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Instructors

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Nozzle Forward

Lt. Aaron Fields, Seattle Fire Department

Aaron is a firefighter with the Seattle (WA) Fire Department.  Between his dad, brother, and himself, there is nearly always a Fields member on watch somewhere in the 5th battalion.  Aaron was named Seattle Firefighter of the Year in 2011 by his peers.

Aaron is also the recipient of the 2017 Fire Engineering/ International Society of Fire Service Instructors George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award.  Steve Pegram, president of the ISFSI, says about Fields: “Aaron was nominated by his peers for working to create a grassroots program to enhance and improve engine company operations. His “Nozzle Forward” approach has been widely accepted and continues to focus on its original mission of fine-tuning basic nozzle firefighting skills. Aaron shares his experience and unique approach to teaching at national fire events annually, at FDIC as a HOT instructor, and as a member of the UL Fire Attack panel. Aaron is a firefighter who has dedicated his life to being the best firefighter possible. His personal ethos guide him and his cadre of instructors with a common passion to teach and help firefighters across the country to be aggressive, but smart, firefighters.”

Aaron is the founder of the Nozzle Forward program, which has taught more than 30,000 students in nearly 50 states.  The Nozzle Forward program was developed to gain more mechanical advantage and “create a system rather than a grab bag of techniques.”  Nozzle Forward is a systematic study and methodology for hose line management, movement, and fire attack.  Nozzle Forward skills are adapted from many sources, reconstructed around simple principles that maximize mechanical advantage.  Nozzle Forward techniques have been adopted in full or part by fire service agencies across America.  The principles of hose line management taught in Nozzle Forward apply to every engine, every fire, and every firefighter.

Despite the popularity of Nozzle Forward training and larger class sizes, students will not stand around waiting to work.  Nozzle Forward is presented by a cadre of fire service experts working under Aaron, who keep every student learning and developing their skills throughout the days and into the evenings.

Nozzle Forward is a two-day course, plus.  Students must be prepared to train until 7:00 p.m. each day.  Students registering for this course must bring full structural PPEs.

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Rural Pump Operations

Capt. Jason VanDyken, Bellingham Fire Department

Jason followed in his Dad’s footsteps, becoming a cadet in 1998 and then a volunteer firefighter for Whatcom County Fire District #4.  After attending college, he became a career firefighter in 2006, ending up serving the Bellingham Fire Department.  Today, Jason is Captain of Engine #3, with the BFD.

Throughout Jason’s education, training, and service he has had a particular interest in pump operation.  He has taught pumping academies to most fire agencies in Whatcom County and further since 2015.  It is not uncommon to find Jason “fire-buffing” on larger scenes and being solicited to assist in complex fireground water supply operations.

Jason is married and the father of two children.  He and his family are active RVers and boaters.  He especially enjoys downhill mountain biking.

The Rural Pump Operations course will take you from basic pump operations to a new level of understanding water flow, troubleshooting, and getting the best performance from the pump for a rural fire response.  Students learn how to operate a fire pump from draft, tender operations, and relay pumping where water supply is limited.

Rural Pump Operations is presented in the classroom and in field operations.  Students will learn the principles of pump operations in the classroom.  There they will also use simulated pumping systems to test principles and expand understanding.  They will then transition into the field, practicing the taught and tested principles they have come to understand using engines, tenders, and portable tanks.

Students registering for Rural Pump Operation must bring with them full structural PPE.

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Initial Company Operations

Capt. Ian Bennet, Seattle Fire Department

Ian began in the fire service in 2006 when he joined the Seattle Fire Department. He is currently a Lieutenant on E28 in the Rainier Valley. Always striving to push his knowledge to the next level he spent over four years as a writer and editor for Seattle Fire’s Post Incident Analysis committee and worked for three years as an instructor at the Washington State Fire Academy.

After promotion to Lieutenant, Ian was selected to be a recruit instructor and taught there for two years. Every Seattle recruit class conducts live fire training in an acquired structure, and it was in preparation to become a recruit instructor that Ian became obsessed with acquired structure training.

Ian founded West Coast Fire Training after being asked by several outside agencies to assist with live fire training in acquired structures and realizing that there was a need to bring this specific skill set to fire service organizations without the resources to develop it on their own.

Initial Company Operations is a two-day course beginning in the classroom and quickly transitioning into the field with live-fire training.

During Day One, the instructor will cover the effectiveness of interior attack, transitional attack, locating the fire, and extinguishment philosophy.  Discussion will include UL studies in water mapping & interior attack and VES.  The afternoon will include life-fire training in advancing while flowing water, supporting the advance, searching behind the hose line, and VES.

During Day Two, students will participate in live fire operations including laying and charging a line, advancing on and extinguishing a fire and then searching back from the fire room.  Students will learn and gain skills in conducting a Vent-Enter-Search operation.

Students must meet the training requirements and provide structural PPE and SCBA described in WAC 296-305.  Students must be assigned firefighters with a public fire department, fire authority or fire district in the state of Washington.

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