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Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting

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Contact Information

Tom Phalen

Tom Phalen
Program Chief

1005 Technology Park Drive
Glen Allen, VA 23059-4500
Office: 804-249-1980
Fax: 804-371-3209
E-mail:

About the Chief

Thomas "Tom" Phalen came to the Department after serving as a Company Officer for thirteen years with the Virginia Air National Guard Fire & Rescue. Tom was one of the original members of the Air Guard Fire Department in July of 1991. Tom has worked in both civilian and military ARFF since 1979.

Tom began his fire service career as a volunteer with the Charlie Rouss Fire Company in Winchester, Virginia. After high school, Tom served in the US Navy. After his service in the Navy, Tom enrolled in the Fire Science Program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

About the Program

Since 1998, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs has utilized the Kidde Fire Trainer, Inc A-3000 Mobile Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Training Simulator (MARFFTS) to support its ARFF program. Computer controlled and fueled by propane, the MARFTS allows airport fire department personnel to train at their facility with their equipment and mutual aid departments. The MARFFTS also meets the job performance requirements (JPR's) of the National Fire Protection Association Standard 1003, "Airport Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications." The MARFFTS travels to all nine of the commercial air carrier airports in the Commonwealth.

In 2004, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs revised their General Aviation class by adapting William Tacketts' book General Aviation Firefighting for Structural Firefighters. This sixteen-hour class involves a field trip to the local airport, group exercises, as well as traditional lecture. There is no live fire training associated with this class. The student manual for this class is available for downloading by clicking on the links below.

ARFF News

ARFF 2016 Fall Training Schedule

Course Start Date End Date Location
Response to Aviation Accidents for First Responders 07/12/2016 07/14/2016 Richmond Fire Training Academy PDF icon
Response to Aviation Accidents for First Responders 07/19/2016 07/21/2016 Richmond Fire Training Academy PDF icon
Response to Aviation Accidents for First Responders 07/26/2016 07/28/2016 Richmond Fire Training Academy PDF icon
Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter – Certification Class 08/22/2016 08/27/2016 Richmond International Airport PDF icon
Response to Aviation Accidents for First Responders 08/26/2016 08/27/2016 Tappahannock/Essex Airport
Aircraft Live Fire Training 09/03/2016 09/11/2016 Charlottesville/Albemarle Airport PDF icon
Response to Aviation Accidents for First Responders 09/16/2016 09/17/2016 Dublin/New River Airport
Aircraft Live Fire Training 09/24/2016 10/02/2016 Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport PDF icon
Aircraft Live Fire Training 10/08/2016 10/16/2016 Norfolk International Airport PDF icon
Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter – Certification Class 10/10/2016 10/15/2016 Norfolk International Airport
Response to Aviation Accidents for First Responders 10/21/2016 10/22/2016 Eastern Shore Fire Training Center Accomack County
Aircraft Live Fire Training 10/22/2016 10/30/2016 Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport PDF icon
Aircraft Live Fire Training 10/30/2016 11/07/2016 Roanoke/Blacksburg Regional Airport PDF icon
Aircraft Live Fire Training 11/12/2016 11/20/2016 Wallops Island Flight Facility PDF icon
Responders December 2 & 3, 2016 Orange County Fire & EMS 12/02/2016 12/03/2016 Orange County Fire & EMS

Photos on Flicker

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the prerequisites for the ARFF certification class?

The prerequisites for the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter (ARFF) certification class are Firefighter II and Hazardous Materials Operations, either Pro-Board or IFSAC. This is an intense six day class, approximately twenty four hours of lecture and twenty four hours of practical skills testing and live fire evolutions. There is a written test of one hundred questions, you must score 70% or higher, and successfully complete all practical skills testing to earn certification. Students who successfully complete the class will earn 42 hours of Category II OEMS CEU’s.

What do I need to attend the ARFF certification class?

You need the current edition of the IFSTA Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting textbook. You will need to bring turn out gear, it does not need to be proximity gear, SCBA with two spare bottles and face piece.

How much does the IFSTA textbook cost and where can I buy it?

The IFSTA textbook is available thru the VDFP bookstore, check with the Bookstore Coordinator for current price. The textbook can be ordered online at www.vafire.com, click on Bookstore, click on ISFTA and other publications. The item number is 1002 5e.

What are the prerequisites for the Response to Aviation Accidents for First Responders class?

You must be eighteen. There are no firefighter prerequisites for the class. The class is for those emergency service responders -fire, law enforcement, rescue, airport personnel, emergency management personnel and other members of the community that may be involved in the mitigation of an aviation accident/incident. There is NO LIVE FIRE associated with this class. Students who successfully complete the class will earn 11 hours of Category II OEMS CEU’s.

What are the prerequisites for the Aircraft Live Fire Training?

The Aircraft Live Fire Training is not a formal training class. It is for the Airport Fire Department to meet its Federal Aviation Administration requirement of annual live fire training and to provide mutual aid training to those that would respond to an aviation incident.

Those firefighters wishing to participate in Aircraft Live Fire Training should contact the ARFF Program Chief at 804-249-1980 and must meet the criteria of NFPA 1403 as stated below:

5.1 Student Prerequisites
5.1.1* Prior to being permitted to participate in live fire training evolutions, the student shall have received training to meet the job performance requirements for Fire Fighter I in NFPA 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications, related to the following subjects:

  1. Safety
  2. Fire behavior
  3. Portable extinguishers
  4. Personal protective equipment
  5. Ladders
  6. Fire hose, appliances, and streams
  7. Overhaul
  8. Water supply
  9. Ventilation
  10. Forcible entry

 

Last Updated: Friday, July 22, 2016