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Marine Firefighter Training 1

Running Head: STANDARDIZED MARINE FIREFIGHTER TRAINING

STANDARDIZED FIREFIGHTER TRAINING FOR

THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT IN NEWPORT HARBOR

Paul D. Matheis

Newport Beach Fire Department, Newport Beach, California

Marine Firefighter Training 2

Certification Statement

I hereby certify that this constitutes my own product, that where the language of others is set

forth, quotation marks so indicate, and that appropriate credit is given where I have used the

language, ideas, expression, or writings of another.

Signed:

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Abstract

The problem was the Newport Beach Fire Department had not studied the delegation of

its marine firefighting responsibilities to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol.

Competencies and capabilities of marine firefighting had not been developed nationally since the

United States Coast Guard withdrew active mission support in the 1980s. A gap developed in the

standardization of marine firefighting in California due to a bifurcated marine firefighting

curriculum path. The commission on peace officer standards and training has accredited a marine

firefighting program that is inconsistent with California fire service standards of curriculum and

instruction. The California fire service is developing a marine firefighting standard based on

National Fire Protection Association 1005 and 1405 standards.

The purpose of this project was to identify necessary competencies for land-based

firefighters to operate safely in the marine environment. The modified Delphi method was used

to gather responses from twelve subject matter experts without collaborative bias. Questions

regarding minimum training for a land-based marine firefighter, competencies for firefighters in

a marine environment, instructional methodologies, instructor qualifications, and response time

standards in the marine environment were answered. Descriptive research and data analysis,

expert responses to a questionnaire, answered the research questions. Ninety two percent of the

experts agreed that to operate safely in the marine environment NFPA 1001 training is necessary.

Recurrent training on an annual basis was necessary for proficiency according to 67% of the

experts. Land-based firefighters should be trained on a tiered level for marine firefighting,

according to proximity and jurisdictional responsibility. Instructor standards should conform to

SFT standards. NFPA 1710 was appropriate for response in a marine environment.

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Table of Contents

Abstract …………………………………………………………………………………… 3

Table of Contents …………………………………………………………………………

4

Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………

5

Background and Significance ………………………………………………………………6

Literature Review ………………………………………………………………….………14

Procedure …………………………………………………………………………….…….25

Results ……………………………………………………………………………….……

30

Discussion ………………………………………………………………………………….35

Recommendations ………………………………………………………………………….39

References ………………………………………………………………………………….41

Appendixes

Appendix A ………………………………………………………………………………

44

Appendix B ………………………………………………………………………………

50

Appendix C ………………………………………………………………………………

55

Appendix D ………………………………………………………………………………

56

Appendix E …………………………………………………………………………………70

Appendix F …………………………………………………………………………………77

Appendix G ………………………………………………………………………………

78

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Standardized Firefighter Training in Newport Harbor, California

Introduction

The problem is the City of Newport Beach delegates marine firefighting responsibilities

to inadequately trained personnel of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (K. Sampson,

personal communication March 30, 1973; refer to Appendix A). Capabilities and competencies

related to marine firefighting have not been developed nationally since the United States Coast

Guard (USCG) withdrew active mission support from this discipline in the 1980s due to resource

realignment based on priorities (National Fire Protection Association [NFPA], 2010, p. 28;

Chatterton, 2001, p. 37). Responsibility for marine firefighting response in the United States

(US) varies based on location and can ultimately be under the authority of the USCG captain of

the port based on a threat to a US interest. However, absent a federal interest, in California, the

Emergency Services Act provides for the local jurisdiction to retain responsibility and authority

unless expressly abdicated to another authority via written agreement (Cal. Gov. Code § 8618).

State law mandates the local sheriff's department to provide rescue in the coastal waters

in California (Cal. Harb. & Nav. Code, § 510). Additionally, a number of lifeguard agencies are

deployed along the California coast to provide open water and surf-line rescue and, in some

instances, marine firefighting. In Newport Harbor and throughout southern California,

inadequately trained peace officers and lifeguards who staff fireboats are deployed, responding

to marine fire incidents, and performing duties for which they lack standardized firefighter

training (County of Orange, 2010, p. 40-41). This situation creates a vulnerability to the public

residing in the marine environment, resulting in an elevated level of risk for land-based and other

responding firefighters. The practice potentially exposes provider agencies to greater risk of

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liability for failing to abide by mandates established under state law delegating authority for the

training and education of fire service personnel (Cal. Health & Saf. Code § 13157(b)).

The purpose of this project is to identify the competencies necessary for a land-based

firefighter to operate safely in the marine environment. Descriptive research will be the

methodology used in formulating this Applied Research Project. The Modified Delphi approach

will be used in answering research questions. The Modified Delphi approach is selected for its

ability to establish a consensus among subject matter experts who approach a problem

independently and are shielded from collaborative bias. The questions are: (a) What is the

minimum training necessary for land-based firefighters operating in a marina, or harbor, or port

based on vessels found within the jurisdiction? (b) For a land-based firefighter operating in a

marine environment in a harbor, with vessels less than 100 tons, what minimum level of skills

and competencies would be required? (c) What qualifications, based on what standards, should

be the minimum threshold for instructor competency of marine firefighting? (d) Are there

acceptable or recognized state and federal response standards in the marine environment?

Background and Significance

The City of Newport Beach, California, was incorporated in 1906 and is home to nearly

87,000 people in a collection of affluent residential communities with large retail, hotel, and

office centers (City of Newport Beach, 2010.) The land area of the city is protected for fire,

emergency medical services, urban search & rescue, and hazardous materials response by the

Newport Beach Fire Department. The Newport Beach Fire Department (NBFD) is staffed daily

with 39 firefighters from eight fire stations strategically placed across the land mass. There are

eight engine companies, two truck companies, and three paramedic vans providing continual

service to the residents and visitors of the city. A battalion chief manages the daily operations of

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the field personnel on a rotating shift basis of 48 hours on-duty, 96 hours off-duty. The NBFD is

in Region I of the California master mutual aid region, within the Orange County operational

area, and maintains automatic aid agreements with all of the surrounding fire agencies.

In Newport Harbor (NH) there are over 9,000 registered boats in 1100 acres of water in

the largest small craft harbor on the west coast (City of Newport Beach, 2010.) Many of these

vessels serve as private yachts, fishing fleets, dinner cruise vessels, and shuttle service to

Catalina Island 26 miles from coastal of Orange County. The United States Coast Guard

(USCG), Newport Beach Fire Department (NBFD) lifeguard division, California State

lifeguards, and the Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol (OCSD-HP) each

maintain stations within Newport Harbor in various states of readiness for patrol and emergency

response.

The OCSD-HP is the only organization that deploys fireboats in any of Orange County’s

three harbors; Dana Point, Huntington, and Newport Harbor (County of Orange, 2010, p. 6). A

fireboat is defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as a vessel designed for

firefighting and staffed with trained firefighters (NFPA, 2010, p.28). The OCSD-HP provides

marine and residential firefighting to these three harbors in Orange County (County of Orange,

2010, p. 11).

Of the three harbors protected by the OCSD-HP, Newport Harbor is the only one within

the jurisdiction of the NBFD. It is the largest in terms of the number of vessels, and has

firefighting challenges that Dana Point and Huntington Harbor do not experience, as all docks in

those harbors are reachable by land. In NH not all vessels tied to a mooring are accessible by

land, as some of the 1200 city of Newport Beach owned moorings are beyond the reach of land-

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based fire apparatus. Bay Island, a private enclave of 20 residential dwellings, is not accessible to

land fire apparatus and can only be reached by the land-based firefighter via a foot bridge

(County of Orange, 2010, p. 6). Further, there are many commercial maritime ventures operating

in NH, such as the dinner cruise boats, commercial fishing fleets, and shuttle launch services that

operate from a shore side dock beyond the reach of land-based firefighters without the use of a

boat. The city of Newport Beach permits people to live aboard their private boats while in

Newport Harbor. Known as a “live-aboard,” the 30 documented marine residential dwellings in

NH represent floating condominiums that are not readily accessible to the land based firefighter

(County of Orange, 2010, p. 6). Response to a fire aboard a vessel would need to be timely, as

the flashover potential in the passenger cabin is higher than in a shore side home due to the high

synthetic fire loading (NFPA, 2010, p. 42).

The significance of a flashover is central to the reflex time for any fire department. NFPA

921 defines flashover as the transitional phase in the development of a compartment fire in

which surfaces exposed to thermal radiation reach its ignition temperature simultaneously and

fire spreads rapidly throughout the space resulting in total involvement of the compartment or

enclosed area. Any delay in the response of a fire department to a working fire in a structure,

whether shore side or in a vessel on the water, can increase the potential for flashover. Flashover

is the point in a fire that, for those caught inside the room or compartment space, is not

survivable (Poremba, 2009).

The proliferation of marine vessels in NH illustrate the need for a properly trained,

equipped, and staffed firefighting force able to perform in a marine environment and respond in

accordance with NFPA 1710 and the NBFD response time objectives policy, NBFD SOP

3.A.201 (2010) (see Appendix B).

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The fire suppression division of the NBFD does not deploy marine firefighting assets or

resources. The lifeguard division of the fire department deploys rescue boats, on a part time

basis, that are primarily designed and used for water rescue in the surf line, but these vessels do

not have an onboard fire pump or dewatering capabilities necessary for marine fire suppression

operations. This lack of an NBFD fireboat hinders the ability of land-based NBFD firefighters

from accessing any type of fire incident on the water, and away from shore, that is not accessible

by land. Because of this, the de-facto firefighters in the marine environment in NH are the deputy

sheriff II personnel of the Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol.

In a review of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol, commissioned by

the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2009, marine firefighting was cited as a primary

responsibility (County of Orange, 2010, p. 4, 42). These law enforcement professionals provide

essential public safety services in NH. However, inadequate firefighting training and education

results in an increased level of risk for the residents of the marine environment, responding

deputy sheriff/firefighters, and land-based firefighters when working together on a maritime

emergency incident (NFPA, 2006b, p. 22). The training that the deputy sheriff/firefighters

receive in firefighting is based on a curriculum not approved by a recognized fire service

organization and is delivered by instructors who do not meet National Fire Protection

Association (NFPA) 1041 (2007b), standard for fire service instructor professional

qualifications or Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) standards for fire service instruction

(Cal. Dept. of Boating & Waterways, n.d.). The lack of formal training in firefighting equal to

NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications, firefighter I, prescribed as a

prerequisite for marine firefighter I in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1005,

professional qualifications for marine firefighting for land based firefighters, results in an

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elevated level of risk for both the civilians in the marine environment as well as responding land-

based firefighters (NFPA, 2006a, p. 7).

In California, the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) retains responsibility for the

mitigation of an emergency under the Emergency Services Act unless otherwise expressly

provided (Cal. Gov. Code § 8618). Newport Harbor is granted in trust to the city of Newport

Beach and is operated by the city (County of Orange, 2010, p. 6). The organization charged to

provide fire suppression on land in Newport Beach is the NBFD. In the California Harbors and

Navigation Code, the local sheriff's department is mandated to provide aid and assistance to

vessels and persons stranded on the coastal waters of California (Cal. Harb. & Nav. Code, §

510). However, nothing in the law indicates the responsibility of the local sheriff to provide

firefighting services in these waters (County of Orange, 2010, p. A11).

This research is intended to foster a solid foundation for local fire and emergency

services for prevention, preparedness, and response in accordance with the United States Fire

Administration mission statement. This applied research project relates to the National Fire

Academy’s Executive Leadership primarily in the area of influencing (USFA, 2005, p. 11-1). It

also relates to the United States Fire Administration’s operational objective of improving the fire

and emergency services’ capability for response to and recovery from all hazards (National Fire

Academy [NFA], 2011). This work is consistent with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

(NFFF) life safety initiative number 5, develop and implement national standards for training,

qualifications, and certification (including regular certification) that are equally applicable to

all firefighters based on the duties they are expected to perform.

California has regulations adopting the federal Occupational Safety and Health

Administration regulations (OSHA). By law, the California regulations must be as stringent as

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federal law. California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal OSHA) derives its

power under the general duty clause of the California Labor Code (Cal. Lab. Code §

6401.7(a)(4)) to mandate that fire departments train all employees with specific instruction

regarding hazardous aspects of each job assignment that involves risk (Schoonover & Dowdle,

2007, p. 5).

Cal OSHA provides consultation and administrative enforcement of worker and work

place safety. Under the code an employer must take all necessary steps to protect the life and

health of a worker in a hazardous job duty (Schoonover & Dowdle, 2007, p. 5). Vessel

firefighting is especially dangerous, and has a number of combined hazards. Every vessel

response should be treated, at least initially, as a hazardous materials incident due to the

petrochemicals and combustibles found on board a vessel (NFPA, 2010, p. 1). Onboard many

vessels, there are a number of spaces that store goods and house operating equipment that would

meet the definition of a confined space (NFPA, 2006b, p. 8). Without the proper training in how

to access these spaces, the marine firefighter would face additional risk and potentially be in

violation of Cal OSHA regulations under the injury and illness prevention program (NFPA,

2006b, p. 13; 8 CCR, § 3203). This information illustrates the complex nature and inherent

dangers of firefighting in the marine environment, and serves to highlight the importance of

standardized training and education to ensure the safety of each firefighter.

The management and coordination of the California Fire Service Training and Education

Program, with policy guidance from the Statewide Training and Education Advisory Committee

(STEAC) and the State Board of Fire Services (SBFS), is the OSFM. The SBFS, a subset of the

OSFM, develops the technical and performance standards and accredits curriculum in the

training of fire service personnel (19 Cal. Codes Regs. § 1980.04). The OCSD-HP deputy

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sheriff/firefighters that staff fireboats in NH are trained by instructors using a curriculum

developed by California Department of Boating and Waterways that has not been vetted by the

SBFS and is not approved by the office of the State Fire Marshal. This 40 hour course is not

sufficient to prepare these deputy sheriff/firefighters for the unique and combined hazards

associated with structural firefighting on a vessel (see Appendix C). The standard training for

structural firefighting in California is established in a State Fire Marshal approved curriculum,

minimum of 320 hours, for California firefighter I that is based on a national standard (NFPA

1001).

In NH, the Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol has a staff of 16 deputies

and two sergeants, with a minimum staffing of at least two deputy sheriff/firefighters on-duty in

NH on a 24/7 basis, 365 days per year (County of Orange, 2010, p. 5, 20). This minimum

staffing is important, due to the Department of Labor two-in/two-out rule for respiratory

protection when operating in an immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) environment

(29 CFR 1910.134(g)(3)(iii); NFPA, 2006b, p. 9). OSHA has mandated that respirator wearing

workers who engage in interior structural firefighting operations, beyond the incipient stage,

work in teams of two or more (29 CFR 1910.134(g)(4)(i); NFPA, 2006b, p.24). If only two

deputy sheriff/firefighters happen to be on duty in NH, then interior attack on an IDLH fire at a

mooring or anchorage away from land will be challenging and potentially unsafe, resulting in an

increased level of risk for the public and the deputy sheriff/firefighters (R.F. Wingard, personal

communication, December 26, 1985; refer to Appendix D). A deviation from the two-in/two-out

standard may be made during a fire beyond the incipient stage for a known life rescue only.

However, this exception cannot become practice, and if it does then OSHA citations could be

authorized (29 CFR 1910.134(g)(4)(note 2); NFPA, 2006b, p. 24). Fire department training

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programs must ensure that firefighters understand and implement appropriate two-in/two-out

procedures (29 CFR 1910.134(c)).

The incidence of fire on a vessel in NH is historically low. Statistics show that in all three

Orange County harbors; Dana Point, Huntington, and Newport Harbor, the average number of

vessel fires from 2007-2009 is seven per year with a high of 14 in 2007 (County of Orange,

2010, p. 15). Because the OCSD-HP maintains a stand-alone public safety answering point

(PSAP) for all three Orange County harbor operations, the possibility exists that a vessel fire

could occur within Newport Beach jurisdiction and the NBFD may not have knowledge of the

event (County of Orange, 2010, p. 37). This could be problematic, as the AHJ may not learn of

the true extent of the fire problem within their jurisdiction in a timely fashion, creating a

potential delay in response, and measurement and budgeting challenges for the NBFD. The low

volume of fire incidents, combined with the inherent danger of structural firefighting, create a

high risk-low frequency event for firefighters that can lead to a situation where the first

responders have limited experience with a situation that is high in risk with little experience to

draw from, thus reducing the level of awareness (NFPA, 2006b, p. 37).

Structural firefighting is defined by the NFPA as the activities of rescue, fire suppression,

and property conservation in buildings and vessels (NFPA, 2006b, p. 9). The training programs

for structural firefighting should be designed to meet the requirements of NFPA 1001, standard

for firefighter professional qualifications (NFPA, 2006b, p. 13). To prepare the harbor patrol

deputy sheriff/firefighters for the job requirements when performing the duties of a firefighter,

the training program should be designed to address the job requirements (NFPA, 2006b, p. 13;

NFA, 2009, p. 2-3). The training and preparation of OCSD-HP deputy sheriff II personnel for

firefighting duties is normally done at the OCSD-HP office in Newport Beach (Orange County

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Sheriff-Coroner Department, n.d.) The instruction is delivered by the deputy assigned as the

training coordinator to teach the marine firefighting course (County of Orange, 2010, p. 18).

Literature Review

The proper preparation for a firefighter to engage in the act of fire suppression aboard a

vessel should consider the associated risk of the hazards in an IDLH environment (NFPA, 2006b,

p. 9; 8 Cal. Code Regs. § 4301(b)(5)). In marine environments, where structural firefighting can

include a number of unique hazards normally not found in shore side firefighting, such as limited

routes of egress, uneven footing, long and narrow passageways, ventilation and lighting

challenges demonstrate the need to have competent and technically trained firefighters (NFPA,

2010, p. 11; NFPA, 2006b, p. 13). The hazards found aboard a vessel can also include access

challenges, confined space and hazardous materials storage issues, and logistical and

communications challenges (Chatterton, 2001, p. 1). When responding to a maritime emergency

with multiple response agencies, many with differing structures and hierarchy, conflict can

result. Frequent meetings and drills can help to work these issues out under non-emergency

conditions (Laun & Stambaugh, 2008, p. 18).

There is no current standard in the state of California, or nationally, concerning marine

firefighting (Chatterton, 2001). However, the author is involved in a working group with Cal

Maritime and State Fire Training in the development of an instructional program in marine

firefighting. This program is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011. Information

developed in the workshops regarding available literature was used in the research.

The authority for qualification of instructors in firefighting is under the OSFM. The State

Board of Fire Services, an advisory board to the State Fire Marshal, develops technical and

performance standards for training of fire service personnel. The procedure for instructor

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qualification of fire service instructors is contained in the State Fire Training Procedures Manual

(19 Cal. Code Regs. § 1980.02). The language in the manual speaks to required experience and

oversight by qualified instructors and State Fire Training. California Health & Safety Code, §

13157(b), establishes the authority for the OSFM and State Fire Training in the establishment of

curriculum to be used in the fire service training and education program.

Research on training standards for respirator wearing employees while operating in an

IDLH environment, was investigated by the author. In 1971, the federal OSHA issued a standard

for employers to maintain a respiratory protection program for their employees who wear

respirators. This standard was revised and is known as the two-in/two-out rule, and requires a

minimum number of firefighters to be in on scene before entering an IDLH environment (OSHA,

1998). The purpose of this requirement is to ensure a method and practice of accountability and

communication to support the rapid rescue firefighters in the event of a firefighter emergency

while operating in an IDLH atmosphere. Fire department employers are required to train their

firefighters on this regulation and to ensure compliance.

A review of other work place regulations was initiated so as to understand the history of

firefighter work place safety. Cal OSHA regulations require that fire departments train all

employees to operate safely in hazardous job activities to state mandated or nationally

recognized standards (Schoonover & Dowdle, 2007, p. 5). California Code of Regulations, §

3203 requires an employer to establish an injury and illness prevention program. The

requirement is designed to ensure that both employers and employees have a method to identify

safe work place practices, communicate issues relative to work place safety, and monitor

compliance.

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The frequency of fires that a land-based firefighter might experience in a marine

environment is likely to be low. However, incidents in the marine environment are usually larger

in scale than those found on land (NFPA, 2010, p. 5; County of Orange, 2010, p. 15). This high

risk, low frequency event profile should impact the type and frequency of a training program

(NFPA, 2006b, p. 32). When designing the program, cognitive as well as psychomotor skills

testing and annual exercises are needed to prepare the firefighter (NFPA, 2006b, p. 13). All

firefighters must be trained to function properly in the role that they are assigned (NFA, 2011, p.

2-3). Organizations are generally considered to be legally responsible for harm that is a result of

their acts or omissions, and they are expected to act in a responsible manner that does not expose

individuals or the community to an unreasonable level of risk (U.S. Fire Administration, 1996).

Understanding how people learn is critical to the learning process. Bloom identified

three domains in his taxonomy of learning; cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. These

dimensions speak to the intellectual, emotional, and physical skills of the learning process and

should be considered when developing a lesson plan (Clark, 2004). The daily, monthly, and

yearly training objectives of a fire department can quickly fill the training calendar. Prioritization

of needs, with annual testing on various competencies, firefighter training should be designed

with an emphasis on the development, implementation, and maintenance of fire department

training programs (International City/County Management Association [ICMA], n.d.).

An understanding of the dangers inherent in marine firefighting should include

knowledge of the consequences of the failure to provide a standard of training equal to that

provided by the department on the land-based portions of the response area (NFPA, 2010, p. 49).

The instruction and training necessary to properly prepare a land-based firefighter for the hazards

in the marine firefighting environment should consider the unique challenges of the job

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(Schoonover & Dowdle, 2007). Local fire departments generally respond to what can be handled

with relatively few resources (Laun & Stambaugh, 2008, p. 18). When initiating a firefighting

effort aboard a ship or vessel, a robust logistical support system to begin and maintain

firefighting operations through to extinguishment is required (NFPA, 2010, p. 16; Chatterton,

2001, p. 3).

Ships that enter a port may be registered to countries from anywhere in the world.

Because of this, there may be language barriers with the crew and varying levels of firefighting

skill (NFPA, 2010, p. 16; Shelley, 2002). Port and maritime operations occur within a unique and

complex hierarchy and are impacted and managed by overlapping layers of local, state, national

and international conventions, treaties, laws and regulations. Admiralty law, safety of life at sea

(SOLAS) agreements, and the international maritime organization (IMO) all influence the rules

of the high seas. The captain, or master of the ship on a merchant vessel, is ultimately

responsible for all that happens to the ship, however, the USCG captain of the port has authority

over all vessels in the harbor (NFPA, 2010, p. 9, 16). Each of these issues illustrate how

important it will be to unify command with the USCG, the captain of the ship, and the chief

engineer when engaging in firefighting operations, as cooperation is key to emergency

preparedness and response (Laun & Stambaugh, 2008, p. 11; NFPA, 2010, p. 16).

Marine vessel fires represent one of the greatest challenges that a structural firefighter

can face (NFPA, 2010, p. 1). The training for a land-based firefighter to operate safely aboard a

vessel should include special knowledge of marine firefighting, confined space rescue, technical

rescue, and hazardous electrical control (NFPA, 2006b, p. 15). Knowledge of a vessel's

communication system is central to effective coordination of operations personnel during an

emergency, as the structure on most vessels can create communication difficulties for firefighters

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(NFPA, 2010, p. 35; International Conference of Building Officials [ICBO], 1998, p. 405).

Currently, there is no national standard in the United States or Canada for the job performance

requirements or training of land-based firefighters who respond to ship board fires. Due to the

potential magnitude of a shipboard fire, and the life safety hazard, special training is dictated

(Chatterton, 2001, p. 287). Unlike other technical jobs of the land-based firefighter there is little

information available regarding the management of a fire aboard a vessel (NFPA, 2010, p. 5).

Local government fire departments and private agencies provide training to department

personnel internally or by contract. The Seattle Fire Department certifies their firefighters to up

to level II marine firefighter technician. This is based on NFPA 1005, professional qualifications

for marine firefighting for land-based firefighters, and 1405, guide for land-based firefighters

who respond to marine vessel fires, standards (City of Seattle Fire Department, 2008, p. 4). The

Oregon Department of Public Safety and the State of Texas Commission on Fire Protection

provide training for firefighters in marine firefighting based on NFPA 1005. The Los Angeles

City Fire Department is currently developing a marine firefighting training program based on

NFPA 1005 and 1405 (B. McElroy, personal communication, January 5, 2011). In a private

delivery, the Tri-state Maritime Safety Association provides marine firefighter training based on

NFPA 1005 and is consistent with NFPA 1405 (Tri-state Maritime Safety Association, n.d., p. 1;

see Appendix F). The USCG does not approve training courses in marine firefighting for the land

based firefighter. This may challenge the notion that a curriculum in marine firefighting

approved by the USCG is sufficient for land based firefighters (NFPA, 2010). The instructor

qualifications for OSFM approved courses are developed and approved by the State Board of

Fire Services (19 Cal. Code Regs. § 1980.02(2)).

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Significant information is available regarding the history and status of harbor patrol

operations from a study, Review of Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department Harbor Patrol,

commissioned by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and published by the Office of the

Performance Audit Director in November, 2010. This is the 17 th review of harbor patrol

operations and the report contains significant detail on the history, staffing, cost and services

provided by the OCSD-HP. The current training of the Orange County Sheriff’s deputies who

work at the harbor patrol to perform their duties as firefighters is based on a curriculum

developed by the California Department of Boating and Waterways (R. Williams, personnel

communication, November 5, 2010). This curriculum is USCG approved and is certified by the

Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), an oversight organization for law

enforcement training (Cal. Dept. of Boating & Waterways, n.d.).

The sheriff’s deputies who are assigned to the harbor patrol receive 480 hours of

mandatory training, some of which is devoted to marine firefighting, a primary responsibility of

the OCSD-HP deputies (County of Orange, 2010, p. 4). The training provided to the deputies is

by the assigned training coordinator at the harbor patrol with oversight by the assistant harbor

master (County of Orange, 2010, p. 18). Instructor qualifications for the instruction of fire

service personnel in California can be found in the State Fire Training Procedures Manual which

speaks to instructor training, mentoring, oversight, and experience (19 Cal. Code Regs. §

1990.00).

The County of Orange signed agreements with Newport Beach in 1973, and Huntington

Beach in 1985 regarding operations in Newport Harbor and Huntington Harbor, respectively.

These agreements stipulate that the County Harbor Patrol, the OCSD-HP, will be responsible for

firefighting on the water in both harbors (see Appendixes A and D). The Huntington Beach

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agreements goes further, specifying that the Harbor Patrol will provide one, and preferably two

fully trained firefighters to all water oriented boat or structure fires. The Huntington Beach

agreement further states that the City shall provide firefighting training to all assigned fire boat

personnel (see Appendix D). Dana Point Harbor is granted in trust to Orange County and is

served for land-based fire protection by the Orange County Fire Authority. All of the 2400 slips

and docks in Dana Point are accessible by land (County of Orange, 2010, p. 6).

A review of the AHJ for the waters within NH and the surrounding area was necessary to

establish jurisdictional responsibility and authority to provide fire protection services. Newport

Beach has primary responsibility to provide fire protection and emergency management within

the 1100 acres of NH and three nautical miles off of its coastline (Cal. Gov. Code § 41601; Cal.

Gov. Code § 8618). Water rescue within NH is the responsibility of the NBFD, while the Orange

County Sheriff’s Department is required by statute to provide aid and assistance to persons

stranded on the coastal waters of Orange County and does so via the OCSD-HP (Cal. Harb. and

Nav. Code § 510).

California Department of Boating and Waterways curriculum is used to provide

firefighting training to the deputy sheriff II personnel who work in harbor patrol operations.

While the curriculum is certified by the commission on peace officer standards and training

(POST), it is not a curriculum that has been vetted or accredited by the State Board of Fire

Services of the California Office of the State Fire Marshal. To meet the minimum requirements

for a California firefighter I certification, a student must complete a 320 hour state certified fire

academy (D. Childress, personal communication, Nov. 15, 2010). In California, § 13157(b) of

the Cal. Health and Safety Code, the authority for the fire service training and education

programs is vested with the office of the State Fire Marshal, under State Fire Training. The

Marine Firefighter Training 21

practice of training deputy sheriff II personnel with a firefighting curriculum that was not

developed within the framework of State Fire Training, and is not based on fire service national

standards, a situation could develop that may lead to a higher level of risk for the public and the

land-based firefighters operating on a marine emergency incident.

The proper training of firefighters is important for many reasons. The management of risk

and safety of the public is a primary reason for the existence of a fire service. Standardized

training for all firefighters who operate in an IDLH atmosphere, whether shore side or in a

marine environment is important for the safety of the responding firefighters and the public they

serve. For land-based NBFD firefighters, when working on an incident alongside OCSD-HP

deputy sheriff II personnel functioning as firefighters on a fireboat, it is essential that

standardized training is verified to provide a common expectation of performance between all

operations personnel during emergency conditions. The proper training of all personnel engaged

in firefighting activities, by the adoption of recognized standards and practices with oversight by

qualified instructors, is essential for safe fire ground operations.

Much of the legislation that has been adopted regarding worker safety has been as a

result of workplace injury and death (Schoonover & Dowdle, 2007). State and federal

regulations often mandate specific safety training for hazardous job tasks. The General Duty

Clause of the California Labor Code is frequently leveraged to require the most training. State

and national training standards can be found for many job functions, but firefighting on a vessel

in a marine environment has inherent and unique operational situations that often combine

multiple hazards (NFPA, 2010, p. 5). The effective management of risk requires training on

emergency situations that are seldom seen, and therefore unfamiliar to the first responder.

Periodic training on high-risk/low frequency events will develop the recognition primed decision

Marine Firefighter Training 22

making (RPDM) skills so that the situational awareness of the firefighters is maximized. The

high risk events that are low in frequency, such as marine firefighting operations, require

recurrent training to develop rapid primed decision making skills associated with a successful

outcome (NFPA, 2006b, p. 32). The unique and challenging nature of marine firefighting

operations where the vessel may be floating away from shore indicates the need to focus training

personnel for maximum safety and effectiveness (Chatterton, 2001). Regular drills and exercises

help to ensure understanding among leaders who will take charge during an incident, and to help

familiarize operations personnel with each other’s practices (Laun & Stambaugh, 2008, p. 22).

Laws relating to the job requirements of a firefighter working in a marine environment

articulate a number of worker regulations that focus on the job duties, and not the discipline

under which a worker is employed. The deputy sheriff II personnel in the Harbor Patrol perform

many duties in a multi-mission operation. However, when they are working on a fireboat and

responding on vessel fires, deputy sheriff personnel are performing the duties of a firefighter.

According to a 2010 report on the Orange County Harbor Patrol, a primary duty of the OCSD-

HP deputy sheriff II is marine firefighting (County of Orange, 2010, p. 4). Title 8 of the

California Code of Regulations, § 3401(b)(5) states that “firefighters shall be trained in the

appropriate techniques and provided with the necessary protective equipment.” The requirements

regarding instructor qualifications are not specific in each code for all curriculum (Schoonover &

Dowdle, 2007; (8 Cal. Code Regs § 3401(b)(5)). For fire service training, the authority for the

development of technical and performance standards is the State Fire Training Division of the

OSFM (Cal. Health & Saf. Code § 13157(b). Instructor qualifications are contained in the SFT

procedures manual (19 Cal. Code Regs. § 1990.00). Certified training standards in California

Marine Firefighter Training 23

meet or exceed national standards (Office of the State Fire Marshal, 2011). Other national

standards exist, including voluntary standards and guidelines adopted by the NFPA.

Following a complaint, or notification of an on-the-job serious injury or fatality, Cal

OSHA inspectors may conduct an investigation. Organized training records, while important,

will not exonerate an organization or individuals of liability for gross negligence. Complete and

organized training records may help to limit the liability of an employer by demonstrating that an

employee did receive training in how to safely perform all aspects of their job. When Cal OSHA

reviews training records the investigator will look at course content, dates of training, hours of

training, and the instructor and method. In addition, proof of attendance and an evaluation or

quiz to demonstrate student competency (19 Cal. Code Regs. § 1990.02(b)).

The California Labor Code contains language that speaks to the broad based requirement

that every employer shall provide a place of employment that is safe and healthful for the

employees therein (Cal. Lab. Code §6400). This section has become known as the General Duty

Clause and serves as the basis for OSHA regulations. Employers are required to establish,

implement, and maintain an effective injury and illness prevention program and safety training

program designed to instruct employees in general safe and healthy work practices and to

provide specific instruction with respect to hazards related to an employee’s job assignment (Cal.

Lab. Code §6401.7(a)(4)). This section speaks to the requirement that an employee receives

training for any job or task that is potentially hazardous.

The California Code of Regulations, General Industry Safety Orders, speak to work place

safety (8 Cal. Code Regs. § 3203). This section requires employers to establish, implement and

maintain an Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP). One component of the program speaks

to the requirement for training and instruction of employees. The employer is required to provide

Marine Firefighter Training 24

this when the program is first established, to new employees, and to employees given new job

assignments for which training has not previously been received. The information in these

requirements is that a fire department has the responsibility for the training of operations

personnel on all job duties that are hazardous or involve risk (Schoonover & Dowdle, 2007).

The California Labor Code provides for civil and criminal penalties for violations. These

can be severe, including fines, and potentially prison time. These penalties can apply to any

employer or employee having direction, management, or control of any other employee. No

immunity for governmental agencies or employees is stipulated in the amendment, causing some

jurisdictions to interpret this to mean anyone in the chain-of-command above an employee who

gets injured or killed on the job can be held liable.

In the absence of specific regulations regarding training standards, Cal OSHA

investigators look to recognized national standards in determining whether an employee was

properly trained. In California, that could mean referencing any number of state or national

standards, including California State Fire Marshal certifications, California Fire Service Training

and Education Program classes, California 310-1 certifications, National Wildfire Coordinating

Group 310-1 certification system, NFPA Standards; and National Fire Academy, National

Registry EMT, National Association of Professional Drivers, Maryland Fire and Rescue

Institute, International Society of Fire Service Instructors (Schoonover & Dowdle, 2007).

This project was influenced by several discoveries. The lack of a marine firefighting

training program in California has left provider agencies with few local programs in marine

firefighting. Due to several very large ports and a number of smaller marinas along the coastline

of California, the need for a standardized marine firefighting training program is clearly

demonstrated. The large container ports in Los Angeles/Long Beach and San Francisco/Oakland,

Marine Firefighter Training 25

and the large naval and recreational vessel presence in San Diego certainly illustrate the need for

a standardized plan, not only for the AHJ, but for the mutual aid resources that would be called

to respond in support of the mitigation efforts. Many of the smaller harbors are provided with

fire protection by non-fire service disciplines, and utilize a marine firefighting training program

that is not standardized and does not meet NFPA 1005 and NFPA 1405 standards (County of

Orange, 2010, p. A12). These discoveries provide support for the current OSFM effort with Cal

Maritime in the development of a standardized marine firefighting training program based on an

American National Standard, such as in NFPA 1005 and NFPA 1405 (J. Ostrander, personal

communication, January 10, 2011). The fire protection commitments made by the County of

Orange with Newport Beach and Huntington Beach are significant, and the training standards for

firefighting, and specifically marine firefighting have changed substantially since these

documents were signed in 1973 and 1985, respectively (see Appendixes A and D). In the

language of the agreement there is a commitment by the City of Huntington Beach to provide

firefighter training for all assigned fire boat personnel. However, this training opportunity has yet

to be realized (County of Orange, 2010, p. 34).

Procedures

The procedures for this research began with a visit to the learning resource center (LRC)

at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. Due to the limited literature available, I was

found little success while on site. However, during an on-line search of the LRC database I did

discover previous research information that helped to support the research. I then began a review

of the current situation regarding the training of personnel for marine firefighting in Newport

Harbor. The author contacted the OCSD-HP and requested copies of their training program for

marine firefighting and, via a public records act request, received the training information

Marine Firefighter Training 26

regarding marine firefighting in addition to the contractual agreement with the City of

Huntington Beach for harbor operations in Huntington Harbor. I compared the training hours for

the fireboat personnel with the 320 minimum of a California state certified fire academy.

The harbor patrol plan details the scope of firefighter training and instructional method in

the OCSD-HP division. An agreement to provide firefighter training from all fireboat personnel

by the Huntington Beach Fire Department exists but has yet to be formally adopted into the

training plan. Currently in Orange County and specifically, in NH, the only staffed fireboats are

with deputy sheriff II personnel of the OCSD-HP. The deputy sheriff II is trained in marine

firefighting upon assignment to the harbor patrol division as one component of a 480 training

program (County of Orange, 2010, p. 4). The firefighting training received is not commensurate

with State Fire Training standards for NFPA 1001 firefighter-I and delivered by personnel

without training, education and experience as a land-based firefighter. The training calendar of

the NBFD and the OCSD-HP indicates they do not have a combined training program in marine

firefighting, and do not currently conduct combined multi-company exercises in firefighting

practices. The NBFD began a partnership with a local community college, Orange Coast

College, in 2008 in the delivery of marine firefighting instruction. This training was to satisfy the

firefighting component for a professional mariner certification for college students, based on

IMO standards.

The author reviewed the available literature on marine firefighting so as to develop an

understanding of the possibilities for marine firefighter training. The OCSD-HP marine

firefighting program that I received was not formatted as a lesson plan and did not have

instructor notes (see Appendix E). This training information details the scope of firefighter

training and instructional method in the OCSD-HP division. NFPA 1005, professional

Marine Firefighter Training 27

qualifications for marine firefighting for land-based firefighters, establishes that training to

marine firefighter-I will qualify the firefighter to operate in the vicinity of a vessel incident,

while training to marine firefighter-II qualifies the firefighter to function on board a vessel

involved in an incident (NFPA, 2006a, p. 6). This is valuable, as it establishes the industry

training standard for firefighters that operate near a vessel incident, and those who operate on the

vessel involved in fire. The standard illustrates that significant firefighter training is required in

this standard for any firefighter to fight fire on a vessel fire including, NFPA 1001, and NFPA

1005 marine firefighter I and marine firefighter II. In California, the language used for the

different tiers of instruction and skill are awareness, operational, technician, and specialist.

Because California is in the development stages of a marine firefighting program, it remains to

be seen how the final training coursework will mesh with the NFPA 1005 standard.

Due to the amount of training needed to be proficient, and the low volume of emergency

incidents, it becomes apparent that training all firefighters to a high level will be impractical. To

devote the time to deliver the instruction required to qualify a firefighter as NFPA 1005 marine

firefighter II will require a great deal of time and money. When this is juxtaposed with the low

incident volume and the recurrent training needed to maintain firefighter proficiency, it becomes

wise to consider a tiered approach to the marine firefighter training.

I consulted with Dr. Richard Resurreccion, Long Beach State University, retired, on the

approach to this study. Dr. Resurreccion suggested the modified Delphi method approach

because of the ability to gather feedback from a panel of experts on a subject, shielded from

collaborative bias, with the use of a questionnaire. The author identified the subject matter

experts through personal knowledge and via business contacts as a training chief and member of

the Southern California Training Officers Association. Contacts from marine firefighting

Marine Firefighter Training 28

workshops held by Cal Maritime and State Fire Training identified fire service industry experts

helpful to the research. Experts from the fire service who had experience as a practitioner of

marine firefighting, experience in education and instruction, or as experienced fire service

personnel who were experienced instructors.

Twelve qualified experts were given two questionnaires to answer the following

questions (see Appendix G); a) What do you believe should be the minimum training of a land

based firefighter to operate safely in the marine environment? b) How often should recurrent

training be conducted so as to adequately maintain proficiency for a land based firefighter who

could respond to a marine vessel fire? c) What groups of firefighters should be included in this

training? Marine firefighters who staff a fireboat, land based firefighters who respond to marine

fires, mutual and automatic aid resources who might respond to a marine vessel fire on greater

alarms or as a special request, non-firefighters who staff fireboats? d) What types of training

should be conducted, classroom instruction that develops understanding of marine vessel fire

challenges, field exercises that build tactical skills necessary in the marine environment, on-line

deliveries that promote awareness only? e) What competencies and minimum level of training do

you believe should be required for vessels less than one hundred tons? f) What standards do you

know of that should qualify an instructor to teach California fire service curriculum in marine

firefighting? g) Do you know of any acceptable or recognized state or federal standards relative

to response times in the marine environment?

After receiving answers from the experts on these questions the author narrowed the

questions to the following questions to be answered yes, no or other. This simplification was

because the answers from the initial questionnaire were very close and to narrow the respondents

final; a) The minimum training for a land based firefighter to operate safely in the marine

Marine Firefighter Training 29

environment should include NFPA 1001 firefighter 1 in addition to marine firefighter training

based on NFPA 1005 and NFPA 1405 relating to marine firefighting? b) Recurrent training for

land based firefighters who respond to fires in a marine environment should be conducted on an

annual basis? c) All land based firefighters, regardless of primary discipline, should receive the

same level of firefighter training for response to fires in the marine environment? d) The type of

training for land based firefighters who respond to fires in a marine environment should include

classroom and field exercises (cognitive & psychomotor) e) The competencies for a land based

firefighter operating in a marine environment should be linked to the level of jurisdictional

responsibility and the expected job function that they [firefighter] would be expected to perform

in a vessel in a marine environment? f) The qualification to teach land based firefighters

coursework in marine firefighting should be in accordance with the California state board of fire

services and state fire training? g) NFPA 1710 is an acceptable standard for response time in a

marine environment within a local jurisdiction? Feedback from the twelve panel experts was

gathered and analyzed. The responses were compared with the information learned from the

literature review regarding standards and available training opportunities.

Limitations

The limitations to a study of this type include the size of the population panel experts, the

knowledge of the experts, and the influence of the author while monitoring the responses. The

influence of the author on the responses may influence the feedback to the respondents as he

worked with the NBFD for 30 years and interacted with the OCSD-HP during that time. The

inherent, but unintentional bias is a challenge that the author continuously battled in an effort to

produce a project that was accurate and reliable. While the members of the OCSD-HP were

helpful, this research had the potential to impact their operation. Because the harbor patrol in NH

Marine Firefighter Training 30

has experienced 17 reviews on their operations since the 1955 it is possible that feedback could

be biased (County of Orange, 2010, p. 1).

Results

A review of the current situation regarding marine fire protection for Newport Harbor,

California indicates that while the city of Newport Beach is responsible and authorized to

provide fire protection on the water in the harbor, they contractually delegate this to the County

of Orange (see Appendix A). This assignment has been given to the Orange County Sheriff’s

Department Harbor Patrol. The problem is that the deputy sheriff/firefighters have inadequate

training to operate safely in a marine firefighting environment, and when working alongside

land-based firefighters. Question 1) The minimum training for a land-based firefighter to operate

safely in a marine environment should include National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

firefighter I in addition to marine firefighter training based on NFPA 1005 and 1405 relating to

marine firefighting. This was the opinion of the experts, where 92% agreed that the minimum

training for a land-based firefighter to operate safely in a marine environment should be NFPA

1001, in addition to NFPA 1005 and 1405.

National Fire Protection Association 1001 is the industry standard in instruction for

professional firefighter qualifications and basic training. National Fire Protection Association

1005 stipulates NFPA 1001 firefighter-II as the prerequisite for marine firefighter I & II

certification, leveraging the knowledge learned from basic firefighter training to focus the

specialized instruction on the technical specifics of marine firefighting (NFPA 1005, 2006a, p.

7). To be a safe and successful firefighter in the marine environment a student would need to

have the foundation of NFPA 1001, or equivalent, according to the panel experts in the

responses. The deputy sheriff II personnel in Newport Harbor do not have firefighter training

Marine Firefighter Training 31

equivalent to NFPA 1001 as illustrated in the OCSD-HP operations procedure manual (see

Appendix E).

Recurrent training is important for skills proficiency, and this is especially true when

engaging in a high risk, low frequency event such as a vessel fire in the marine environment. The

value of recurrent training is realized in the maintenance of recognition primed decision skills

that provide the first responder with an increased level of situational awareness. Question 2)

Recurrent training for land-based firefighters who respond to fires in a marine environment

should be conducted on an annual basis. In the responses of the experts, 67% agreed that

recurrent training, on an annual basis, was needed for the marine firefighter. Three respondents

stated the training should be more often, and one stated it could be less often.

The commitment of training all firefighters to operate safely in the marine environment

would be time consuming for the preparation and delivery of the instruction. This could prove to

be problematic for a fire department training calendar. Question 3) All land-based firefighters,

regardless of primary discipline, should receive the same level of firefighter training for response

to fires in a marine environment. Fifty percent of the respondents agreed that all firefighters

would not need to be trained in marine firefighting, and 25% agreed that some level of training is

necessary. The responses noted that a tiered approach, with firefighters working in a jurisdiction

with maritime responsibility, or those near the water receiving more in-depth training.

Training for land-based firefighters who respond to fires in a marine environment should

include classroom and field exercises. Question 4) The type of training for land-based

firefighters who respond to fires in a marine environment should include classroom and field

exercises (cognitive and psychomotor). Question 1) The minimum training for a land-based

firefighter to operate safely in a marine environment should include National Fire Protection

Marine Firefighter Training 32

Association (NFPA) firefighter I in addition to marine firefighter training based on NFPA 1005

and 1405 relating to marine firefighting. This belief was supported by 100% of the respondents.

One expert noted that on-line refresher courses should be used to support learning and

proficiency. Benjamin Bloom classified learning objectives within education as proposed in 1956

by a committee of educators. Bloom's Taxonomy divides educational objectives into three

domains, or categories. Within the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains, learning at

the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower

levels. The respondents agreed that cognitive and psychomotor skills testing would be most

effective in marine firefighting training and instruction.

In NFPA 1005, professional qualifications for marine firefighting for land-based fire

fighters, the classification for certification of a firefighter in the marine environment is marine

firefighter I and marine firefighter II. The prerequisite for marine firefighter certification is

NFPA 1001, standard for firefighter professional qualifications. Question 5) The competencies

for a land-based firefighter operating in a marine environment should be linked to the level of

jurisdictional responsibility and the expected job that they [firefighter] would be expected to

perform on a vessel fire in a marine environment. The respondents were in 100% agreement that

the competencies for a land-based firefighter, operating in a marine environment, should be

linked to the level of jurisdictional responsibility.

The fire service training and education system is regulated by the Office of the State Fire

Marshal. Within these regulations are the stipulations regarding instructor qualifications

contained within the State Fire Training Procedures Manual. And, while an agency may elect not

to adhere to the OSFM training and education program, there are Labor Code and other safety

regulations that speak to the industry standard for the health and safety of the employee.

Marine Firefighter Training 33

Question 6) The qualification to teach land-based firefighters course work in marine firefighting

should be in accordance with the California State Board of Fire Services and State Fire Training.

Sixty seven percent (67%) of the experts agreed that an instructional program using instructors

registered with SFT was necessary.

The response time for a fire department becomes less clear when speaking about a marine

environment. Currently, the NBFD policy on response time does not speak to a water emergency

away from the shore side. In practice, the NBFD currently reports the arrival time when the land-

based units reach a dock where they board a vessel. The travel time from the dock to an off-shore

emergency is not measured. Question 7) NFPA 1710 is an acceptable standard for response time

in a marine environment within a local jurisdiction. Sixty seven percent (67%) of the respondents

agreed that NBPA 1710 would be a proper measurement for responses on the water. However,

twenty five percent (25%) disagreed, and noted that with a vessel underway it would be difficult

to match a standard that was designed for roads with street signs.

Cal OSHA, the state agency that regulates worker and work place safety, derives its

power from state laws designed to provide some level of safety for all job requirements. Many of

these laws give Cal OSHA the authority to fine employers for violations. The information

discovered in a work place inspection by a Cal OSHA investigator can be used in civil

proceedings for wrongful injury or death, and criminal penalties can be levied on employers and

supervisors for gross negligence. Providing standardized training and instruction to employees

for job duties is an important objective of these regulations, and national and industry standards

are useful in the design of a safety training program (Schoonover & Dowdle, 2007).

Fire service instruction and training is managed and controlled by the OSFM. The State

Board of Fire Services, an advisory board to the OSFM, and the 17 members of the SBFS

Marine Firefighter Training 34

address issues in the development of technical and performance standards for training of fire

service personnel (19 Cal. Code Regs. § 1980.04).

The OCSD-HP deputy sheriff/firefighters do not have the foundation of the basic NFPA

1001 firefighter training. They do receive training in marine firefighting when they transfer into

the harbor division that is one component of the overall 480 hour program (County of Orange,

2010, p. 4). This marine firefighting training is using a curriculum developed by the California

Department of Boating & Waterways that has not been vetted by the SBFS. The instructors for

this marine firefighting training have not been registered with state fire training as described in

the SFT procedures manual (19 Cal. Code Regs. § 1990.00). The NBFD does not have a formal

training program in marine firefighting, and does not conduct regular multi-company operational

exercises with the OCSD-HP deputy sheriff’s staffing the fireboats. The regulations of the

California Fire Service Training and Education Program do not apply to any agency that elects to

not be subject to these standards (19 Cal. Code Regs. § 1980.03). So, while the regulations for

the use of the California fire service standards do not mandate participation, the fire service

industry standard for training is consistent with the OSFM training plan (Schoonover & Dowdle,

2007).

This presents a management question regarding the training of OCSD-HP personnel. The

authority to use a standard of firefighter training other than the OSFM is from the Health and

Safety Code (Cal. Health and Saf. Code § 13159.8(h)). However, the industry standard for

firefighter training in contained in the curriculum developed by the SBFS in the OSFM. The

objective of an injury illness and prevention program (IIPP) is to ensure a safe and healthy work

place. If an employer becomes aware of a previously unrecognized hazard, such as a need for

Marine Firefighter Training 35

standardized marine firefighting training, should this impact the firefighter training for harbor

patrol personnel (8 Cal. Code Regs. § 3203(c)).

Table 1.

Survey Responses.

 

Question

Yes

No

Other

1. The minimum training for a land based firefighter to operate safely in a marine environment should include NFPA firefighter 1 in addition to marine firefighter training based on NFPA 1005 and 1405 relating to marine firefighting.

11

0

1

2.

Recurrent training for land based firefighters who respond to fires in

8

4

0

a

marine environment should be conducted on an annual basis.

3.

All land based firefighters, regardless of primary discipline, should

     

receive the same level of firefighter training for response to fires in

a

marine environment.

3

6

3

4.

The type of training for land based firefighters who respond to fires

     

in a marine environment should include classroom and field

exercises (cognitive and psychomotor).

12

0

0

5.

The competencies for a land based firefighter operating in a marine

     

environment should be linked to the level of jurisdictional responsibility and the expected job that they (firefighter) would be expected to perform in a vessel fire in a marine environment.

12

0

0

6.

The qualification to teach land based firefighters course work in

     

Marine firefighting should be in accordance with the California State

Board of Fire Services and State Fire Training.

8

1

3

7.

NFPA 1710 is an acceptable standard for response time in a marine

8

3

1

environment within a local jurisdiction.

.

Discussion/Implications

Marine firefighting can be described as a very technical component of firefighting. The

technical nature and complexity of a ship require specialized training and familiarity with laws

Marine Firefighter Training 36

and regulations regarding maritime emergency practices (NFPA, 2010). A ship is a small

community that has to provide all of the services for the residents such as electrical power, waste

treatment trash management, and fire protection. Due to these facts, the crewmembers of a vessel

are trained to be the firefighters so as to protect their floating community. Advances in

technology have increased the size of vessels significantly since the first publications on marine

firefighting were published. When subsequent editions were proposed, the marine firefighting

committee recognized the need for separate manuals for the crewmembers and land based

firefighters. (Chatterton, 2001). This specialized job requires recurrent training to maintain the

recognition primed decision making skills needed to maintain high situational awareness. The

challenges for a land-based firefighter to learn and maintain proficiency in marine firefighting

requires an ambitious and organized training program.

In Newport Harbor, the Newport Beach Fire Department has delegated marine

firefighting responsibilities to the Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol for fire incidents that

are not able to be reached by land-based vehicles. This created a situation where the fire response

on the water and away from the shore side in Newport Harbor, home to 10,000 boats, 1200

moorings, and 30 live-a-boards, is initially handled by law enforcement professionals that are

inadequately trained as marine firefighters. The inadequate training is an outcome of a number of

issues that have combined to increase the level of risk regarding fire protection on the water in

NH. A lack of a standardized marine firefighting training program in California, and the

bifurcated marine firefighting program accredited by the commission on peace officer standards

and training, may have provided a false sense of security for marine firefighters in California.

The Harbor Patrol Division of the Sheriff’s Department provides multi-level emergency

response services within the harbor and along 48 miles of coastal Orange County. And, while a

Marine Firefighter Training 37

primary duty of the deputy sheriff/firefighters is marine firefighting, the current training program

is based on a curriculum that is not based upon or consistent with fire service industry standards.

The claim that the OCSD-HP provides marine and residential firefighting further exacerbates the

safety issue (County of Orange, 2010, p. 11). Interior attack in an IDLH environment presents

many challenges for a firefighter. Because these fires are not frequent, firefighters rely on

training for safe operations. Rapid changes in instructional standards and training have outpaced

the current marine firefighter training program in the NBFD and at the OCSD-HP.

The multi-discipline nature of harbor patrol operations indicates that an aggressive

training plan would be necessary to provide the initial and recurrent training necessary to

maintain proficiency for the firefighting component of the job duties. Recurrent training is

especially important in marine firefighting, as the low incident volume cannot be relied upon for

the recognition primed decision making skills needed for a successful outcome. Collaboration

between the OCSD-HP and the NBFD will be key to a practical training plan in marine

firefighting.

Changes in legislation and the regulatory environment have increased the pressure on

employers to provide a safe workplace using a combination of law, regulations, and industry and

national standards as the basis for administration citations, civil litigation, and criminal

prosecution (Schoonover & Dowdle, 2007). According to the results of the questionnaire, there is

a lack of standardized firefighter training for deputy sheriff II personnel who staff fireboats in

Newport Harbor that creates an elevated level of risk for the public and other responding land

based firefighters. And, while the problem of inadequate marine firefighter training occurs in

many harbors across California, the issue of safe operations in Newport Harbor was a focus of

Marine Firefighter Training 38

Respondents to questionnaire

The use of the Delphi method allowed the author to gather responses from a field of

experts without collaborative bias. The blind responses quickly revealed near consensus on many

of the questions after two rounds. Ninety two percent (92%) of the experts felt that land based

firefighters, to operate safely in the marine environment, would need firefighter training and

marine firefighter training. This specific training should start with NFPA 1001 firefighter-I,

which is equivalent to California firefighter-I (Schoonover & Dowdle, 2007). This is consistent

with the prerequisite in NFPA 1005, specifying NFPA firefighter II as the prerequisite of the

training plan for marine firefighter-I. Recurrent training, scheduled on an annual basis, would be

sufficient to maintain proficiency, according to 67% of the experts. This frequency was stated in

an International City Managers Association report that spoke to annual training on various

competencies as a component of a fire department training program (ICMA, n.d.). However, two

respondents felt the training could be more often. Fifty percent (50%) of respondents did not

agree to common training of all firefighters in marine firefighting. The training of land-based

firefighters in marine firefighting should be done so in a tiered fashion, so that the companies

stationed near the marine environment, and those more likely to be involved and more engaged

in an incident would receive a higher level of training. In the NFPA 1005 (2007), the training is

divided as marine firefighter I, and marine firefighter II. Marine firefighter I would be expected

to work around a vessel incident, while marine firefighter II would work on a vessel during an

incident. One hundred percent (100%) of the experts agreed that a combination of cognitive and

psychomotor instruction would be most effective for marine firefighter training. One hundred

percent (100%) of respondents agreed that jurisdictions with the greater responsibility in the

marine environment were in the greatest need of a higher training level, as these firefighters were

Marine Firefighter Training 39

presumed to be more involved in marine incidents more often. Sixty seven percent (67%) of the

experts agreed that instructors selected to teach course work in marine firefighting should meet

the standards the California State Board of Fire Services. It was noted that it may be difficult to

find an instructor who has experience teaching the curriculum since this does not currently exist

in state fire training curriculum. The NFPA 1710 standard for response time was noted as a

proper standard for marine fire responses by 67% of the respondents. One expert noted that while

this objective may be workable at a pier, it would not be useful when a ship while underway.

Another respondent mentioned that a response time to a land-based location was workable, but

that once underway there are so many variables the use of NFPA 1710 would not be practical.

Recommendations

The Newport Beach Fire Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department-

Harbor Patrol should accomplish the following to enhance the safety of land based firefighters

and the public in Newport Harbor:

1)

Direct the training chief from the NBFD to work with the training coordinator from the

OCSD-HP on a collaborative training plan of combined multi-company exercises. The

plan should include land based companies and deputy sheriff II personnel on not less than

an annual basis.

2)

Engage the Huntington Beach Fire Department and the OCSD-HP in the development of

a common training plan and the use of the Central Net training facility in Huntington

Beach.

Marine Firefighter Training 40

3)

Engage the Orange County Fire Authority and the OCSD-HP in the development and

delivery of a training plan to accomplish the objectives of the NFPA 1001, standard for

firefighter professional qualifications, for OCSD-HP personnel assigned to a fireboat.

Marine Firefighter Training 41

References

Cal. Dept. of Boating & Waterways. (n.d.) Boating law enforcement training program. Retrieved

January 4, 2011, from http://www.dbw.ca.gov/LawEnforce/lawEnfTrain.aspx.

8

Cal. Code Regs. § 3203 (LexisNexis 2011).

8

Cal. Code Regs. § 4301(b)(5) (LexisNexis 2010).

19 Cal. Code Regs. §1980.01 et seq. (LexisNexis 2009).

Cal. Gov. Code § 41601 (LexisNexis 2010).

Cal. Harb. & Nav. Code, § 510 (LexisNexis 2011).

Cal. Health & Saf. Code § 13157(b) (LexisNexis 2011).

Cal. Lab. Code § 6401.7(a)(4) (LexisNexis 2010).

Cal. Lab. Code § 6400 (LexisNexis 2011).

29 C.F.R. § 1910.134 et seq. (LexisNexis 2011).

Chatterton, Jr., H.A. (2001). Marine firefighting for land-based firefighters (1st ed.). (B. Adams,

Ed.). Stillwater, OK: Fire Protection Publications, p. 1.

City of Newport Beach. (2010). Demographics and statistics. Retrieved November 14, 2010,

from http://www.newportbeachca.gov/index.aspx?page=171.

City of Seattle Fire Department. (2008). Marine firefighter technician workbook. Seattle, WA:

Author, p. 4.

Clark, D. R. (2004). Bloom’s taxonomy of learning domains. Retrieved January 25, 2010 from

http://nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/ahold/isd.html.

County of Orange. (2010, November 9). Review of Orange County sheriff-coroner department

harbor patrol. Retrieved January 4, 2011, from http://www.ocsd.org/vgnfiles/ocgov/

Performance%20Audit/Docs/HarborPatrolReview.pdf.

Marine Firefighter Training 42

International City/County Management Association. (n.d.) Final report fire department review

Pasco County Florida. Retrieved December 12, 2010, from

http://portal.pascocountyfl.net/portal/server.pt/document/229430.

International Conference of Building Officials. (1998). Handbook to the uniform building code.

Whittier, CA: Author, p. 405.

Laun, J. & Stambaugh, H. (2008). Special report: fire departments and maritime interface area

preparedness. Washington, D.C.: Federal Emergency Management Agency, p. 18.

National Fire Academy. (2011). Executive fire officer program operational policies and

procedures applied research guidelines. Emmitsburg, MD: Author.

National Fire Protection Association. (2006). NFPA 1005: professional qualifications for marine

fire fighting for land-based fire fighters (2007 ed.). Quincy, MA: Author.

National Fire Protection Association. (2006). NFPA 1500: fire department occupational safety

and health program (2007 ed.). Quincy, MA: Author.

National Fire Protection Association. (2007a). NFPA 1001: standards for fire fighter

professional qualifications (2008 ed.). Quincy, MA: Author.

National Fire Protection Association. (2007b). NFPA 1041: standards for fire service instruction

(2008 ed.). Quincy, MA: Author.

National Fire Protection Association. (2010). NFPA 1405: land -based fire departments that

respond to marine vessel fires (2011 ed.). Quincy, MA: Author.

NBFD SOP 3.A.201 (2010).

Marine Firefighter Training 43

Occupational Health & Safety Administration. (1998). Fire fighters’ two-in/two-out regulation.

Retrieved January 2, 2010, from http://www.iaff.org/hs/PDF/2in2out.pdf.

Office of the State Fire Marshal. (2008, May). State fire training procedures manual. Retrieved

October 30, 2010 , from http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/training/pdf/sftproceduresmanual.pdf.

Office of the State Fire Marshal. (2011, April 26). California state board of fire services.

Retrieved January 2, 2010, from

http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/boardfireservices/boardfireservices.php.

Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department. (n.d.) Marine fire fighting. Santa Ana, CA: Author.

Poremba, J. (2009, June 10). Flashover time to get out. FireRescue1. Retrieved December 2,

2010, from http://www.firerescue1.com/fire-products/Extinguishers/articles/50223-

Flashover-Time-to-Get-Out.

Schoonover, D. & Dowdle, M. (2007). Training mandates study for the California fire service.

Retrieved November 11, 2010, from http://www.cafsti.org/imageuploads/Media-60.pdf.

Shelley, C.H. (2002, July). Marine firefighting training and enhancement for vela marine

international. Retrieved January 4, 2011 from

http://www.usfa.gov/pdf/efop/eto34651.pdf.

Tri-state Maritime Safety Association. (n.d.). Marine firefighting training syllabus, p.1.

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D.C.: Author.

Marine Firefighter Training 44

Appendix A

Marine Firefighter Training 44 Appendix A

Marine Firefighter Training 45

Marine Firefighter Training 45

Marine Firefighter Training 46

Marine Firefighter Training 46

Marine Firefighter Training 47

Marine Firefighter Training 47

Marine Firefighter Training 48

Marine Firefighter Training 48

Marine Firefighter Training 49

Marine Firefighter Training 49

Marine Firefighter Training 50

Appendix B

Marine Firefighter Training 50 Appendix B

Marine Firefighter Training 51

Marine Firefighter Training 51

Marine Firefighter Training 52

Marine Firefighter Training 52

Marine Firefighter Training 53

Marine Firefighter Training 53

Marine Firefighter Training 54

Marine Firefighter Training 54

Marine Firefighter Training 55

Appendix C

Marine Firefighter Training 55 Appendix C

Marine Firefighter Training 56

Appendix D

Marine Firefighter Training 56 Appendix D

Marine Firefighter Training 57

Marine Firefighter Training 57

Marine Firefighter Training 58

Marine Firefighter Training 58

Marine Firefighter Training 59

Marine Firefighter Training 59

Marine Firefighter Training 60

Marine Firefighter Training 60

Marine Firefighter Training 61

Marine Firefighter Training 61

Marine Firefighter Training 62

Marine Firefighter Training 62

Marine Firefighter Training 63

Marine Firefighter Training 63

Marine Firefighter Training 64

Marine Firefighter Training 64

Marine Firefighter Training 65

Marine Firefighter Training 65

Marine Firefighter Training 66

Marine Firefighter Training 66

Marine Firefighter Training 67

Marine Firefighter Training 67

Marine Firefighter Training 68

Marine Firefighter Training 68

Marine Firefighter Training 69

Marine Firefighter Training 69

Marine Firefighter Training 70

Appendix E

Marine Firefighter Training 70 Appendix E

Marine Firefighter Training 71

Marine Firefighter Training 71

Marine Firefighter Training 72

Marine Firefighter Training 72

Marine Firefighter Training 73

Marine Firefighter Training 73

Marine Firefighter Training 74

Marine Firefighter Training 74

Marine Firefighter Training 75

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Marine Firefighter Training 77

Appendix F

Marine Firefighter Training 77 Appendix F

Marine Firefighter Training 78

Appendix G

Subject Matter Experts

1)

Robert Albers Sergeant-Lifeguard division San Diego Fire & Rescue Department San Diego, California

2)

Richard Cabral Battalion Chief Fresno Fire Department Fresno, California

3)

Dennis Childress Captain, retired Orange County Fire Authority Irvine, California

4)

Charles Duncan Battalion Chief Newport Beach Fire Department Newport Beach, California

5)

Jeffery Johnson Captain Vancouver Fire Department Vancouver, Washington

6)

Michael Macey Fire Chief, retired Laguna Beach Fire Department Laguna Beach, California

7)

Ramiro Rodriguez Deputy State Fire Marshal Office of the State Fire Marshal Visalia, California

Marine Firefighter Training 79

8)

Ray Shackelford, Phd. Fire Technology Program Director California State University Los Angeles Los Angeles, California

9)

Daniel Stefano Division Chief Laguna Beach Fire Department Laguna Beach, California

10) John Taylor Marine Captain British Petroleum Houston, Texas

11) Matt Thorpe Fire Rescue Training Specialist North Carolina Department of Insurance Raleigh, North Carolina

12) Lawrence Waterhouse Deputy Chief Anaheim Fire Department Anaheim, California