Local

June 21, 2013

Flashover chamber vital training for firefighters

Tags:
Airman1st Class GRACE LEE
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Steven Kinkade
Student firefighters prepare to exit the flashover chamber at the Luke Air Force Base fire training area May 4. Luke firefighters use the flashover chamber to educate and train firefighters on the warning signs of a flashover before it occurs.

The life of a firefighter consists of a multitude of emergency and nonemergency calls, 24-hour shifts and the occasional flashover.

“A flashover is a scientific characteristic of heat, air and by-products of combustion that creates fire all at one time,” said Steve Kinkade, 56th Civil Engineering Squadron Fire and Emergency Services training assistant fire chief. “For example, if a room was to heat up, causing all the contents of the room to get to approximately 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, it will result in everything igniting all at once, consuming everything in the room.”

In addition, flashovers are one of the leading causes of firefighter injuries and deaths, Kinkade said.

“A flashover is a firefighter’s worst nightmare because it’s so dangerous, and the survivability is slim to none,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Salyer, 56th CES fire crew chief. “This is because usually by the time you start catching the signs of a flashover you are already too far into the structure to be able to get out in time.”

To help save lives and teach the warning signs of a flashover, 56th CES firefighters created a flashover chamber.

Salyer said the flashover chamber is made out of two connex boxes. One box sits at ground level while the other is welded roughly three and a half feet above ground level. The boxes are also lined with firebrick to prevent damage to the boxes.

To create the flashover conditions, a burn barrel with five pieces of wood is placed in the upper portion of the chamber and lit. Once the barrel of wood is lit, the upper portion of the chamber then fills up with heavy dense smoke. The smoke eventually begins to roll down to the firefighters and fills up the space. When the space is filled, fresh oxygen is let in to begin the process of creating a flashover. The oxygen then causes the smoke to travel back to the lit barrel where it will cause all the smoke in the chamber to ignite very slowly.

“When we are in the chamber we sit on the ground below the elevated surface and because it is a controlled environment, it allows us to teach the students while in the chamber,” Salyer said. “In the chamber we teach the students a penciling technique, which is when we point the nozzle straight up to the ceiling releasing short bursts of water. This technique ultimately cools the fire, extinguishing it.”

The flashover chamber is an essential asset to Luke firefighters in saving lives.

“The flashover chamber is a vital tool because it enables us to create the conditions for flashovers in a safe, manageable manner,” Salyer said. “It also allows firefighters to quickly identify the warning signs, increasing their chances for survival.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Airman 1st Class James Hensley

Luke cuts ribbon on F-35 Academic Training Center

Airman 1st Class James Hensley Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, cuts the ceremonial ribbon Oct. 9 marking the completion of the academic training center building at Luke Air Force Base. The buildin...
 
 
Forino_J

U.S., Singapore partnership standout

Lt. Col. John Forino Aug. 9 marked the 49th anniversary of Singapore’s independence. The 425th Fighter Squadron is an operational squadron comprised of elite U.S. Air Force and Republic of Singapore air force personnel design...
 
 
shirts-graphicbw

‘Guts’ required to enforce standards

A few years ago, a fellow senior NCO requested I talk to her subordinate about her appearance, specifically pertaining to her hair. Naturally, I asked about what the issue was and why she couldn’t have a discussion with her o...
 

 
141008-F-HT977-008

Airmen get new ‘Community Commons’

Renovations on Bldg. 700, which houses the Health and Wellness Center, will take place April 2015 through spring 2016 at Luke Air Force Base. Subway and the barbershop will remain open during construction. Other amenities, such...
 
 

News Briefs October 17, 2014

Keep good mental health Calling all Airmen! Sleep disturbances such as insomnia and nightmares can affect people personally and professionally. Reaching out to a medical provider is a step in the right direction to good health. Courtesy of the 56th Medical Group Haunted house The 56th Mission Support Group is featuring Operation: Haunted Block House...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Jessica Behrens 56th Medical Support Squadron Pharmacist Hometown: Seneca, Missouri Years in service: Three Family: Husband, Chris; daughter, Katelyn, 2; son, Levi, 5 months Education: Bachelor’s degree from University of Arkansas and doctor of pharmacy from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska Previous assignments: Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida; Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Spring...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin