MLFT Frequently Asked Questions
NTFI's Mobile Live Fire Trainer (MLFT) is designed to provide a flexible and safe training environment. The following are some common questions that we receive.
If you have questions that aren't covered below, feel free to contact "Mitch Ward" <mitch at northtreefire dot com> - MLFT Manager - at (530)743-7530.
How do I order the Mobile Live Fire Trainer?
Order Mobile Live Fire Training online... or call us at 800-347-3688 to order training.
How hot does it get?
Our philosophy is to provide students with a hot fire environment that is equal to that found in a typical structure fire while at the same time maintaining safety as a high priority. Therefore, we limit our temperatures to a maximum of 550° Fahrenheit at the five-foot level, with maximum temperatures at the ceiling level of around 700° maximum. We have found that this provides students with significant heat while maintaining adequate safety margins.
Is it a true flashover?
It is more of a ceiling rollover with flames spreading wall to wall to a depth of one to two feet. A true flashover is not an environment that we want firefighters to be in but we want to teach them to recognize the signs so that they can reduce the chances of being caught in a flashover.
What is the MLFT burn room configuration?
There are two fire rooms on the main floor and one fire that is raised into place hydraulically to form a second floor. An "L" shaped corridor leads to the front room on the first floor that contains a "Hazmat" rack fire. The back room on the first floor contains a kitchen range top fire that is combined with a room rollover or flashover fire. The upper room contains a bed fire.
How many fire scenarios are there in the MLFT?
There are many options for fire scenarios within the MLFT. Entrance can be made to any of the first floor fire rooms from the entry corridor or through an exterior door to directly to each room from the outside. Entrance can also be made by placing a ladder the second story and entering through the second floor doorway. Fire rooms can be ignited individually, in sequence, or all at once.
Are we actually putting the fire out?
No, because there is a constant ignition system through a pilot light that is controlled by the instructor. Firefighters may dampen the flames, and if a good fire attack is taking place the instructor will shut the fire down. If the fire attack does not meet local standards, the instructor can continue to allow the fire to burn until correct procedures are accomplished.
Are you coming in to teach us how to fight fire?
No, we are here to provide a facility that will allow exposure to live fire conditions. We recognize that each department has its own protocols and that is why we use local instructors whenever possible. We do show the instructors what the MLFT can do and we have several scenarios that we have developed. We show the instructors how to use these scenarios and how to develop their own. As long as all scenarios are conducted safely, we will act as facilitators.
How many fires can we have in a day?
The number of fires depends on the skill level of the firefighters using the MLFT and the type of scenarios that are being used. Some of the scenarios take much more time than others do. However, the orientation scenario which is used to acquaint or reacquaint firefighters with live fire provides seven fires within a twenty minute period. Because we can re-ignite the fires instantaneously and no mop-up is required between burns, we can run many fires in a short period of time.
Are the fires so big that they may intimidate our newer people?
That is one of the great aspects of the control that we have over the fires. The fires in the Hazmat rack, Kitchen, and Bedroom all have two levels of fire. The first level or "low flame" is generally three to four feet above the base of the fire and the second level or "high flame" is rolling the ceiling. This allows us to run fires a "low flame" while students get comfortable with being in the fire room. As their comfort level builds, we can then take them into an environment with "high flame".
What happens if somebody panics while they are inside?
There are multiple safety systems build into the MLFT. The first is instructor control, in which the instructor inside the Mobile Live Fire Trainer must be activating the "deadman switch" in order for the fire to ignite. A second set of safety controls are the "emergency stop switches" located in each of the burn rooms that upon activation, purge the MLFT of all smoke and reduce temperatures to around 100°F within 60 seconds. A third safety control is that each room has a panic hardware equipped door that exits directly to the exterior. Additionally, system detectors will shut down and purge the MLFT if gas is detected above 25% of the lower LEL of propane, when temperatures rise above the prefixed settings, or if there is a mechanical failure.
What do I get when I order the Mobile Live Fire Trainer?
The MLFT requires a site space of 30 x 80 feet (preferably concrete or asphalt) plus an operating area large enough to position an engine, assemble firefighters, and for stretching hose lines. NorthTree Fire provides the MLFT, two operators, nontoxic smoke, and all the propane fuel needed for an eight-hour training day. The MLFT is also equipped with an onboard generator so that shoreline power is not necessary and exterior lights for nighttime operation. NorthTree Fire also includes the cost of transporting the MLFT to and from the job site. Order Mobile Live Fire Training online... or call us at 831-582-3400 to order training.
To view current Mobile Live Fire Trainer Schedule, click here.