NFPA launches Guide for Structural Fire Fighting online training


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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has launched free NFPA 1700, Guide for Structural Fire Fighting online training for firefighters to learn safer and more effective ways to handle fire incidents involving modern day materials and contents. The all-new instructional course, centered around NFPA 1700, Guide for Structural Fire Fighting, is based on extensive scientific research and testing on contemporary structures from the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute.

Today’s home fires burn faster, reach flashover quicker, collapse sooner, and result in reduced escape times largely due to synthetic contents including furniture, plastics, rugs, and composite materials versus the wood-constructed legacy furnishings of days gone by. These days, residences also tend to be constructed on smaller lots, include a second story, feature more open floor plans, and house all kinds of new technologies. These components and evolving fuel loads have prompted changes to the tactics that firefighters have used for decades; and led to the November release of NFPA 1700, the first NFPA document connecting fire dynamics research to response strategy, tactics, and best practices

The all-new instructional course is designed to help the fire service evolve the way it responds to incidents and provides evidence-based recommendations and methodologies so that first responders are operating with updated strategies. The course provides:

  • Guidance focused on interacting within a structure on-fire to achieve the most successful outcome based on documented fire investigations, research, and testing
  • Interactive modeling of residential structural firefighting with simulated training scenarios and coaching throughout exercises
  • Concepts based on NFPA 1700 principles and tactical advice for effective search, rescue, and fire suppression operations, as well as civilian and responder safety

“NFPA 1700 and its corresponding free training for the fire service are prime examples of the investment in safety and skilled workforce components that are essential in the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem,” NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley said. “Both NFPA and UL work to help responders better protect people, property and themselves. This provides the nation’s 1.1 million firefighters with a way to learn about the new fire dynamics research in NFPA 1700 and to skill up on the fire response strategies that reflect current considerations and concerns.”

NFPA 1700 online training puts firefighters in an immersive digital environment that replicates in-person, hands-on learning. Ideal for both new and seasoned structural firefighting personnel, the online program offers an introduction to NFPA 1700, followed by a series of interactive learning modules. Each session offers a 360-degree, full-3D virtual experience featuring realistic scenarios and requires firefighters to make observations and decisions on how to respond and fight the fire. The course covers how to enter buildings, where to apply hose streams, and when to stand down due to potential life-threatening situations; and culminates with a Capstone exam to help firefighters synthesize learning and put knowledge to the test.

Upon completion, members of the fire service should be able to:

  • Explain why firefighting tactics are changing based on modern construction, newer on-scene technology, and evolving fuel loads
  • Gain an understanding of how to assess and approach the scene of a fire based on the latest science-based fire dynamics research and testing
  • Be more prepared to assess a fire’s growth and spread, and consequently utilize up-to-date control methods

The training takes into consideration fundamental occupancy, building construction, while addressing the health and safety of firefighters by reinforcing the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and methodologies for contamination control.

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