine likes to say "Keep that fire in your Life".   I've said for the past 20 years that our members are getting less and less fire duty and our experience is retiring at an alarming rate.  We must augment our lack of experience with "realistic' training and let our members practice like they want to perform.  That doesn't happen with 0 heat and a lamp as a simulated fire. 


Here at home and our surrounding states, we are fortunate that our DEQ is very firefighter friendly and we get a very good mix of acquired structure,  fixed burn facilty and mobile.

Brian -


I don't do anything special as far as training documentation goes w/ live fire. It is documented like any other training is. Should there be some sort of special documentation?


As far as counting burns. I have no idea what the correct way is or what the majority does, but I count them by the burn, i.e. we are burning a structure this Thursday, I anticipate getting 10-12 burns in and I will count that as 10-12 burns. 


My city has been fortunate enough to have a large amount of structure being torn down this year. Mostly due to massive road construction and the construction of a commuter rail line. We currently have a burn project that includes four different structures; a four unit apartment building, a small cinder block constructed house and two turn of the century adobe structures. We are sort of at a race against time as the local transit authority will begin demolition the first part of May. But, I hope to get at least 50 to 60 burns in. I would like to get more, but time is just not on our side.



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