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A few years ago I had a forum on Fire Engineering concerning the level of instruction experience or training to become a live fire instructor.Comments were mixed and even flew into a heated debate on the risk/benefit analysis of conducting such training. It all boils down to this: live fire training is the culmination point for safe and effective fireground training, and should be conducted by "someone who has the training and experience to supervise students during live fire training evolutions" (1403, 2007 ed.) What exactly does this mean? Depends where you're from, I guess. In my mind it means more knowledge and experience, mentoring by instructors who have done live fire training before, and putting in your time. Some states have created specific curriculum covering live fire instructors. I've seen it, and it's pretty good, strict in fact. The point is, not everyone should be conducting this type of training. If you are or are planning on it, study up on the standards (1403 references 11) as a starting point. More to come, but let's see some comments on the above. I leave you with a question: What would you like to see as a minimum standard (if there was one) for instructors conducting live fire training? Stay Safe, Tony

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Comment by Ray McCormack on October 16, 2008 at 10:10pm
LFT instructors have to be more than just firefighters who have taken a class. Thats the problem. We do need a minumum standard. New instructors can learn a tremendous amout from assisting in LFT and rotating through the many sectors that make up a burn. However my biggest concern is faith. Do I have faith in my instructors that when all is said and done the fire goes out. That feeling doesn't come just because a guy hands you a certificate.
Comment by Drew Smith on October 11, 2008 at 10:59pm
Instructor 1 and FF2 are a start. Some way of assessing mastery of the related NFPA standards. A task book of live bruns that the member has done both as a person suppressing the fire and as an instructor candidate: Did they stoke? Prep the building? Create the site and floor plans? Etc.
I find way too many people who can even describe the general requirements of 1403 as well as how to build a good fire (thier fires are either infernos in appropriate for the situation or a glorified waste paper basket).
Comment by Tony Piontek on October 9, 2008 at 8:50pm
Doug,

Call me anytime...920-217-7855, my cell number.
Comment by Doug Price on October 9, 2008 at 12:32pm
Hi Tony hope u r well.Our state requires us to have 5 yrs. experience and FFI&II before we can even start with instructor. They also require that we have so many live burns with a LFTI before we can set for this class.We as instructors needs to hold our students accountable for thorough working knowledge of the 1403 standard. And we as LFTI should also keep in the back of our mind on some LFT incidents that some of our students may have never been in on a Live Fire Taining drill as well as little or no working knowledge of the required classes of the 1403 standard. Example I have overheard a volunteer Fire Chief make the statement that he could have his new people 1403 cleared to fight fire in 15 mins. He also made the statement that we need as instructors to just roll the dice and give them the training like we got 20 yrs ago. To me as an instructor it's not that way anymore things have changed alot in 20 yrs. Thanks Tony for the group. I would like to be able to sit down and pick your mind on somethings. Tahnks again.

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