In 2012, members from the In-Service Training Section participated in the State Fire Marshal’s Driver/Operator 1A and 1B training classes hosted by the LA County Fire Department. The training was conducted by an instructor cadre from County Fire who have been providing these classes to their members for the last eight years.
After completing the training series, ISTS members believed these classes were valuable enough to pass on to our members. It was decided to put together a Driver/Operator 1A and 1B series taught by LAFD members and to develop an LAFD based curriculum and then see how many members would be interested in taking the classes.
How interested were members in these classes? Registration for the first LAFD Driver/Operator 1A class of twenty-five people was filled within two hours of the registration link going live and the second class of twenty-five was filled within fifteen minutes of open registration.
The Driver/Operator 1A: Emergency Vehicle Operations class is a five-day course consisting of forty hours of instruction. The class curriculum consists of the following topics:
• Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator Responsibilities
• Legal Aspects of Emergency and Non-Emergency Driving
• Inspection and Basic Maintenance of the Frame, Axles, Steering and Suspension Systems, Driveline, Wheels and Tires
• Troubleshooting the Frame, Axles, Steering and Suspension Systems, Driveline, Wheels And Tires
• Inspection and Basic Maintenance of Engine Systems
• Troubleshooting Engine Systems, Transmission and Clutch
• Inspection and Basic Maintenance of the Starting, Charging and Other Electrical Systems
• Troubleshooting the Starting, Charging and Other Electrical Systems
• Inspection and Basic Maintenance of Brake Systems
• Troubleshooting Brake Systems
• Inspection and Basic Maintenance of Auxiliary and Accessory Equipment
• Inspection Documentation and Reports
• Pre-trip Inspection Procedures
• Accident Statistics and Liability
• Principles of Defensive Driving
• Driving Apparatus to Incidents
• Principles of Braking and Stopping
• Positioning Apparatus
• Introduction to the Mandatory Driving Exercises
• Introduction to the LAFD Supply & Maintenance Division with emphasis on the Test Pit, Triple Shop and Rescue Maintenance Unit
The class is designed to teach the basics plus a little more. Whether you are looking to gain knowledge of apparatus simply to get certified or you are already an engineer or apparatus operator, the class is good for all knowledge bases. All of the listed topics are tailored towards LAFD policies, procedures and apparatus. Days one and two of the class are spent learning about the driver/operator responsibilities, legal aspects, apparatus inspection and maintenance, driving and positioning apparatus, and pre-trip inspection procedures. Days three and four are spent performing “hands on” apparatus pre-trip inspections, apparatus component identification and driving exercises. Day five consists of a written final exam and a Supply & Maintenance familiarization tour. On the last day of the class, mechanics from the Shops provide their experience and knowledge to the students.
The Driver/Operator 1B: Pump Operations class is a five day course consisting of forty hours of instruction. The class curriculum consists of the following topics:
• Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator Responsibilities
• Types of Fire Pumps
• Pump Mounting and Drive Arrangements
• Pump Piping and Valves
• Automatic Pressure Control Devices
• Priming Devices
• Pump Panel Instrumentation
• Auxiliary Cooling Devices
• Basic Hydraulic Terminology and Symbols
• Mathematics Review
• Nozzle Theory
• Calculating Gallons Per Minute
• Principles of Friction Loss
• Friction Loss Formulas and Calculations
• Fireground Hydraulic Calculations
• Inspecting the Pump Drive Systems, Pump Priming Systems and Pump Pressure Control Systems
• Pump Service Testing
• Maintenance of the Pump and Control Systems
• Introduction to the Pumping Exercises
(Drafting, Long Supply and Hydrant Operation)
The Driver/Operator 1B class is set-up to teach the basics of operating and maintaining the fire pump and its associated systems. Whether you are looking to gain further knowledge in order to become certified to act or looking to take the engineer’s practical exam, the class is set-up for all knowledge bases. Similar to Driver/Operator 1A, all of the listed topics are tailored towards LAFD policies, procedures and apparatus. Day one of the class is spent learning about driver/operator responsibilities, types of fire pumps, pump mounting and drive arrangements, piping and valves, automatic pressure control devices, pump panel instrumentation, inspecting and maintaining the pump and control systems, and pump service testing. Day two is spent on nozzle theory, principles of friction loss, calculating gpm, friction loss formulas, fire ground hydraulics. Days three and four are spent performing “hands on” evolutions of drafting operations, long supply operations and hydrant operations. Day five consists of a written final exam and performance testing of drafting operations, long supply operations and hydrant operations.
The drafting, long supply and hydrant operations are tailored toward those utilized on the engineer’s practical exam. Since this class is set-up to learn the basics of pumping operations, and due to time constraints, each pumping operation has been slightly altered. This allows the student to focus more on learning the steps involved and pumping disciplines involved in each operation. Emphasis is placed on learning throttle/gate manipulation, obtaining/maintaining a prime, introduction of a supply while pumping from the tank, discharge gate manipulation while pumping large volumes of water, etc.
Both the Driver/Operator 1A and 1B classes are taught by LAFD engineers and captains. Some of the cadre instructor engineers were Test Pit engineers and others have served as assistant raters on engineer practical exams. All involved bring years of experience and knowledge to be passed on to the students.
A great amount of time and effort has been placed into these classes in order to make them a worthwhile experience. Members of the cadre have taken the State and LACoFD material and tailored it toward the LAFD. With the help from many people at the Supply & Maintenance Division, the class has been able to acquire many used/new vehicle parts for the students to learn from. They have also fabricated orifice plates for the pumping events, lettering for new manifolds and refurbished old manifolds. Along with the Supply & Maintenance Division, the Fire Department and UFLAC have worked together to acquire Cal-JAC funds in order to procure drafting bins, pumping manifolds, various fittings and hose and cut-a-way nozzles/valves from Task Force Tips.
Driver/Operator 1A & 1B Instructor Cadre
Engineer Mike Flores Engineer Drew Oliphant
Engineer Nick Robideau Engineer Oliver Fry
Engineer Sean Kennedy Engineer Rick Najera
Engineer Ian Eulian Engineer Pete Jimenez
Engineer Mike Caro Engineer Kevin Lowe
Engineer Scott Hamilton Engineer Brett Sparkman
Captain Ross Torstenbo Captain David Fabela
By Mike Flores and David Fabela