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Fire Instructor I

  • January 18-21, 2024 *** waitlist, roster full ***
  • May 2-5, 2024
  • September 26-29, 2024

class information

IFSTA “Fire & Emergency Services Instructor”

Pre-course Assignments

Equivalency to M-410, Facilitative Instructor

Download the Fire Instructor I flyer (98 kb) and Firecamp Application (170 kb) in PDF format.

Poinciana, Florida Live-Fire Training Deaths — July, 2002

Lt. John Mickel and Dallas Begg Act

NIOSH Report, 2002-34

Florida State Fire Marshal Report

Preventing Deaths and Injuries to Fire Fighters during Live-Fire Training in Acquired Structures, CDC Workplace Solutions — November, 2004

Poinciana Video

Links to Instructor Resources

Colorado Fire Training Officers Association

Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control

Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute Drill of the Month Weekly Fire Drills

Division of State Fire Marshal
Bureau of Fire & Arson Investigations

SFM CASE NUMBER: 26-02-3753


The Investigation Team reviewed the following evidence:

  1. Scene examination:

    1. A legal fire for the purpose of firefighter training was set in a closet (area of fire origin) of the bedroom in the northeast corner of the structure.
    2. The remains of straw, wood pallets and mattress foam were found in the area of fire origin.
    3. A flashover occurred in the room of fire origin during the training exercise.

  2. Evidence collected from the scene:

    1. Damaged firefighter equipment.
    2. Photographic documentation of the scene.

  3. Medical Examiners Office Report:

    1. The death of John Mickel was a result of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries suffered during the training exercise.
    2. The death of Dallas Begg was a result of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries suffered during the training exercise.

  4. SFM Laboratory Report – Did not find the presence of any flammable materials within materials submitted for analysis.

  5. Documents regarding the training exercise:

    1. Legal contract allowing OCFRD to conduct live fire training exercises
    2. NFPA 1403 – Had not been adopted by OCFRD in their SOP’s but was used as a guide in planning the training exercise.
    3. Communications Records of radio transmissions during the training exercise. The following are key events and are only a portion of all of the transmissions during the exercise:
  6. 10:10:55 – Interior Safety notifies IC he is ready to begin exercise
    10:11:00 – IC orders SAR into Structure
    10:13:09 – IC notifies AT-1 that NE window will be vented
    10:14:02 – IC orders AT-2 into structure (Flashover had occurred)
    10:14:41 – IC attempts radio contact with SAR
    10:15:49 – AT1 reports water on the fire (Questionable)
    10:15:59 – IC asks crews to advise if they need roof ventilation
    10:17:34 – IC asks for SAR to report
    10:18:40 – IC asks for SAR to report
    10:19:33 – IC asks is someone inside missing a helmet
    10:19:58 – IC asks for status of AT-1, AT-2 & SAR
    10:20:04 – AT-2 reports water on the fire
    10:20:45 – IC sends RIT into building and orders PAR
    10:21:14 – IC acknowledges PAR on everyone except SAR
    10:21:24 – AT-2 reports fire knocked down
    10:23:09 – IC order evacuation of building
    10:24:42 – Interior Safety Officer and AT-2 report firefighter down

  7. Information obtained from interviews of participants and witnesses.

    1. NFPA 1403 was used only as a guideline
      1. Training Officer gave a briefing prior to exercise and explained goals/objectives and safety of participants (i.e., exits, evacuation plan, tactics, ventilation, etc.)
      2. There were four Interior Safety Officers stationed inside to monitor for safety.
      3. There was one hose line (AT-1) to make initial attack on fire with a second hose line (AT-2) to back-up the first hose line and there was a third hose line (RIT) with a separate water supply to monitor for safety and intervene in the event of a problem.
      4. All participants were certified firefighters and were equipped with approved and rated personal fire protection clothing including Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with Personal Alarm Signaling System (PASS) devices.
    2. A foam mattress was placed on the fire to cause more smoke and create a more realistic effect for the search and rescue training.
    3. There was a failure in communications between Interior Safety Officers in accounting for the SAR Team (Victims) after they entered the fire room. Two Interior Safety Officers heard the SAR Team talking at the doorway indicating that the room had been searched and it was assumed that the SAR Team left the fire room. It is also not known if the SAR Team decided to research the room for the mannequin or stay in the fire room to watch the extinguishment of the fire.
    4. AT-1 may have caused SAR Team to be pushed back into the fire room with steam during their initial application of water through the doorway. No one on the AT-1 crew ever saw fire during their advance towards the fire room. There are some conflicting details from statements and the radio transmissions as to the location of the nozzle man in the hallway, the frequencies that water was applied towards the fire room and how near he advanced to the fire room before AT-1 moved back to the living room.
    5. All of the participants stated that from the beginning of the exercise they did not have any concerns regarding the conditions of the fire inside the structure and it appeared to them as normal fire behavior. The only fire condition changes of concern occurred when steam filled the hallway during the application of water from AT-1 that caused the two Interior Safety Officers to evacuate.
    6. The Training Officer followed the rules of Incident Command and maintained control of the scene during the operation. He continually requested status reports from the crews operating inside the structure. After not receiving a report from SAR after several attempts to contact on the radio, the Training Officer utilized the RIT, ordered PAR and evacuated the structure. He continued control of the scene well into the rescue operation of the victims.

There was no evidence found that the deaths of John Mickel and Dallas Begg were caused by an intentional act of a premeditated design. There were no actions found that were imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life nor was there evidence of any intentional procurement to cause such harm.

In regard to culpable negligence, there was no evidence of negligence that was gross and flagrant. Reckless conduct or disregard of human life, or safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects, or such an entire want of care as to raise a presumption of a conscious indifference to consequences, was not found. There were no actions that showed wantonness or recklessness, or a grossly careless disregard of the safety and welfare of the public, or such an indifference to the rights of others as is equivalent to an intentional violation of such rights.

There was no evidence that any of the participants could foresee that a flashover would occur during the training exercise. In fact some of the participants that were inside the structure were surprised when they saw the portion of the video recording of the training exercise where the flashover occurs. The addition of the foam mattress to the fire load is one of many variables that could contribute to a flashover but is not exclusive.

There was no evidence that any of the participants could foresee that the victims would be caught in the flashover. Some of the participants that were searching for the victims expected to find them in another part of the structure. The firefighters that found the body of the first victim initially assumed it was the training mannequin.

I could not find evidence to cause for filing of criminal charges. I submitted my investigation case file to be reviewed by the Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida. After review, the State Attorney’s office concluded that the evidence and information of circumstances and events surrounding the deaths of Lt. John Mickel and Firefighter Dallas Begg, does not establish probable cause for prosecution under Chapter 782 of the Florida Statutes, relative to homicide or culpable negligence. I request that this case file be closed.

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