Overview

Read about the experience of two rookie firefighters at National Park Service’s Structural Fire Academy as they go through their first few weeks of training.

Read the Story

With the help of instructor Dave Van Inwagen, students learn proper teamwork and technique to safely and effectively control an attack.
With the help of instructor Dave Van Inwagen, students learn proper teamwork and technique to safely and effectively control an attack.

Day 1: Challenging Adventure

Day 2: Hundreds of gallons of water per minute

Day 3: The First Scenario

Day 4: Mayday Mayday Mayday

Day 5: Crash!

Day 6:  Live fire!

Day 7:  Getting More Complex

Day 8:  The Fire Breathing Dragon

Day 9:  Adding to the Repertoire

Day 10:  Putting it All Together

Reflections on Structural Fire Academy

Question 1

David Robinson said,

I felt true accomplishment after attacking that fire with the help of only teammates and no instructors. The amount of energy, both mental and physical, that it takes to advance into a structure is amazing. But being able to extinguish a fire starting from the beginning is something that should be experienced by everyone. I did not feel ill-prepared because of the other components of the class.

After reading his story, what are the specific components of the class which best prepared him to feel confident and successful in this experience?

Question 2

Brandon Penrose said,

…The thought of wanting to run into a burning building actually seemed to be one of the most illogical things a person could ever do. But when the opportunity to come here and train came up, I came for several reasons. The first was to be able to help the other rangers in my district when fire or rescue emergencies really did emerge. The second reason for coming to Glen Canyon for structure fire training was to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn a new skill that I had previously thought that I couldn’t have… The training that you will receive here in my opinion is second to none for catering to the needs of the students both during the training, and in giving you training that you can actually use when you return to your home park. The instructors realize that we are all from small parks and departments, and they give us the skills and confidence to fight fires on the small departments located in our parks.

Is this training something that would be of benefit to you? To your park? Under what circumstances would you find this training most beneficial for your personal and professional goals?

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