Sample Courses

Captain Gustin offers department specific training programs that that take into consideration staffing, equipment, SOG’s and building construction. If you have any questions Captain Gustin can be reached via the “Contact Us” page.


Modern Suburban Firefighting

Overview of Program

Captain Gustin’s Modern suburban firefighting class includes subject matter covering:

  1. Dispelling myths pervasive in today’s Fire Service.
  2. Size up: “Know before you go” and the Benefits of a “360” initial size up.
  3. Apparatus Positioning
  4. Stretching the initial attack hoseline: Proper Size and Length, Hose management and more.
  5. Nozzle Selection: Fog vs. solid stream and GPM vs. BTU
  6. Tactics for modern suburban homes: “Mc Mansions”, attaches garages, basements and fires involving decks and porches.
  7. Firefighter Safety: Adapting strategies and tactics to reduce risk in modern lightweight construction as well as Avoiding two of the most common mayday situations
  8. Water supply: Initial attack booster tank or lay supply line? LDH; advantages and disadvantages and Forward, reverse and split hoselays
  9. Fires in Multiple Family Occupancies: Hoseline operations for apartment buildings, hotels and health care facilities; Fire location and techniques for positioning and operating a hoseline on an upper floor

Florida residential firefighting

The construction and design of residential structures in this state present Florida’s firefighters with    challenges and dangers that may not be encountered by their brothers and sisters in Northern states.  This presentation will examine why Florida firefighters may have to adapt their tactics when fighting fires in modern lightweight “engineered” construction that is heavily insulated and required by code to withstand hurricane-force winds.  Most fire departments in this state are suburban, seriously understaffed and heavily involved with EMS; consequently they cannot perform some of the “text book” personnel-intensive tactics that big city fire departments use.   Learn how to conduct size-up before committing limited resources, water supply options, considerations for apparatus placement and where to position the first attack hose line.  Fire problems common in this state will be addressed; such as solar panels, impact-resistant “hurricane” glass, wind resistant garage doors and why basement fires, although very rare in this state,  can catch unsuspecting firefighters off guard. Tactics  for attic fires, fires in attached garages and large, “McMansion” homes will also be examined.   Attendees will learn how modern, energy-efficient construction, common throughout Florida, influences fire dynamics and why wind-driven fires are not just a high rise fire phenomenon.

The presentation will also examine methods to stretch and operate hose lines on the upper floors of garden apartments and other multiple dwellings that are common throughout Florida when there are insufficient personnel to perform a conventional stairway stretch.



Hoseline operations for fires in multiple family occupancies

This class was developed for suburban fire departments that typically do not have sufficient staffing or hose load configurations to rapidly perform a conventional stairway stretch to the upper floors of residential buildings that are not tall enough to be required by code to have standpipes.

Students attending this class will learn:

  • Methods and techniques for rapidly positioning a hose line with a minimum of personnel to the upper floors of apartment buildings, town houses and hotels.
  • Locating a fire in a multiple dwelling.
  • A fool-proof method for determining the amount of hose needed to reach a fire in buildings with long hallways and more than one stairway.
  • The number of firefighters needed to advance a hose line and where to position them.
  • Methods for stretching hose lines to courtyard and garden apartments when preconnects are too short to reach a fire.

Intelligent fire operations be aggressive but dont be stupid

This thought provoking workshop will examine how changes in building construction and design, increased fire loads, recent research on fire dynamics and reduced fire company staffing may call for a change in some traditional firefighting tactics.

Participants will learn:

  • Why size up is an on-going process that isn’t just performed upon arrival
  • Why size up must be performed from two perspectives; inside and outside a fire building
  • Why a red flag should go up when the  inside size up and outside size up are not in agreement.
  • Why one of the biggest mistakes that a small, understaffed fire department can make is to try emulate and operate like a big city department.
  • Why it is a rare event that any action will take priority over getting water on the fire
  • Why firefighters do not have to get “nose to nose” with a fire to begin extinguishment
  • Why directing a stream from the outside when an interior attack is delayed is always better than allowing a fire to burn out of control.
  • Why attacking a fire from the uninvolved portion of a structure may delay extinguishment and increase risk to firefighters and occupants.
  • Why a sprinkler system does not guarantee that a building will not be destroyed by fire

This class will examine modern fire dynamics; why wind-driven fires are not   just a high rise fire hazard and why ventilation without water application may make interior conditions worse. Students will learn why experienced, professional firefighters, whether career or volunteer, do not operate at every fire, every phase of a firefighting operation and every occupancy with the same strategy, tactics or level of risk.  . Several fire case histories will be examined to identify and avoid the most common “mayday” situations.  Students will also learn factors that must be considered in an on-going   size up that continually evaluates the risk to firefighters against the intended benefits,

This is an intermediate level workshop, intended for command officers, company officers and firefighters aspiring to be company officers.



Sep 29-30, 2011 Intelligent Firefighting “Be Aggressive . ..Don’t Be Stupid”

With Capt Bill Gustin, Miami Dade Fire Rescue Double Tree Milwaukee City Center Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sep 29-30, 2011 Intelligent Firefighting “Be Aggressive . ..Don’t Be Stupid”

With Capt Bill Gustin, Miami Dade Fire Rescue Double Tree Milwaukee City Center Milwaukee, Wisconsin