Additional Training This training class is additional information regarding the new generation fire shelter. It is not designed to be used as initial fire shelter training or solely as the training you need to meet annual requirements. Practicing with your fire shelter is part of the annual wildland refresher requirement. If you need initial training, please contact the Training Division or your supervisor.
Supporting Documents Briefing Paper Firefighters Concerned About Fire Shelter Length Tony Petrilli – Fire Shelter Project Leader – MTDC April 14, 2008
Basic Design The new shelter has a dome design instead of the tent design previously used This new shape is more aerodynamic and rounded to better reflect radiant heat
New Shelter Design More efficient use of material Shape to minimize absorption of radiant heat Allows person to lie prone
New Shelter Design Rounder shape Rounded ends scatter radiant heat Although it has less airspace, it performs better than the old-style shelter
Radiant Heat Internal temperatures in radiant heat tests. The new generation shelter will have less heat impact inside from the radiant heat It is still temperatures that may cause burns
It is much worse outside! Remember to stay inside your shelter until conditions have greatly improved on the outside. Some firefighters have lost their lives leaving their shelters too soon.
Direct Flame Contact Internal temperatures in direct flame tests. The flames burned through the old-style shelter within 15 sec.
Touching Shelter Material With less airspace, some firefighters are concerned about the hot shelter material touching them during deployment. During tests the shelter was exposed to direct flame contact between 1,472° F to 1,652° Fahrenheit. After 7 seconds of flame contact the inner surface was 376° F. After 18 seconds the inner surface temperature reached 318°
Direct Flame Impingment The material of the new shelter remained intact and provided protection from the flames for the duration of the 1 minute test. The old shelter when tested allowed flames to enter the shelter after 15 seconds.
Other Design Features Deployment Handles make it easier to hold while deploying in extreme winds. Hold down straps to keep shelter in place during deployments The new quick pull strap was designed to help remove the shelter from its case.
Two Sizes The new shelters are not one size fits all. Regular and Large. The Large shelter has an orange pull strap and has the word LARGE stenciled on the end of the strap.
You should be able to… Lie face down inside the shelter while wearing a hardhat and boots without pushing against the ends of the shelter. Lie in the shelter with your arms through the hold down straps. Fold your elbows next to your chest and protect the sides of your face with your hands with only minimal contact with the sides of the shelter.
Recommendations Any firefighter taller than 6 feet 1 inch should carry the large shelter. Any firefighter whose girth is larger than 53 inches at any point should also carry the large shelter. Those shorter than 5 7 should carry the regular size. These measurements should include your height with helmet and boots on.
What is best for you? For those firefighters in between, it is their choice of which size to carry. See the information in the supporting documents to find out what size fire shelter you should wear! Practice deploying both size shelters under varying conditions to determine which size is best for you.
Too Short….. It is important to recognize that shorter people have much more difficulty deploying and holding down the large size fire shelter, especially in high winds. While extra air space does provide more protection, being unable to hold down a large shelter could result in catastrophic injury or death.
Alabaugh Fire In this deployment, two firefighters shared one regular size New Generation Fire Shelter. Before entering the shelter both firefighters were receiving burns. After entering the shelter they received no further burns even though they had extensive direct contact with the shelter material. Both firefighters felt that the fire shelter saved their lives.
Recommendations One of the recommendations from the Alabaugh Fire Shelter Deployment Report was that firefighters practice deployments with an actual New Generation Fire Shelter in order to become as proficient as possible. This would also give firefighters the most realistic expectations and training for a potential shelter deployment.
Little Venus Fire This report shows photos of the deployment with firefighters inside both old-style and new shelters. The firefighters, varying in height and weight, reported contact with shelter material in both old-style and new style fire shelters. Whichever shelter (old or new) or size, there will be contact with shelter material while a firefighter is deployed in a shelter.
Injuries This translated into a burn injury for only one firefighter; the firefighter who carried an old-style shelter with a 43-inch tear received a ½ inch blister where his elbow pressed against the material. The firefighters credited the fire shelters with saving their lives.