WFPS rolls out new Fire Dynamics Training for members

Understanding the way fire behaves translates to increased safety for firefighters and residents

May 22, 2020

arial view of a burnt down apartment building
The aftermath of a fire on Jarvis Avenue.

Extinguishing a structure fire isn’t as simple as aiming a hose at the flames – there are a number of factors that need to be considered. Understanding how fires behave, especially in light of evolutions in architecture, building materials, and fire extinguishing tools, is incredibly important.

That’s why the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) is rolling out a new training program for all its firefighters to ensure they have the most up-to-date Fire Dynamics Training.

arial view of a burnt down, vacant apartment building
Fire destroyed this vacant apartment block in December 2019.

Fire Dynamics Training is an evidence-based curriculum, established to address gaps between the science of fire dynamics and current firefighting strategies and tactics.

It provides firefighters with scientific knowledge which is then put into practice, resulting in safer and more effective firefighting strategies better suited to the modern fire environment.

firefighter walking in front of an apartment building with fire damage
WFPS kept damage limited to a single suite in this apartment fire.

WFPS Deputy Chief of Professional Development, Russ Drohomereski, said while firefighters have many skills and extensive experience which can help to mitigate fire incidents, the Fire Dynamics Training goes even further, providing them with the science behind fire behaviour.

He added this reduces the risks for firefighters, the public, property, and critical infrastructure during operations.

“The safety of our members is paramount,” he said.

“We know our members are always looking to learn more and adapt their skills by embracing research-based approaches to fighting fires in modern environments.”

Part of the new Fire Dynamics Training involves the use of a live fire training module. WFPS purchased used intermodal shipping containers - or Sea Cans – and modified them to create a realistic training scenario environment.

To do this, WFPS partnered with Tec-Voc High School. Students in the school’s welding program designed and fabricated parts required for modifying the containers and then installed those parts under the guidance and supervision of their teachers.

student standing on a ladder welding
Tec Voc students fabricated and installed components of the WFPS fire training module

Tec-Voc welding instructor Tony Bage said the partnership was a win-win. It allowed WFPS the opportunity to have quality work completed at very little cost, and just as importantly, it was a great project for his students.

“They know this will help to keep our City’s responders safer and they take a lot of pride in being a part of that,” he said.

Students and instructor standing in front of shipping containers
Tec Voc students, under supervision of their welding instructors, helped to build the new WFPS fire training module

The new Fire Dynamics training, including the use of the live fire training modules, will be rolled out beginning in May at the WFPS Training Academy on McPhillips Street.

Residents in that area may notice light smoke coming from the location when the containers are in use. Clean, dry, untreated wood is used to create the smoke conditions inside the container so the smoke will be similar to the smoke from a campfire.

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