Structural firefighters require additional skills and knowledge for WUI firefighting. There are many risks in the Wildland Urban-Interface environment. Even with extensive training fighting wildfires is a dangerous activity. The NFPA reported that 50 percent of all firefighter fatalities that occurred in 2020 were at wildfire incidents.¹ (“Firefighter Fatalities in the US, 2020,” NFPA.)
To Protect & Serve
Studies also found that the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) environment raises the stakes even higher because there is so much more at risk. Firefighters are trained to protect property and save lives. This can be even more dangerous in the WUI environment, especially during the initial attack. Firefighters are more likely to push the limits of their resources and their safety to protect property and lives because of this mindset.
Recognizing risks and guarding against unsafe behaviors will help protect firefighters when responding to wildland-urban interface fires. To maintain safety, structural firefighters need to understand how wildland and WUI fire behavior is different from structure fire operations. They must be able to identify fuels, topographical hazards, and weather systems while working and recognize how these factors can impact their safety. Ongoing training helps to build on these skills.
A New Series From Action Training Systems is Available Now!
“Wildland Urban Interface Firefighting for the Structural Firefighter” is a 7-part series from Action Training Systems. It presents the information a structural firefighter needs to know when called to support operations at wildland or WUI fire. Firefighting strategies used in the wildland and WUI environment require unique knowledge and skills that are different from structure fire response.
You Asked, We Listened
Training for wildland firefighting has been a request from our customers for many years. After updating our Firefighter I & II series, we started development. Covid-19 hampered our efforts for a bit, but it is now completed and we are excited to introduce this new product to the market!
- Wildland & WUI Firefighting: An Introduction
- Wildland Fire Behavior & Forecasting
- Managing Risk & Firefighter Safety
- Tactical Resources & Equipment
- WUI Firefighting Strategies & Tactics
- Structure Triage & Scene Priorities
- WUI Safety & Hazard Control.
All titles include actual scene footage and firefighting operations from some of the most destructive wildland/WUI fires around the United States over the past few years.
Scene footage came from many different sources including freelance photographers, fire departments, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service (USFS), the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), FEMA, and the DVID archives.
Also, created by our own in-house camera/editor/graphic designer, are exceptional 3-D graphics that illustrate weather effects, topographical features, fire behavior, and other scene tactics.
Thank You to Our Local Resources
ATS is fortunate to work with highly professional fire departments and wildfire instructors in and around the Pacific Northwest. These crews also helped us to create scenarios and demonstrate skills and operations used in the WUI environment for this series.
Standards-Based to Meet Training Requirements
The information presented is intended to help fire service members in meeting the training requirements of NFPA 1051 and 1143 (soon to be consolidated into NFPA 1140) when assisting with operational activities at wildland or WUI fires. The courses are designed to provide students with an introduction to the concepts and hands-on skills that are required according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), FEMA Skills Crosswalk, and applicable NFPA standards.
Each title in the “Wildland Urban Interface Firefighting for the Structural Firefighter” series has a solid instructional design with clearly defined learning objectives.
Topics include identifying fuels, forecasting fire behavior, and understanding weather and wind effects in the WUI environment. Skills include size-up considerations, fire control strategies, creating firelines, performing structure triage, and hazard control.
Multiple Delivery Formats & Instructor Resources
In addition to the videos that are available as DVD or online streaming, the information is developed into an interactive online course that tests knowledge and comprehension. Other instructor materials are also available such as PowerPoints, Facilitator Guides, and question banks for quizzes.
Expert Panel of SMEs
Several wildland subject experts helped with the development of the series, as well as provided technical reviews of the final videos.
Instructor & Content Developer
Dennis Childress helped develop the outline, learning objectives, handouts, and provided script and video reviews for this series. After 39 years in the fire service, he retired from the Orange County Fire Authority in Southern California. He also was one of eight authors that helped create the nationally distributed Urban/Interface Firefighters Series by the NWCG and the NFPA. Dennis is a Certified Fire Officer and a Certified Chief Officer with the State of California and is the Team Leader for the Level 1 Fire Command curriculum series for State Fire Training. Dennis is currently a Fire Technology Instructor at Santa Ana College.
Todd McNeal is Fire Chief for the City of Dixon, in northern Solano County, California. Chief McNeal provided video and script reviews on this series. He has 28 years of working in structural firefighting and wildland fire management and has been serving as a Division/Group Supervisor on a Federal Type II Incident Management Team for the past 14 years.
Thomas Richter is the author of “Ground Fire Fighting for Structural Firefighters” published by OSU Fire Protection Publications and is a 43-year veteran of the fire service. Tom has served the wildland community throughout the US Forest Service. and was kind enough to provide reviews for us. He is also the Prescribed Fire Program Manager at the Illinois Fire Service Institute at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana campus.
Instructor & Advisor
Ed Wright a retired lieutenant with Kitsap County, Wa, and an adjunct Instructor for the USFA National Fire Academy. He was also a reviewer and advisor for the IAFC /NFPA Jones & Bartlett Learning manual “Wildland Fire Fighter, Principles and Practice” Second Edition.”
For more information about our new 7-part training series “Wildland Urban Interface Firefighting For the Structural Firefighter” www.action-training.com