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Twentynine Palms, California
Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
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Firefighter Shad Murphy, CCFD firefighter, attacks a flashover with a burst of water from the hose during live-fire training Saturday.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Nicholas M. Dunn

CCFD conducts flashover, backdraft training

17 Nov 2007 | Lance Cpl. Nicholas M. Dunn Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

 The Combat Center Fire Department conducted live-fire training Nov. 17 at the training prop area on Del Valle Road.

 The purpose of the training was to show the firefighters different types of fire behavior and how to combat them.

 “We try to do this at least once a quarter or whenever we get new firefighters,” said Fire Lieutenant Tom Fowler, CCFD firefighter. “They have to know what to expect when they get to the real thing.”

 The standard training has four basic stages – flashover, fire attack, backdraft and advanced fire attack. Saturday focused only on flashover and backdraft training.

 A flashover occurs when the heat from the fire reaches a certain temperature and ignites the flammable gases that have filled the room, causing every surface in the room to catch fire simultaneously.

 A backdraft is the result of the fire being starved of oxygen, but the gases and smoke remain at a high temperature. If oxygen is reintroduced to the fire, the gases can heat and expand, causing an explosion of smoke and flame.

 The CCFD began the morning with flashover training. The firefighters donned their protective gear and went inside the flashover training prop to see the behaviors of a flashover firsthand.

 Fowler instructed them on the behaviors, dangers and techniques used to combat flashovers. The firefighters rotated through the different positions of the fire hose; each one was given the opportunity to apply their training.

 After the flashover training, Fire Captain Wayne Giannini, CCFD firefighter, set up a demonstration of a backdraft. Again, the purpose was to familiarize the firefighters with the behaviors of fire.

 “This is good hands-on training,” said Firefighter Aaron Sitton, CCFD firefighter and emergency medical technician. “It’s good for us to keep going over the different types of fire behavior to make us aware of what we might see out on a call.”

 Fowler said the training ran smoothly and successfully.

 “Everyone did very well,” he said. “They all had good nozzle control and nozzle technique, and were able to push back the fire and contain it.”

 “Our brand new firefighter, Shad Murphy, performed exceptionally for his first time,” he added.

 The Combat Center Fire Department will continue to efficiently train its firefighters. The training they receive will better prepare them to face the dangers of the fires they fight every day.

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms