I sit down with fire service legend Shan Raffel and talk about firefighting and instructing.
Shans career and experience span almost 40 years, with knowledge, tools and tactics constantly evolving.
I love talking to Shan about being a student of the fire service and at the same time trying to improve it.
Shan Raffel AFSM EngTech CFIFireE CF
Shan served as a career firefighter in Australia for over 38 years.
His career took a serious change in 1994 after two of his colleagues were killed during firefighting operations in what was considered a “routine fire”. In 1996, two other colleagues were seriously injured after being caught in an extreme fire event while conducting search and rescue operations in smoke laden section of a Backpackers Hostel.
These events motivated him to develop an extensive report which led to an international study of international best practice in compartment fire behavior training (CFBT) in 1997 at leading fire departments.
The critical information gained, led to the development of the first nationally recognized training CFBT program in Australia in 1998.
He has continued to assist numerous fire services in the world in the development of their training facilities, instructors and teaching materials.
In 2009 he was awarded a “Churchill Fellowship” to research “Planning Preparation and Response to Emergencies in Tunnels” which led to intensive study over a period of 10 weeks in the USA (FDNY), Canada, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland.
His extensive training experience spans 27 countries, and his International Compartment Fire Behaviour Instructors program gained international credentialing through the Institution of Fire Engineers recognition process in 2018.
Since leaving full time firefighting service, he has focused on Fire Engineering consultancy and the development of firefighting instructors through his international courses.
This is the truth, or maybe not.
This conversation might not always be accurate. I am no guru and sometimes simple mistakes are made, especially if English isn’t a person’s first language. It’s just our chat – nothing more or less. Have fun!