You are on page 1of 79

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: _______________________________________

Marine Firefighter Training 3
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.

Marine Firefighter Training 4
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

Marine Firefighter Training 5
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

Marine Firefighter Training 6
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

Marine Firefighter Training 7
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-

Marine Firefighter Training 8
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).

Marine Firefighter Training 9
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

Marine Firefighter Training 10
elevated level of risk for both the civilians in the marine environment as well as responding landbased 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

Marine Firefighter Training 11
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

Marine Firefighter Training 12
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

Marine Firefighter Training 13
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

Marine Firefighter Training 14
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

Marine Firefighter Training 15
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.

Marine Firefighter Training 16
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

Marine Firefighter Training 17
(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

Marine Firefighter Training 18
(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)).

Marine Firefighter Training 19
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 17th 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

Marine Firefighter Training 20
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 OCSDHP 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 landbased 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

11

0

1

8

4

0

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

12

0

0

8

1

3

8

3

1

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.
2. Recurrent training for land based firefighters who respond to fires in
a marine environment should be conducted on an annual basis.

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.
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.
7. NFPA 1710 is an acceptable standard for response time in a marine
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
the research (County of Orange, 2010, p. 40-42).

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 DepartmentHarbor 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/50223Flashover-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.
U.S. Fire Administration (2005, October). Executive leadership. Washington, D.C.: Author.
U.S. Fire Administration. (1996, December). Risk management in the fire service. Washington,
D.C.: Author.

Marine Firefighter Training 44
Appendix A

Marine Firefighter Training 45

Marine Firefighter Training 46

Marine Firefighter Training 47

Marine Firefighter Training 48

Marine Firefighter Training 49

Marine Firefighter Training 50

Appendix B

Marine Firefighter Training 51

Marine Firefighter Training 52

Marine Firefighter Training 53

Marine Firefighter Training 54

Marine Firefighter Training 55

Appendix C

Marine Firefighter Training 56
Appendix D

Marine Firefighter Training 57

Marine Firefighter Training 58

Marine Firefighter Training 59

Marine Firefighter Training 60

Marine Firefighter Training 61

Marine Firefighter Training 62

Marine Firefighter Training 63

Marine Firefighter Training 64

Marine Firefighter Training 65

Marine Firefighter Training 66

Marine Firefighter Training 67

Marine Firefighter Training 68

Marine Firefighter Training 69

Marine Firefighter Training 70
Appendix E

Marine Firefighter Training 71

Marine Firefighter Training 72

Marine Firefighter Training 73

Marine Firefighter Training 74

Marine Firefighter Training 75

Marine Firefighter Training 76

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