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Joint Public Safety Response to Fire-as-a-Weapon™

***Husband takes his wife and infant child hostage, then pours gasoline in the house and lights the house on fire with everyone inside. The house burns down, killing the perpetrator and his hostages.***


***Officers serve a warrant on a suspected narcotics dealer. Upon making entry, the perpetrator ignites the gasoline-soaked carpet. Officers are trapped and receive serious burns trying to evacuate.***


***Two terrorists are held up on the fourth floor of an eight floor building. They have lit several fires on the fifth floor. There are multiple hostages trapped on floors five and above quickly dying from the smoke and heat. The terrorists then take up barricade positions to attack responding officers.***


Fire is one of the oldest weapons known to man. However, after thousands of years there is still a struggle to manage fire when used as a weapon. The class “Joint Public Safety Response to Fire-as-a-Weapon” was developed to train law enforcement and firefighting personnel how to operate when fire is either intentionally or unintentionally introduced during law enforcement operations.


The use of fire as a weapon adds to the complexity and lethality of any hostile incident. Not only do officers have to deal with the dangers normally associated with tactical entries and building sweeps, but fires quickly make the situation much more complex and dangerous for victims and responders. Fire growth and fire spread times do not allow for a long decision-making process; requiring law enforcement to have contingency plans in place before the first sign of smoke or fire.

Attacks such as the complex coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India (2008), demonstrated that criminals are willing to use fire as a weapon to increase the victim count. Many people fail to realize that United States law enforcement have experienced many incidents where fire is used as a weapon. Incidents involving barricaded suspects, attacks on responders, and warrant services have resulted in injuries and deaths from the fire. Notable incidents have occurred in Philadelphia; San Diego; Webster, New York; Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Oregon City, Oregon; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Cowpens, South Carolina. National and international intelligence analysts recognize the increasing use of fire-as-a-weapon in both criminal and terrorist attacks.

Threat Suppression was the first company in the world to offer training on law enforcement response to fire-as-a-weapon events. This course is firmly grounded in several years of research, including numerous live structural burns with SWAT teams. Threat Suppression has trained numerous SWAT teams from the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals, and multiple local/state SWAT teams.

The lecture portion of this class will give officers a basic understanding of fire behavior. Students will explore the dangers of fire and learn how fires burn. Students will learn basic steps to control the spread of the fire and fire byproducts to increase survivability for occupants of the structure. Students will learn that by reading the smoke, the officers can determine where the location of the fire, the rate of fire growth, and the danger poses to occupants and officers. 

The hands-on section of this class will familiarize officers with fire department equipment that officers can utilize when dealing with these types of incidents. Additional evolutions will expose students to the use of ventilation teams in conjunction with breaching teams, when entry is made into a structure involved in fire. Through the use of live burns, officers will experience the coordination necessary between breaching, ventilation, positive pressure fan placement, and entry teams. This coordination will allow the officers to enter the structure and extract any hostages and suspects, thus allowing the fire department to begin fire suppression activities. 

This is not a firefighting class. Officers will not be taught how to put out fires. Instead, officers will learn how to combat fire in high-threat situations. The intent of the class is to provide the basic knowledge necessary to deal with fires in the beginning phase at tactical operations. Officers must have experience and training on room clearing and building clearing to successfully complete the course. In addition, firefighters will be taught how to integrate quickly with law enforcement to provide fire suppression support in a potentially hostile environment.


Our courses:

  • Two or four-hour lecture, Joint Public Safety Tactical Response to Fire-as-a-Weapon

  • One-day “hands-on” class, “Patrol Officer Introduction to Fire-as-a-Weapon Events”

  • Two-day “hands-on” class, “Tactical Operator Response to Fire-as-a-Weapon Events”

  • Two-day “hands-on” class, “Managing Fire-as-a-Weapon in Large-Scale Civil Unrest Events”

For more information on these classes, please email, or call 1-800-231-9106.

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