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Thomasville Fire Rescue was one of 100 locations selected nationwide to host a regional training program designed to apply data from fire dynamics research. Principles of Modern Fire Attack, an eight-hour course for firefighters and an additional four-hour course for fire instructors, was held June 13th and 14th and included 130 fire professionals from parts of Georgia and Florida.

The goal of the classroom-based course, presented by Brian Ward of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors, was to assist fire departments in examining their policies, tactics and training in order to create a safer environment for their firefighters.

“This course is only being offered at 100 locations nationally,” said Fire Chief Chris Bowman. “Because TFR was proactive in volunteering as a potential location, we were selected as a host city for one of the sessions. This gave us the opportunity to have as many of our firefighters as possible participating in the training session,” said Chief Bowman.

Bowman explained that TFR has already embraced the principles of modern fire attack, which was illustrated during a recent response to a house fire.

“We arrived on scene with nearly half of the home engulfed in flames and thick, black smoke pouring out the front of the residence,” Bowman said. “All the occupants had already evacuated safely before arrival. Fire crews from Thomasville Fire Rescue’s Engine 3 performed what is known as a ‘transitional fire attack,’ by first battling the blaze from the outside with a large volume of water, and then more safely proceeding to the interior of the structure with smaller hose lines,” he said.

Approaches such as this are much safer for fire personnel, and Thomasville Fire Rescue Chief of Training Craig Dukes said that the number one priority for TFR is safety.

“Our goal is to ensure everyone goes home after a completed shift, and that means making sure our fire personnel are equipped with not only the materials they need to do their job safely, but that they also have the knowledge and training behind them.”

“It’s a dangerous job, and this new science and research approach gives you a view of fire behavior within structures that has never been seen until now,” Dukes said. “Fire service text books and video training are trying to catch up to the very real fact that fire cannot be pushed back into a structure and that putting water on the fire as soon as possible is the key to life and safety.”

“This differs from a more conventional fire attack in which fire personnel would enter the unburned portion of the building first to battle the blaze from the inside,” Dukes added.

Sixteen firefighters from Thomasville Fire Rescue completed the class which endowed them with knowledge they need to better and more safely serve the citizens of Thomasville.