Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FEMA USAR Structural Collapse Class

Trailer on Site
Shoring Class - Raker Shore
Certification stickers on a helmet
Air Bag lifting to pop the water balloon.
Raise the offset unbalanced irregular concrete up and pop the water balloon.

Raise the 4x8 slab, build a bridge, and trundle "Big Mo" over the obstacle under the slab.

"A-Frame" for lifting "Big Mo" over a Stokes basket without spilling a cup of water.

3600 lb. " Big Mo" is almost home on the O Course.

Chip hammer in action after drilling overhead exposing the rebar in a confined space.

Cutting Rebar overhead in a confined space after a dirty breach.

After two days in the rain and numerous concrete breaches -The gear is filthy.

Breaching the wall we found a Telephone pole in the middle of the vault

Cutting our way through

Entrance to team 2's Search area after the 3500 lb. block was removed and entry was made

Inside the vault showing Breaches that we completed to get to the victim

The Collapsed Structure for the final Exercise

Recovering a victim from a confined space

The Pink Blocks are our 6 Victims that we located and recovered.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance - OSFM offers many Fire and Rescue Certifications. In addition to the Rescue Technician VMR, there are several Rescue Specialties including: Rope Specialty (Chapter 6), Trench Specialty (Chapter 11), Surface Water Rescue(Chapter 7), Confined Space (Chapter 9), and Structural Collapse (Chapter 10). Check this link for a listing of the hours required for each.

Landis Fire Training Captain David Barlow just completed the
97 hour FEMA USAR Structural Collapse Class that satisfies the NC Structural Collapse Specialty requirements. There were 12 students in the class and it was held at Cleveland County Community College. The Cleveland Volunteer Fire Department in Shelby assisted Captain Barlow by providing a place to stay during the 9 day class.

The class was instructed by Battalion Chief Kevin Gordon of the Charlotte Fire Academy, Captain Brent Gordon CFD Truck 13 Haz Mat, Captain Tom Billig CFD Rescue 3, Captain Ken Hogue Engine 5 CFD, Jodie Blanton of the Gastonia Fire Department, Battalion Chief Barry Wilson of the Gastonia Fire Department. They were also assisted by a Captain from CFD on Rescue 10. This class was one of the more "Hard Core" Rescue Classes experienced during Captain Barlow's 31 year fire service career. The other students in the class were all members of the Gaston County EMS S.T.A.R. Team

The FEMA USAR Structural Collapse Manual and FOG Manual were used along with the USAR Shoring Guide.

FEMA USAR Pages are a wonderful resource for this type of Rescue.

DISASTERENGINEER.ORG has a complete selection of manuals for use with Structural Collapse including the FOG Manual, Shoring Guide, HERS Manuals for download in their Library.

RESCUEDIRECT.COM For purchasing Hard Copies of the Army Corps of Engineers Field Operations Guide (FOG Manual) and the Shoring Manual.

Captain Barlow was selected by the instructors to have his name sent in to NASA for the Annual DART Class. Since 1992, NASA Ames Research Center has offered a six-day 60+ hour collapsed structure rescue class at the Ames Research Center in California. This annual class is sponsored by Ames Research Center's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) and is designed for firefighters and Urban Search And Rescue specialists. Annually there are only 24 students in the nation that attend this class in California. One of the Instructors - Tom Billig from the class is one of the NASA DART Instructors. Check out their website to find out more.


While visiting in a Fire Station last week in Cleveland County, I saw a new Tool offered for sale that is made by CHANNELLOCK. This is the new CHANNELLOCK 6 in 1 Rescue Tool. The website that announces this new tool is www.therescuetool.com There is a pretty good short video that describes all of its features.

This looks to be a pretty good item to carry in your pocket as a Firefighter or Rescue Technician. This tool, a Knife, some webbing, a short section of Rope, and a battery wrench would be a pretty good compliment to almost anyones gear.

Looking online, the price seems to vary a bit. I have seen it as high as $65 and as low as $40 plus shipping. If you have someone in your department that runs a Hardware store or is in the tool business, you might find that you can get one for around $36 dollars.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

NCDOI Certification Classes and Hours

Linked below are the Fire & Rescue Certification Classes offered by the State of North Carolina. North Carolina has more certifications than most states. North Carolina is a member of the IFSAC ACCREDITATION CONGRESS. The International Fire Service Accreditation Congress currently has 32 Member States. States using IFSAC allow Reciprocity with other member states. This means that if your certification is current in NC - you can file for it to be good in another member state if you relocate. The other accreditation agency in use in the US is PROBOARD.

NC Certifications class hours and FIP Numbers (Course Numbers) are listed on this document.


Other certifications and Special Schools can be found on the
NCDOI Website
. Examples are:


Keep working toward certification in as many areas as possible. In this day and time Fire Rescue personnel can not be over qualified. Remember, our career and avocation is a never ending continuum of learning - and you will never know it all.

"Beware of those who don't think they need to train!"
"Failure to prepare is preparing to fail."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Strategy & Tactics for Commercial - “Big Box” Buildings

On December 6th, Gaston College, City of Gastonia Fire Department, and Gaston County Firefighter's Association will be hosting a Fire Seminar, with guest speaker, Timothy Sendelbach.

Strategy & Tactics for Commercial - “Big Box” Buildings

Choosing the right tactics on the fireground is one of the most important aspects of firefighter safety & survivability. The use of residential tactics in commercial fires has proven time and time again to compromise the safety & effectiveness of modern firefighting operations. Using a series of computer based simulations and case studies, this high-impact, high energy program will provide attendees with a step by step action plan for critical fireground decision-making when developing strategy & tactics for commercial (“Big Box” Building) fires including: size-up, risk assessment (go or no go decision-making), objective based strategy & tactics (emphasizing predictability and manageability), hose line selection / deployment, air management, RIT operations/deployment, use and application of fixed systems, offensive versus defensive fire stream management, command & control, accountability, progress reporting, and effective resource management issues.

Are You the Best of the Best or Just Like the Rest?

How does your organization compare when it comes to national best practices?” Are you meeting minimum standards or are you simply working to get by? This high-impact, multi-media presentation is designed to provide departmental leaders and company officers with a road map for organizational change including discussions related to: fire administration/management, training, equipment and fireground operations. Using recent events from across the nation this program will demonstrate how effective leadership, training, and individual empowerment can support organizational change and forward progression supportive of firefighter safety and operational effectiveness.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Common Sense Rules! FHWA Modifies Federal Rule for Firefighters- Vest Rule goes into effect November 24, 2008

On November 21, 2008, the FHWA issued an interim final rule revising the Worker Visibility rule (23CFR 634) to create an exemption for the firefighting community. This interim Final rule allows firefighters or other emergency responders working within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway and engaged in emergency operations that directly expose them to flame, fire, heat, and/or hazardous materials to wear retroreflective turn-out gear that is specified and regulated by other organizations, such as the National Fire Protection Association. Firefighters or other emergency responders working within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway and engaged in any other types of operations shall wear high-visibility safety apparel as defined in this rule. The FHWA decided to issue this interim final rule to address safety concerns raised by fire fighting community. The interim final rule was published in the Federal Register today and goes in effect on November 24, 2008. This rule can be accessed at the following link:


Please share this information with others that may be interested in this matter.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Ken Wood at 708-283 -4340 or Ken.Wood@dot.gov.

Hari Kalla, P.E.
MUTCD Team Leader
FHWA, Office of Operations (HOTO-1)
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, E84-316
Washington, DC 20590
Tel.: (202) 366-5915
Fax: (202) 366-3225
Web: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/

Full Vest Information at: http://respondersafety.com/

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Federal First Responder Visibility Standard takes Effect Nov. 24th, 2008

23 CFR 634
The New Visibility Standard will go into effect beginning November 24th, 2008 and will apply to all Fire, Rescue, EMS, as well as Law Enforcement Officers. There is an exception for law enforcement officers working in potentially adversarial or confrontational roles. This Visibility Standard does not apply to traffic stops and searches. Officers are still required under 23 CFR 634 to wear high-visibility clothing during other times, such as "directing traffic, investigating crashes, and handling lane closures, obstructed roadways, and disasters within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway."

Friday, November 14, 2008

NCIAAI Basic Fire Investigation School

During the week of November 10-November 13th Landis Fire Captain David Barlow attended the North Carolina Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators
Basic Fire Investigation School. This school was held at the Lowe's Motor Speedway Infield Media Center and was attended by approximately 40 persons from all over the state.
The 32 hour class was instructed by numerous Certified Fire Investigators, SBI Special Agents, ATF Agents, the Assistant DA for Cabarrus Co., and Arson Task Force Members. One of the Instructors was a furry four legged ATF Agent named Titan of the Charlotte Arson Task Force.

Topics covered included: Insurance Company Arson Investigation, Motives, Cause and Origin Investigation, Interviews and Interrogations, Fire Photography, Criminal Fire Investigation in NC, Fire Dynamics and Engineering Analysis, Fire Scene Safety, Evidence Collection, Building Construction, Diagramming and Mapping. Many references for further study were provided as well as lots of good information on further training in Fire Investigation and Arson Investigation.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

High Angle Rescue Training @ Pilot Mountain

Highline Operations with an Attendant

On October 31st, Nov. 1-2 Landis Fire Dept. Training Captain David Barlow attended the NC High Angle Rescue Special School held at Pilot Mountain State Park by the OSFM. The class attended was the 3rd level out of four levels offered. The weekend consisted of Ground School on Friday night and practical skills on both Saturday and Sunday and ending with testing on Sunday afternoon. The 3rd level class consisted of rigging and using Highlines and using same to ferry a patient across a fairly large gorge, descend and ascending fixed lines using rescue 8's and racks with brake bars to rappel and lock off and continue to descend. Then to reverse the process and ascend through the use of Prussiks. The use of Pick Off Straps was also practiced by all to do a Pick Off and Rescue a victim and lower them to the ground. On Sunday, shortly before lunch, a call was made to 911 for a fall on Pilot Mountain. A civilian tourist had fallen approximately 20 feet and was pretty seriously injured. The class responded and the Rescue was accomplished.

NCDOI High Angle Rescue Special School Information

The "CLEVELAND LOAD" for MILL PACKS or High Rise Packs

On Tuesday evening 11/11/08 @1700 hrs. LFD started training on a new load for the Mill Pack or High Rise Pack. This new method of packing the hose is called tha Cleveland Load. Originally started by Wildland Firefighters in the Cleveland National Forest in California, this load is charged prior to advancing the hose providing more protection and is much easier to deploy. There is a great video on You Tube showing this hose load.
Next week during training we will be trying a similar type load called the Hoffy Load or the Viper Load on our 1 3/4" preconnects. We want to become proficcient with packing and deploying this hose lay for several reasons. Very rapid deployment by one person in under 30 seconds, ease in maneuvering around tight areas, less kinking, advancing hose with less effort as well as having full firefighting capability. Check out this video on You Tube to see the value of the Hoffy Load or Viper Load.
Another great video on You Tube shows how Bundles like on the Hoffy or Viper Load can be used to eliminate a trip hazard when used in a stairwell or front porch and can even be used to hold or prop open a door if needed but definitely can eliminate a trip hazard while using only the exact amount of hose needed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Landis Fire-Rescue Training Blog has been created

Greetings Brothers,

The Blog Site is now up and operational. I will be posting lots of information and websites for your use here and will let this Blog serve as the Testament to Our Training Efforts and Activities.
Blogs are read from the bottom to the top by entry. Oldest on the Bottom - Youngest on the top. Each month the blog condenses the entries from that month and places them in a month folder. A good example of this is my other Blog from my Blue Ridge Parkway Backpacking Trip. Check out the Blog to see what I mean. http://backpackingtheparkway.blogspot.com

We can enter photos on this blog site. So if you would like to have them show up here, take some photos, email them to me and I will include them on the Blog. I intend to do a short write up after each training session and include some links for that Training Topic.

Thanks to each of you for your interest and dedication to your community and your Fire Department. Thank You for Training like you mean it.
"Only Perfect Practice Makes for Perfect Performance."
Stay Safe!!
Captain Dave