Those strange europeans, small engines, funny helmets and useless fog nozzles!

Have you ever wondered why they are so... different?

Do you understand the difference between gas cooling and an indirect attack?

Would you like to challenge yourself and share your experiences to others?

The national authorities in Sweden arrange one of the best courses in fire dynamics, fire behaviour, fire suppression and ventilation that you may find. Have you ever though why, this is the place to go!

For more information visit the link below, or just ask away here!

Stay safe / Lars

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Not to create some sort of "pissing match" but let's also realize the differences between North America and Europe. Building construction, distance, setbacks, water supply, infrastructure, etc. There are differences and those differences are addressed by schools and curriculum to what is experienced by area. Not saying one way is better than the other, not saying there are not things that can or can't be learned, just saying there are differences that need to be accounted for and realized.

Yes John you are very right, there are many differences and many similarities!

My post is simply put out there for those curious about other views on fire behaviour and methods used at structural fires. In the course people from all across the world participate and it is a forum to get new ideas and maybe reinforce some others. I apologize if the title was provocative, it was all in good faith to attract curios people.

I try to travel the world both physical and digitally and strive to constantly challenge my own truth. I have many times lately been forced to re evaluate my own ideas as I am trying to get the whole picture. One realizes that there are many truths and the same problem may be solved in many ways.

The fire behaviour course is partially designed to penetrate those truths and see what is left after, all in the spirit of development.

/ Lars

In addition to the variables you listed, there are three other variables that are apples-to-oranges between the USA and Europe.


1) Number of fires - the USA has many more fires than does Europe, partially due to building construction and partially due to lifestyle and cultural differences.


2) Building size - the average USA single-family dwelling is larger than the average European SFD.  That means more open space, more rapid fire spread, higher fuel loading per compartment, and larger volumes of fire, post-flashover.


3) Number of people requiring rescue.  Due to the variables John mentioned and my # 1 and # 2 above, fireground rescue is a much larger and more widespread issue in the US than it is in Europe.  USA firefighting strategy and tactics take all of these differences into account, and our way works for us.

Agree with the above.


From someone trained in CFB techniques, and who has toured some parts of the USA and various Fire Depts, I totally agree it is like Apples and Oranges.. However couldn't suggest hard enough for those interested in learning differing tactics and techniques to have a look. Even if it only makes a difference at 1 fire, or positively affects only 1 life, then it's worth it, right?



Well, as I said it was not intended as a comparison between European and US fire service.
I can only point out a very good opportunity to learn different views on firefighting.

As Justin points out it is always good to challenge what we know with conflicting ideas. As an example I consider placing a smooth bore nozzle at our truck for large volumes, a very conflicting idea compared to our way of thinking. It would not have happened if I have not looked outside the box...

And for those interested - Steve Kerber (UL laboratories) will also be attending and the course will geared towards ventilation.

All the best / Lars

As noted, there are differences in the built environment in the US and Sweden. However, physics is physics and there are many aspects of firefighting operations that remain consistent regardless of what country you are in, the language spoken, and the nature of their buildings. Much of what I have learned from the Swedish fire service can readily be adapted to the US fire service (it just requires a solid understanding of the concepts and a bit of imagination). I would highly recommend that firefighters in the US investigate this opportunity!

Hi, although I'm not a firefighter ... I can say one thing. I live in a German city with a population of 1,007,119, 2486 inhabitants per km ², the area of the city is 405.17 km ².  We had 9 Townships with 86 districts. With your engines, we had a problem here, for more than 50% of streets in the city they were just too broad, too havy and too long.

After the alarming the Engine has here 8 minutes Time to arrive at the damage location.


  Thank you for the invite. That kind of all inclusive conference for around 4k US is a great deal.

I have ridden with dept.'s not just in US but also in Manilla, London, Guyana, Paraguay, and Zimbabwe.

Yet I haven't experienced the cold weather operations that I can only imagine you having. The differences

in terrain along with culture are to be appreciated. So far the best book I've read describing the differences and suggestions to combine them is Euro firefighter by Paul Grimwood. It is a must read for firefighters on both sides of the pond.


All the best to our brothers on the line.

  Here in Indianapolis. We have had Finnish and German firefighters come and learn how we fight fire. We have learned a thing or two and made lifelong friends.  Firefighting is a life long processes of learning. 


  PS.  There is the IFD way. Then there is everyone elses.

Like many others have pointed out, there is much to learn by looking outside the box.
And the fires we saw yesterday is not the fire we face today.

We need to constantly evaluate and strive forward, but it is hard to change!

I think this is great you share this with us.  I've looked through your photos.  This seems like great training. Understanding smoke and fire behavior is key to success in the fire service.


Thank You for sharing.

Thank you Mike, some of the photos is taken by me and some by others.

On the topic of fire behaviour, do you use videos like this to teach how oxygen impacts fire behaviour?

Al the best! / Lars

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