Cherryhill Firefighters Complete Flashover Simulator Training
By Chief Jody Rainey
October 15, 2023

The Pennsylvania Fire Academy on the Road program was at the Indiana County Public Safety Academy for Flashover Simulation training. Flashover is a thermally-driven event during which every combustible surface exposed to thermal radiation in a compartment or enclosed space rapidly and simultaneously ignites. Flashover normally occurs when the upper portion of the compartment reaches a temperature of approximately 1,100 °F for ordinary combustibles. Building features like concealed spaces, lower ceiling heights, room partitions, and energy-efficient or hurricane windows are more likely to contribute to flashover conditions. The flashover simulator is a specially designed compartment where firefighters can watch each stage of a fire and can experience the changes in the environment of a compartment fire and gain situational awareness to recognize flashover conditions in an controlled environment.

In addition to this learning, Cherryhill firefighters had opportunity to practice using hand held thermal imaging cameras (TIC) recently acquired through a grant from the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Bork Family Grant. A TIC provides thermal imaginary to firefighters through contrasts colors representing the temperatures in a thermally enhanced environment and also gives the actual temperature reading of the compartment.

Cherryhill firefighters participating in this recent training include Captains Vinny Mutz & Nathan Rainey and Firefighters Bob Zack, Julian Shultz, Chris Brady, Allie Ringler and John Oswalt. Each firefighter commented on the value of this training and coupled with previous courses in Fire Dynamics and having a TIC in their hands to provide real time critical data will help them do their job more safely and efficiently.

Below are links to additional information regarding flashovers. There is also link to our fire company photo gallery of pictures taken by Cherryhill TIC's during the training. The TIC takes two pictures at once. The first picture is what is visible to the human eye followed by a thermal image of that same picture, with a heat reading. Please note the vast difference of the picture and the data the thermal imagine provides the trained firefighter to make critical decisions in the fire fight.

Hyperlinks: Flashover Information & Video
Cherryhill 2023 Training Photo Gallery