In order to survive, firefighters must be able to think critically and clearly and solve problems quickly, under extreme stress. This can be especially difficult in an actual fire, so training instructors conduct live fire training drills: they purposely set buildings on fire to give students opportunities to develop these skills. The overall goal of this behavioral training is to instill good habits in students through repeated exposure. Live fire training is conducted in burn buildings, which are structures, built or acquired, to be intentionally burned for firefighter training. Let’s take a look at what a typical live fire training session looks like, according to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).
An instructor gives a briefing of the day’s activities, and students dress in their high-tech, multi-layered specialty clothing. These clothes can withstand temperatures up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, each student wears an SCBA, tacking on an extra 30 pounds.