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Take Control of the Environment!

“If you wish to control a problem, you must know more about the problem than anyone else and if you need to know more about the problem, you must coin a terminology, a lexicon, that allows you to understand it and not use imperial rhetoric.”
Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, 1876


Some files from our authors. 

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Rescue Vs Fire Control

'Rescue is always our highest priority at a structure fire, but it should not be the first thing we do unless, of course, we are determined in getting ourselves injured or killed!

Therefore I always maintain that the best way to rescue people from a burning building is to put out the fire'.


Chief Shapher challenged those who disagreed with him to read the NIOSH reports to see how firefighters get injured or killed whilst making rescue attempts.'

F. Shapher - Chief of St. CharlesMO

Quick Attack

Even if the fire is not immediately controlled or extinguished, a quick attack can slow the spread of the fire and buy other firefighters additional time to take the victims away from the danger'.


R Hiraki - Assistant Chief Seattle WA


Take the danger away!

'we should always remember that the best way to accomplish the rescue objective is to take the danger away from the victims or put out the fire.

Deputy Chief (ToledoOH) John 'Skip' Coleman

Put the Fire Out!

'Unless you can effectively do several things at the same time (on the initial response) - PUT THE FIRE OUT (first)'.

... 'this should be followed by aggressive ventilation by the swiftest means possible'....'

This practice allows you to first get a hose-line between savable victims and the fire (assuming the line was taken into the structure in the most appropriate avenue, placing it between the fire and savable people). Hopefully this will keep the situation from getting worse'.

John Mittendorf - Retired Los Angeles Fire Chief

Neutral Plane

The separation between the Over-Pressure region and the Under-Pressure regions developed in a compartment fire (sometimes referred to as the smoke/air interface). The neutral plane can be seen quite clearly when thermal balance exists in the fire compartment. 3D firefighting techniques can assist to keep the NP as high as possible, which maximises visibility and makes conditions more bearable for entrapped occupants or firefighters......a key principle in successful, safe and efficient compartment firefighting.

3D Water-Fog or Gas Cooling

Branch technique where water spray in correct quantities can result in contraction of the gases without the over production of steam. May assist as a control measure in small compartment. This is not an extinguishing technique because it is still essential to apply water to the surfaces.

Fire Gas Ignition

an ignition of accumulated fire gases and combustion products, existing in, or transported into, a flammable state. There are a wide range of events ....generally be defined as -. Any such ignition is usually caused by the introduction of an ignition source into a pre-mixed state of flammable gases; or the transport of such gases towards a source of ignition; or the transport of a fuel-rich mixture of gases into an area containing oxygen and an ignition source. 

Buffer Zone

The creation of a 'buffer-zone' implies the use of 3D defensive actions to reduce potential for an ignition of fire gases in the immediate area of a structure occupied by firefighters. This may create a temporary and more local zone of safety for firefighters, although offering far less protection than a 'safe-zone'.

3D Zone Control

The strategy of 3D Zone Control intended to improve the safety of firefighters operating inside a burning structure. It attempts to safeguard the immediate locality of any space occupied by firefighters in resorting to various defensive actions that (a) confine the fire; (b) remove combustion products safely and effectively; or (c) mitigate dangers in the hot-gas layers. Providing more permanent levels of protection in structural compartments (safe zones), ...to operate in various fire & rescue roles

3D Fire Fighting

3DFirefighting is about getting water onto the fire yes, but it is also about getting water into the gas layers, using the optimum methods of water application with the equipment available and maintaining thermal balance whilst doing it. It is also about understanding the practical aspects of how a fire grows, develops and behaves and how dangerous gases may form, accumulate and transport into hidden areas of a building, waiting to 'ambush' firefighters. 3D Firefighting is all about gaining a working knowledge of where to make vent openings; when to make vent openings and when not to!


Not just what and how, but why!

Ed Hartin

Reading Fire

"Every fire sends out signals that can assist the firefighter in determining the stage of fire development, and most importantly the changes that are likely to occur. This skill is essential to ensure the correct firefighting strategy and tactics are employed. Being able to "read a fire" is the mark of a firefighter who is able to make decisions based on knowledge and skill, not guess work or luck."

Shan Raffel AFSM EngTech CFIFireE

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