International Association of Wildland Fire

12th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit

Presented by the International Association of Wildland Fire

October 25 - 26, 2012

Sydney, Australia

Pre-Conference Training and Workshops - Monday, April 4th

View PDF Flyer

Morning Workshops

8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Bequi Livingston, USDA Forest Service
Fitness is defined as, "the body’s ability to perform physical activity without distress or injury". Although most people rarely engage in arduous physical activity as part of their daily jobs, wildland firefighters know that physical fitness plays an important role in our personal wellness and job performance. It’s been proven that by incorporating a balanced fitness program into our daily work life, we enhance our health and safety, while mitigating our risk of injury and illness and increasing our ability to do work safely. Fitness continues to be one of the most important components of a balanced wellness program. According to Dr. Brian Sharkey in his book, "Fitness and Work Capacity 2nd edition", "for prolonged arduous work, fitness is the most important determinant of work capacity (the ability to accomplish production goals without undue fatigue, and without becoming a hazard to oneself or coworkers)".

FireFit was created with the intent to provide the interagency wildland fire community with a comprehensive, easy-to-follow, fitness program with the ultimate goal of improving firefighter safety and health and reducing injuries. This unique program provides a basic format for a well balanced fitness program that can be augmented as local levels see fit. Program success will rely on management support at every level as well as individual’s motivation and participation.

FireFit incorporates three specific modules that address pre-season, fire-season, and postseason fitness.  Each module is unique as it provides a basic fitness program ‘framework’, specific for each season that will enable the wildland firefighter to develop a balanced and consistent fitness program while incorporating all the essential components of fitness. The modules can easily augment existing fitness programs to encourage consistency and safety and encourages year-round fitness, injury mitigation, and promotes wellness.

FireFit continues to lead the way when it comes to wildland firefighter fitness while addressing other issues including: mental fitness, team building, injury prevention, core stability and developing a mental checklist.

Fire Shelter Deployments and Lessons Learned
8:00 – 12:00 pm
Tony Pretrilli, Project Leader and Lisa Outka-Perkins, Sociologist,
Missoula Technology and Development Center

Human Factors in the Fire Organization and the Use of Personal Protective Equipment

A new DVD, "Fire Shelter Deployments: Lessons Learned," is currently being developed by the Missoula Technology and Development Center for training. In the first section of the DVD, "Fire Shelter Deployment Stories," 17 firefighters will share their experiences from 7 different fires. In the second section of the DVD, "Lessons Learned," firefighters discuss how they addressed similar problems with different solutions. During this session, selected portions of the DVD will be presented. The instructor will also explain how the DVD can be used by facilitators to help others learn from fire shelter deployments.

Free copies of the DVD will be sent to all participants in the course.

WindNinja: A Wind Model for Wildland Fire Management
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Kyle Shannon, Missoula Fire Sciences Lab, Missoula, MT

WindNinja is a computer program that computes spatially varying wind fields for wildland fire application. It was developed to quickly simulate (less than 1 minute) terrain effects on wind flow for time sensitive emergency response applications. It requires elevation data for the modeling area (in the form of an ASCII Raster DEM file, FARSITE landscape file, GeoTiff, or ERDAS Imagine file), a domain-mean initial wind speed and direction, and specification of the dominant vegetation in the area. A diurnal slope flow model can be optionally turned on or off. Outputs of the model are ASCII Raster grids of wind speed and direction (for use in spatial fire behavior models such as FARSITE and FlamMap), a GIS shapefile (for plotting wind vectors in GIS programs), and a .kmz file (for viewing in Google Earth). WindNinja is typically run on domain sizes up to 50 kilometers by 50 kilometers and at resolutions of around 100 meters. WindNinja can be downloaded from

Each participant will need to bring their own laptop computer.

Afternoon Workshops

Firefighter Cohesion and Entrapment Avoidance
1:00 - 5:00 pm
Lisa Outka-Perkins, M.A., Sociologist, Missoula Technology and Development Center
Focus: Human Factors in the Fire Organization

A training DVD, "Firefighter Cohesion and Entrapment Avoidance," is available for firefighters and leaders. Forty-nine experienced leaders of fire crews were interviewed by the Missoula Technology and
Development Center. During the interviews, leaders were asked to share a story about a cohesion problem they faced on a fire and to describe the commonsense work practices that resolved the problem.  During this course, selected portions of the DVD will be presented. The DVD has three sections: "Cohesion Among Firefighters," "Links to Entrapment Avoidance" and "Eight Common Cohesion Problems on Fires." We will discuss how to best use the DVD to increase firefighters’ awareness about the value of recognizing and resolving cohesion problems.

Free copies of the DVD will be available for all participants in the course.

Potential Exposures Facing Federal Wildland Firefighters: A Lesson on Liability Insurance
1:00 – 2:00 pm
Brenda Wilson, FEDS, Federal Employee Defense Services

Federal Employee Defense Services provides professional liability insurance to federal employees. This training focus on three potential legal liabilities of federal wildland firefighters: criminal, civil and administrative as well as the impacts of Public Law 107-203, public scrutiny and politically charged responses on these exposures. After explaining both voluntary and mandatory investigations conducted after a serious accident, fire fatality, burnover or entrapment, we will discuss the actions that may be taken against federal wildland firefighters. This training will also include the most common allegations of wrongdoing leading to disciplinary actions, the areas of civil law under which federal employees may be sued and/or found liable for damages, and an explanation of how the criminal investigations may proceed.

Open to Federal Employees only.

All Day Workshops

RT-130 "Annual Fire Refresher" class
8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Dick Mangan, BlackBull Wildfire Services

The "Annual Fire Refresher" class is required for all US wildland firefighters on a yearly basis. It covers a wide variety of safety topics for all those who work in the fire environment, including firefighters, overhead personnel, camp workers, bus drivers, equipment operators, etc. Special "emphasis areas" are identified, based on specific areas of safety concern that have surfaced in recent fire seasons, such as extreme fire behavior, falling snags or vehicle accidents on the fireground. Everyone must see the Fire Shelter video, and deploy the Practice Fire Shelter.

A Training Verification Card ("Yellow Card") will be issued at the completion of the training.