Essentials of Fire Fighting

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Essentials of Fire Fighting is a fire service training manual produced by Fire Protection Publications (FPP) and the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA). Fire Protection Publications is a department of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology (CEAT)at Oklahoma State University (OSU), in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This manual is used by fire service training agencies and departments around the world to train personnel to become firefighters. The Essentials of Fire Fighting is the required training manual used in countless local fire departments and state/provincial training agencies in every region of the United States and Canada. Since the release of the first edition of this manual in 1978, more than 2.25 million copies of The Essentials of Fire Fighting have been distributed to the fire service.

There are two versions of the Essentials of Fire Fighting manual. IFSTA/FPP publishes the basic version that contains 21 chapters focused strictly on fire fighting content as required by NFPA 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications (2013 edition). IFSTA/FPP, in partnership with Brady, a publisher of EMS training materials, co-publishes the Essentials of Fire Fighting and Fire Department Operations, 6th Edition. This version includes all 21 chapters of Essentials of Fire Fighting , 6th Edition and adds three chapters written and validated to meet the emergency medical and hazardous materials requirements of NFPA 1001. Chapter 22 specifically addresses the Firefighter I and Firefighter II knowledge and skills requirements for the emergency medical care competencies identified in NFPA 1001, Chapter 4. Chapters 23 and 24 meet the First Responder Awareness and Operations Levels for Responders according to NFPA 472: Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents, 2012 Edition and OSHA 1910.120. The chapters also provide validated content to meet Section 6.6, Mission-Specific Competencies: Product Control, of NFPA 472. The hazardous materials information is adapted from the IFSTA Hazardous Materials for First Responders,4th Edition.

History of the Essentials of Fire Fighting[edit]

In 1934, the Western Actuarial Bureau sponsored a meeting in Kansas City to begin the process of gaining consensus on common training methods and techniques. State fire training directors from Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas attended and the Fire Service Training Association (FSTA) was formed. By its next meeting in 1935, 16 states were represented and more joined every year thereafter. Oklahoma A&M College (OAMC, now known as Oklahoma State University [OSU]) was chosen to publish the manuals to be developed by the Fire Service Training Association. In 1935, two planographed, hardbound books were produced: Elementary Science Applied to the Firefighting Service and Ladders.

Eventually a total of ten topics were covered and published in 1937. Because of their red covers, the fire service called them “The Redbooks.” The ten original “Redbooks” were:

  • Forcible Entry, Ropes, Knots, and Extinguishers
  • Ground Ladders
  • Hose
  • Salvage and Overhaul
  • Fire Streams
  • Fire Apparatus
  • Ventilation
  • Rescue
  • First Aid
  • Fire Prevention and Inspection

In 1955, FSTA becomes the International Fire Service Training Association or IFSTA when the first Canadian officials attend and participate. In 1957, Oklahoma A&M College became Oklahoma State University. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s IFSTA became more active in the U.S. fire service. IFSTA was a participant in the Williamsburg meeting that led to the formation of the Joint Council of National Fire Service Organizations. Everett Hudiburg, director of IFSTA, was selected to chair the Joint Council and spearheaded the formation of the National Professional Qualifications Board (Pro Board). The Pro Board developed professional qualifications standards and a national certification system. The four original professional qualifications standards adopted in 1974 included:

  • Fire Fighters
  • Fire Officers
  • Fire Inspectors and Investigators
  • Fire Instructors

IFSTA realized that its products could be used to assist firefighters in achieving certification. IFSTA manuals were then revised to ensure they covered the standards. It was apparent that it would be impractical for firefighters to have to buy at least 10 manuals to meet the firefighter certification requirements.

It was decided that a single manual should be developed to assist firefighters in achieving certification, and thus the Essentials of Fire Fighting was born. Carroll Herring, director of the Louisiana Fireman Training Program (now known as the Louisiana State University Fire and Emergency Training Institute, is credited with recommending the title of Essentials of Fire Fighting. The first edition of Essentials of Fire Fighting was published in 1978 and subsequent editions have been published in 1983, 1992, 1998, and 2008. The latest edition (6th) was first released in January 2013.

The Essentials of Fire Fighting, 6th edition[edit]

The 6th edition of Essentials of Fire Fighting addresses the 2013 edition of NFPA Standard 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications. This standard is widely accepted as the standard of knowledge and skills measurement for all firefighters in North America and beyond. This IFSTA manual includes an appendix list of the job performance requirements from the NFPA standard and a cross reference of the NFPA requirements to the chapters of Essentials. They are:

Chapter list (6th Edition)[edit]

  1. Orientation and Fire Service History
  2. Firefighter Safety and Health
  3. Fire Department Communication
  4. Building Construction
  5. Fire Behavior
  6. Firefighter Personal Protective Equipment
  7. Portable Extinguishers
  8. Ropes, Webbing, and Knots
  9. Structural Search, Victim Removal, and Firefighter Survival
  10. Scene Lighting, Rescue Tools, Vehicle Extrication, and Technical Rescue
  11. Forcible Entry
  12. Ground Ladders
  13. Tactical Ventilation
  14. Water Supply
  15. Fire Hose
  16. Fire Streams
  17. Fire Control
  18. Loss Control
  19. Fire Origin and Cause Determination
  20. Fire Protection Systems
  21. Fire and Life Safety Initiatives
  22. Emergency Medical Care for Fire Department First Responders (Expanded version)
  23. Hazards, Behavior, and Identification of Haz Mat/WMD (Expanded version)
  24. Mitigation of Haz Mat/WMD Incidents. (Expanded version)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]