WFS Course Descriptions

Presented by Dr. Rod Hammer
Rural firefighting with a limited number of firefighters, long travel distances and no water supply requires different tactics than fighting fires in urban and suburban areas with multiple stations just moments away. Firefighting strategies and tactics need to be developed within the context of resource availability. Unfortunately, the textbooks and training firefighters receive today typically focuses on techniques assuming full-time staffing and short response times. This course will challenge current thinking on firefighting strategies and tactics and present modified techniques adapted to resource limitations. Emphasis will be on firefighter safety, defensive/transitional/offensive attack, fire behavior, ventilation limited fires, water supply, mutual and automatic aid and much more.

Presented by The Jersey Guys, John L. Lewis and Robert G. Moran

A fire in the basement is different than any other fire to which we respond. Fire spread from basement areas through vertical and horizontal voids will cause severe structural instability and critical fire loads within a building. “It’s in the basement” are four words that should make everyone on the fireground immediately rethink their strategies and tactics. Usually this radio transmission is heard after several minutes on the fireground, while members are searching the structure under heavy heat and smoke conditions only to discover the fire is burning below them. Topics to be covered include building construction, size up concerns, proper hand line placement, ventilation and search procedures. This program has been presented for Kean University / NJ Division of Fire Safety, Firehouse Expo, FDIC, the State of Utah Fire and Rescue Academy Summer and Winter Fire Schools, North Suburban (MN) Regional Mutual Aid Association, West Metro MN, the Central Maryland FOOLS Conference, as well as various fire academies and fire departments throughout the state of New Jersey. This program was recently presented at the New York Fire Chief’s Annual Convention, Fire Rescue International, (IAFC) and at the Connecticut State Fire Academy.

This session will provide an interactive forum designed to discuss and define the key relationships strategy and tactics, street-wise size up, and risk benefit analysis have on the critical first few minutes of structural firefighting operations. By utilizing the “Fire Service Rules Of Engagement”, first due video, and photo based scenarios the instructors will uncover the mission essential importance of gathering and evaluating building intelligence, identifying potential risks, and weighing the benefits of the chosen strategy and tactics prior to committing personnel to operate within these dangerous environments. In addition, through the utilization of this “real time information” students will be challenged to rapidly develop, support, and justify effective incident action plans consistent with the hazards and risks of the incident. (This program is designed to keep the students involved in the learning process by challenging them to utilize their existing knowledge as well as the training provided to make safe and intelligent decisions on the fire ground. An emphasis on Risk Benefit Analysis as well as Building Construction directs this program.) This program was successfully presented at the State of Utah Fire and Rescue Academy Winter Fire School, at Fire Rescue International (IAFC) Conferences, as well as many fire academies and fire departments in the New Jersey metropolitan area. This program was included in the Spring 2011 Fire Training Semester for Kean University and the NJ Division of Fire Safety.

The most common and hazardous structure fire related responses are to fires in Private Dwellings. To ensure the safety of firefighters operating at these incidents and achieve our goal of applying a coordinated fire suppression attack we must be structured to initiate rapid and effective strategy and tactics on arrival. To prepare both firefighters and company officers in completing this task, this program will discuss the many variables to be considered when implementing successful fire suppression operations in private dwellings. Topics to be covered include; Construction and style types, size-up, typical hazards, forcible entry issues, search techniques, ventilation, and fire attack methods. The program will also include interactive group sessions utilizing first due video and photos where the attendees will have the opportunity to assume command, formulate an initial action plan, and implement their chosen strategy and tactics.

Along the changing landscape of our response districts, the many once beautiful and architecturally pleasing main street shopping areas have been replaced with more modern Strip Mall type buildings. The proliferation of these structures within our communities has created additional hazards for our personnel and forced a revision in our standard fire suppression operations. Fires in Strip Malls are unlike any other structure fire we respond to. The type of construction, interconnected occupancies, diverse occupancy types, and the potential for a lack of access to all sides of the structure all play a vital role in altering our normal structure fire strategy and tactics. To enhance our ability to safely and effectively operate at fires within these buildings, this program will take an in-depth look at the fire problems associated with these structures and offer some useful information on size up, safety, pre-planning, and fire attack methods.

Presented by Matt Paiss
A half-day seminar designed for firefighters, incident commanders, and code officials to provide the tools to safely operate around a Solar Electric (Photovoltaic, or PV) System. With voltages up to 1000 VDC, knowing what is safe to touch or not touch is KEY. Students will walk away with an understanding of the individual components, fundamentals of operation, and where the hazards exist in a PV system. Several case studies of fires involving PV systems will be discussed, as well as developments in national safety codes & standards.

Presented by Mike Metro

Culture change in public organizations brings thoughts of fear, impossible, too large to manage. Culture change in the fire service brings those concerns to a heightened level! This seminar will offer a practical, systematic and measurable approach to transform a fire department. We will start with identifying what you want to change, provide the steps to make it happen and establish behavior shifts for effective and meaningful positive outcomes.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is positioned to change health care forever. Although there has not been much mention as to how the ACA will impact Emergency Medical Services, make no mistake it will change us all. This session will provide critical information that each chief officer should know, what will happen as a result of the ACA, what is happening now and ideas on how we can turn the implementation of the ACA into a competitive opportunity.

Some say great leaders are born but they are made through the development of their own Character, the Competence to do their job and the Connection to the people that have been entrusted to them. This class will discuss those three “C’s” and have a special focus on the 12 character traits that a person must have to be a leader and provide each student with a practical measuring tool that will allow you to privately understand your own leadership capabilities.

If the Fire Service fails to provide high quality cost effective service, we will fail or lose our organizational greatness. We must position our organizations to compete in areas of cost, product and customer service. This presentation will discuss dangers that are looming and strategies to succeed as a competitor!