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Massachusetts Maritime Academy - 4/C Firefighting Study Sheets STCW - 4/C Firefighting Study Sheets
Firefighting Study Sheets for 4/C FF Lecture





The purpose of this document is for the 4/C student to review the basic information regarding Basic Fire Training according to STCW.  IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE STUDENT REVIEWS THIS INFORMATION BEFORE THEIR SCHEDULED CLASS – AS NO FORMAL CLASSROOM TRAINING WILL BE TAKING PLACE!  Instructors from BCFRTA will be on hand to review the information and answer any questions.  THERE WILL BE A 20 QUESTION EXAM FOLLOWING THE REVIEW SESSION


 ·         Definition of fire:

Fire is defined as a Rapid Self-Sustaining Oxidation Process Accompanied By Heat & Light of Varying Intensities

 ·         Fire Triangle:

Three things are needed for fire to take place:

                FUEL      HEAT     OXYGEN

 ·         Fire Tetrahedron:

In addition to the fire triangle there is a newer version of the concept to incorporate deluxe materials:

                FUEL      HEAT     OXYGEN       CHEMICAL CHAIN REACTION

 ·         Fuel Sources:

VAPOR burns…only vapor!

For items to burn they have to be converted into vapor in 1 of the following ways:

                PYROLYSIS = Solid Matter

                VAPORIZATION = Liquids

                GASEOUS = Gas

 ·         Heat Energy:

Heat is generated in 4 different methods.  Without one or more of these methods heat will not be generated and therefore fire will not take place:

                CHEMICAL = Spontaneous Heating

ELECTRICAL = Resistance Heating / Current Leakage / Overload / Static Electricity

                                                MECHANICAL = Compression / Friction

                                                NUCLEAR = Chernobyl

·         Heat Transfer:

Heat moves throughout a space in 3 distinct ways.  Without these three methods, fire cannot spread from one point to another.  It is important to understand these methods of heat transfer, because it is the fundamental essence of fire suppression.

CONDUCTION = Point to Point Contact

CONVECTION = Heat Currents

RADIATION = Infrared Heat Waves

·         Stages of Fire:

Fire will go through 5 distinct stages during its “life”.  Each stage has its own influence on fuel sources as the fire grows and dies.  Knowing what each stage is and how it moves from one stage to another will determine both the successful fire suppression and survival of the firefighter.

                IGNTION (Incipient) = Small in size, easily extinguished

                GROWTH = Uses 3 methods of heat transfer to increase size of fire

                FLASHOVER = All fuel sources giving off vapor – cannot survive

                FULLY DEVELOPED (Free Burning) = Entire room on fire

                DECAY = Losing fuel sources – Still have 3 other parts of tetrahedron

                BACKDRAFT = Occurs when have 3 parts of tetrahedron (or two of triangle) and

                                                Introduce uncontrolled volume of air

 ·         Fire Prevention:

There are 3 basic needs for fire prevention.  It is up to the individual to be responsible for all 3 parts of fire prevention.




 ·         4 basic steps to do when there is a fire:

Confine the Fire if Possible

Sound the Alarm

Report the Fire or Smoke Condition & its Location

Attempt to Extinguish the Fire with Proper Fire Fighting Equipment of Available

 ·         SCBA

We wear SCBA’s (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) so we can penetrate deeper into an IDLH environment to perform whatever task is necessary safely.


SCBA’s have do not have an unlimited amount of air or unlimited amount of time they can be used.  You are limited by the volume of air in each cylinder.

·         IDLH environment:

A condition “that poses a threat of exposure to containments when that exposure is likely to cause death or immediate or delayed permanent adverse health effects or prevent escape from such an environment”

 ·         SCBA Limitations:

Physical Conditioning

Physical Features

Psychological Restrictions

 ·         Classes of Fire:

Fires are classified to their Prominent Fuel Source.

CLASS A – Ordinary Combustibles

CLASS B – Hydrocarbon Fuels

CLASS C – Energized Electrical

CLASS D – Burning Metals

CLASS K – Kitchen Oils and Greases (also referred as Class B)

 ·         Fire Extinguishers:

Each class of fire can be BEST extinguished with their respective fire extinguisher.

CLASS A – Pressurized Water Extinguisher

CLASS B – Dry Chemical

CLASS C – CO2 / Halon or other non-conducting agent

CLASS D – Dry Powder

CLASS K – Specialized emulsification agents

 ·         Extinguisher Use:

Check pressure in extinguisher

P – Pull the Pin

A – Aim at base of fire

S – Squeeze handle to discharge product

S – Sweep aggressively across base of fire until fire extinguished or extinguisher empty

Never turn back to fire when backing away.

last updated 2-11-14 by