THE BACKBONE OF STRUCTURAL FIREFIGHTING
HOT CLASS SPOTLIGHT
THE 1ST WHIP ENGINE COMPANY CADRE WILL BE COVERING SKILLS THAT MAKE UP THE BACKBONE OF STRUCTURAL FIREFIGHTING USING THE 1.75″ AND 2.5″ HANDLINES. THERE WILL BE AN EMPHASIS ON TEH PERPENDICULAR AND PARALLEL STRETCH, SPLITTING DOORS, WATER MAPPING, FLOWING AND MOVING, ON PLANE AND OFF PLANE HITS. THIS CLASS WILL PROVIDE THE STUDENTS WITH THE CONFIDENCE NEEDED TO BE EFFECTIVE IN THE PRESERVATION OF LIFE AND FIRE EXTINGUISHMENT. SO GOES THE FIRST LINE, SO GOES THE FIRE.
Engineer Max Schafer was a happy firefighter for many years delivering water via a 30 degree fog from an Adjustable GPM nozzle with a pistol grip yelling “Right to fight, Left for Life” as he made entry into the structure! That was until attending Dennis LeGear’s Hydrants to Nozzles class at HROC. That class, and the influence of individuals that have been leaders in the American Fire service and articles such as Tiny Drops of Water, Nozzle Dreams, Hose Dreams, Quantitative Approach to Selecting Nozzle Flow Rate and Stream, to mention a few, has led him down a path to a seismic shift in his approach to the application of water for structural firefighting. He has 31 years of experience in the fire service, 15 with a small municipal department and the following 16 with a medium sized county agency where he is an Engineer on Fighting Engine 12. He has taught with East Coast Fire Tactics, First Coast FOOL, Ancient City Fire Expo and is a part of his department’s Live Fire Instructor and their Engine Week Cadre for Recruit Firefighters. Nothing makes him happier than seeing a firefighter acquiring the skills to move a flowing line for fire attack, well almost nothing… “I am not here for me, I’m here for we, and we’re here for them.”
Heath Steen is a Battalion Chief with St. Johns County Fire Rescue. He started his career in the fire service with the St. Augustine Fire Department in 2003, transitioning to “The County” later that same year. Heath developed a passion for engine company work during his time as Captain at Station 12. While serving in that role, he had two drivers (Max Schafer & Pat Taaffe) who placed several articles on his desk that completely reformed his outlook on water application… articles written by Dennis LeGear, and Jason Vestal/Eric Bridge, and the late Andy Fredericks. This led to taking a deep dive on attending conferences and classes taught by Curt Isakson, Aaron Fields, Dennis LeGear, Brian Brush, Ray McCorrmack, Steve Robertson, Jay Bonnifield, Jonathan Brumley, and many more. Fueled by the knowledge and energy gained from the aforementioned, Heath and a cadre of engine company gurus helped spearhead a hose and nozzle study in St. Johns County that produced what we would state best reflects Brian Brush’s “exponential engine” concept. St. Johns County is now a smoothbore, flow and move department, and we are seeing fires being extinguished that we have not seen in the past. Although he basically only gets to watch firefighters work from the front yard at this point in his career, he takes great pride every time his guys open the line and dominate. Aside from engine work, he also loves search operations, specifically VES, ground ladder work, and vertical ventilation. And his family. He loves his family too.
Lieutenant Timothy Young is a second generation fireman who began his service to the job in 2002. He is currently a Lieutenant in the historic ward of West Augustine in St Johns County, which consistently tops out the annual run numbers for St Johns County Fire Rescue. He is an ambassador for the messages of the late Andrew Fredericks and other great innovative traditionalists of the fire service. Tim is the proprietor and content director for Higher Standards Fire Training, and has taught with Malta Fire Training, East Coast Fire Tactics and First Coast FOOLS. He has also delivered lectures at the North Central Florida Fire Conference and will be returning in 2022.
Fireman Josh Silva is a father of two teenagers and overall engine ops, hose, and nozzle nerd. Josh is currently assigned to E123, the busiest in the county. Josh is an instructor for his Department’s Training Division and oversees the suppression training block for the department. Josh is also an instructor for MV Fire Rescue on their First Line cadre and leads the hose deployment portion, teaching moving and flowing attack lines. Josh is just a Texan who is in love with the fire service and owes everything to it. Josh will always be a lifelong student to the fire service and tries to be better everyday.
Fireman Domonik Dominguez is a husband and father of two amazing kids. Domonik currently works for two career departments in Texas where he is assigned to the tailboard. Domonik has an unquenchable passion for all things that involve fire attack, fire behavior, and engine company operations. Domonik is heavily involved in training at both departments as well as teaching hose and nozzle fundamentals to other departments locally. He refers to himself as a hose monkey.