Surprise Interior School Bus Fire

The video below shows a surprise live fire training session involving a school bus.  Although realistic, be cautious in setting up a surprise scenario.  Here are a few things to think about ahead of time if your the instructor in charge:

  • Are their any EPA burn permitting requirements?
  • This should be a one line fire, however, what water supply considerations should be considered prior to a training session?
  • Is the mindset to learn fire behavior, hose advancement, and engine operations or to actively search for potential victims due to the lack of knowledge that the fire was set for training?

I like the motivation to train and admit that I don’t know the specific training preparations these crews did before the scenario.  It is on us as instructors to expect the unexpected and prepare for the unusual.  


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  • clay

    We have only done this one time and it was when extrication was being done on a car. No accelerants were used, only lit a flare and put it beside the car. No one except for the training officer knew this was going to happen. It accomplished two things, 1. of course you always pull a line for extrication but when there is “never” a fire it leads to complancey at the scene but the nozzle man sure was surprised when he actually got to do something at an extrication(it took about 5 gallons to put it out but he still had to put it out) 2. it made command become more aware of his scene and more diligent on monitoring the scene as it went along.
    Now grant it we don’t do that at every extrication training but it helps keep the firefighters sharp with you never know and to be sure you’re prepared. You do bring up some good concerns though.