Mike Wilbur


Aerial ladder and tower ladder positioning, placement and operations

The Aerial Apparatus Operations class was designed after a need was observed though the many departments I have instructed over the course of my career.  Aerial apparatus represents a large investment and yet most of the departments that have aerial apparatus, of any kind, under utilize them and many off these departments really do not understand their proper use at all.  Go to a firehouse and see the aerial apparatus parked behind two other apparatus and the realization sets in that this department has little or no understanding about aerial apparatus operations, positioning and placement.

The Aerial Apparatus Operations class is 8 hours of indoor classroom training contained in a power point presentation.

The class it self is broken up into 5 segments.  Aerial ladders: light, medium and heavy duty is segment one. In this segment we discuss the operational differences and limitations that occur between light duty (200lb. Tip load) vs. heavy duty (750lb. Tip load). Using light duty aerials beyond their limitations can cause catastrophic failures.    Aerial ladder and tower ladder failures have occurred and continue to occur several times each year. Segments 2 & 3 discuss these aerial ladder and tower ladder failures and the testing that needs to take place annually to reduce these ladder failures.  Segments 4 & 5 discuss the proper positioning, placement and operations of aerial ladders and tower ladders.

This presentation is intended for firefighters, apparatus operators, training officers, line officers, maintenance personnel and chief officers that are expected to have an intimate knowledge of these apparatus.

The objectives for this program are to have the students recognize the differences between each aerial device. They will also acquire the knowledge to properly drive position, place and operate aerial ladders, squirts, and tower ladders at a variety of buildings and their occupancies.  Students will learn how to simultaneously position and operate both aerial ladders and tower ladders on the fire ground to get the most out of each piece of equipment. Firefighters will have a profound sense of driving and scene safety when driving and operating aerial devices.

This program has been presented to the Albuquerque New Mexico Fire Dept., the New York City Fire Dept., Fort Worth Texas Fire Dept. and The Phoenix Arizona Fire Department with great success

Apparatus architect purchasing seminar

Purchasing Fire Apparatus represents the single largest capital expenditure, other than building a new fire station that a fire department will make. In some cases the fire apparatus may actually cost more than a new fire station. Fire Apparatus have become very complexed to specify and to build due to rapid technological advances. These technological advances have left most fire departments ill equipped to make knowledgeable, informed decisions, when specifying new apparatus. More over if your apparatus sales person has little or no experience selling fire apparatus the outcome of your apparatus project is predicable and doomed. Believing that knowledge is power this program will provide the attendee with logical, knowledge based information to help your department avoid the pitfalls that many fire departments have encountered when purchasing fire apparatus. One would only have to look at three fire departments in any direction from your fire department to find fellow firefighters who are very unhappy with a recently purchased apparatus.

Perhaps buying a new apparatus is out of the question this program will also discuss the positives and negatives associated with buying used apparatus. Also the question to rehab or not to rehab used or existing apparatus will be answered.

This program is designed for anyone in the fire service that plays any part in fire apparatus purchasing, fire apparatus sales, fire apparatus manufacturing or fleet management and maintenance.

This presentation serves to educate present and future generations of firefighters and officers that are saddled with the awesome responsibility of purchasing new or used fire apparatus that must serve their jurisdictions for many years to come. A purchasing methodology will be presented that will reduce the cost of the apparatus and will reduce the time required to develop the right apparatus specification for your fire departments application.

Emergency vehicle operations seminar

Developing a risk management program for emergency vehicle driving

This program will explore management strategies that your fire department can implement to improve emergency vehicle operations.  A generic driver training program modeled after the N.F.P.A. 1451 the Standard for a Fire Service Vehicle Operations Training Program will be introduced.   Modern technologies such as driving simulators and vehicle data recorders (black boxes) will be explored as useful tools to enhance any Risk Management driving program. Emergency Response as well as Laws and Liabilities will be reviewed.  Recent accidents will be explored as tools to increase accident and injury prevention. Apparatus and Vehicle Care will be discussed as it relates to a series of recent accidents.  One of the most frequently asked questions, I have just been in an apparatus accident what should I do and what should the department do will be answered.  This seminar will help you understand the risks of emergency vehicle operations and will help your fire department to develop a plan to lessen the liability and help protect the fire department and its firefighters.

This presentation is relevant to all fire service administrators, chief officers and company officers that supervise and initiate fire department policies. It is especially poignant for training officers, apparatus operators, apparatus operator trainees and operators of privately operated vehicles (POV’s).

This seminar is presented to help attendee’s produce a comprehensive driver training program that will reduce emergency vehicle and POV accidents that result in firefighter and civilian injuries and deaths. The program also serves to heighten the awareness and the responsibilities undertaken when operating emergency vehicles and POV’s.

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