Chief Scott Alvord

Chief Scott Alvord uses a demonstration model of a burning building for an advanced fire behavior training event

Twenty-five volunteer firefighters from Trinity County recently received training in advanced fire behavior. The eight-hour course on Saturday, March 28, consisted of a lecture followed by demonstration models on a smaller scale to create the fire conditions that firefighters could encounter while fighting fires in buildings.

The use of the models gave a graphic representation of what a fire will do, in a home or commercial building, using a multitude of scenarios that affect the behavior of fire. The scenarios included the effects firefighters have on the fire in different tactical actions.

The instructors for the course were Battalion Chief Ted Vandenberg from Mountain View Fire Department and Capt. James Mendoza from San Jose Fire Department. Vandenberg and Mendoza have been studying fire behavior for many years, including trips to Sweden and Australia to learn what firefighters in those countries have been teaching their new firefighters.

Vandenberg and Mendoza have taken this knowledge and developed a class that teaches firefighters the importance of understanding fire behavior, how this understanding will help them extinguish a fire, and providing a better level of firefighter safety.

“James and Ted offered to come to Trinity County and teach this class for free,” said Scott Alvord, chief of Weaverville Fire Department, “and asked only to be reimbursed for their travel expenses.”

Alvord went on to say, “To have this level of instruction for our firefighters for a minimal expense is truly a tribute to these two men. They have a passion for teaching this course and ensuring all firefighters received the important information.”

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