The Indiana Smoke Diver Obstacle course is designed to reinforce certain fireground behaviors and to stress all the muscle groups, work the cardiovascular system and improve air consumption while wearing the self-contained breathing apparatus. The obstacle course includes many common fire ground activities including hoisting equipment, climbing ladders, maneuvering on ceiling rafters, chopping, dragging hose, searching, nozzle and hose management and more. The combination of the calisthenics and obstacle course are the equivalent of working hard at 2-3 incidents.
We have found that job related obstacle courses are one of the best uses of physical training time. These courses can be used to instill desired behaviors through repetition. Working out in full protective clothing and breathing apparatus conditions the cardiovascular system and muscular system to perform in the environment firefighters actually work in.
Obstacle courses can be created at just about any fire station with existing equipment. See below for some suggested obstacle course stations (please note that the actual Indiana Smoke Diver Obstacle course is not published in order to maintain the uncertainty that adds to the mental stress of the candidate).
The candidate will climb a ladder mounted aerial device from the ground to the roof of the gas building. The candidate must maintain three points of contact with the aerial device at all times. The candidate must verbalize or simulate that they would sound the roof with a tool before exiting the aerial device and carefully lower themselves onto the roof. The candidate must verbally identify that they are on the roof. The candidate must wait for their partner to exit the aerial device in the same manner before continuing on to the next station. This station exercises the upper and lower body strength and the cardiovascular system.
The candidate will pull a ½-inch diameter rope with 50-lbs of hose attached, up to the roof of the gas building hand over hand in a controlled manner. The equipment is then lowered to the start position, hand over hand. At no time is the candidate permitted to lean on the rope to use his/her body weight to assist in the lowering of the rope. If at any point the candidate loses control of the rope, the repetition will NOT be counted and the repetition will be attempted again. This exercises the upper body and grip strength and the cardiovascular system.
Corrugated Tube Crawl
As a team, the candidates will exit the roof of the gas building via the interior stairwell and make their way to the 2nd floor. The candidates will then enter the hallway, drop down to the ground, and find their way through a corrugated tube simulating a restricted opening in a building. The candidates will make their way through the tube one at a time, and may be permitted to assist one another from the other side of the tube. This exercises the upper and lower body strength and cardiovascular system.
Team Search & Rescue
The candidates will perform a search pattern of the interior floor with a partner, locate a victim, and remove the victim to the nearest exit. This evolution requires flexibility of the upper and lower extremities, back and shoulders, strength in the upper and lower body, and works the cardiovascular system.
Flashover Hose Evolution
The candidates will enter the room, locate the hoseline and follow it toward the nozzle, identifying the team’s direction of travel. Upon reaching the nozzle, the instructor will call FLASHOVER, and the team will flow water into the ceiling area to demonstrate actions to stop or prevent flashover conditions. This evolution works the arms, shoulders, legs and cardiovascular system.
The candidate will use the Keiser Force Machine for this exercise. Using a dead blow hammer, the candidate shall drive the sled the full distance of the track one time. An alternate method of using a tire and sledgehammer may also be used in the event a Keiser sled is not available. This exercise requires flexibility of the upper body, strength in the arms, and works the cardiovascular system.
Accordion Hose Carry
The student will lift and carry 50 lbs of hose folded into an accordion load a distance of 100 feet. This exercises the lower back, shoulders, legs, and cardiovascular system.
The student will use a sledgehammer to hit a forcible entry simulator until block stops. Instructor will advised when the student should stop. Student will alternate "weak" and "strong" sides from day to day.
The candidate will flip a large tractor-style tire for a total of five repetitions. The candidate must verbalize each repetition. This exercise requires full flexibility and strength of all major muscle groups and works the cardiovascular system.
Rolled Hose Carry
The candidate will carry two (2) 50-lb sections of rolled hose with handles a distance of 100 feet. This exercise tests back and grip strength as well as upper and lower body strength.
Bailout to Ladder
The candidate will enter the prop and perform a head first ladder bailout by exiting through the window onto a straight ladder. This requires flexibility of all major muscle groups, strength in the upper and lower body and works the cardiovascular system.
2 1/2" Hose operation
As a team, the candidates will open a hydrant by turning the hydrant wrench until the hydrant if opened fully, he/she will then move to the nozzle of a 2 ½” hand line, open the nozzle and flow water onto a target, shut the nozzle down and the partner will shut the hydrant off. The candidate will then bleed the line and shut the nozzle valve. This exercise requires upper body strength.
The candidate will lift a smoke ejector fan from the ground and carry it a total distance of 100 feet. This exercise requires upper and lower body strength.
2 1/2" Hose Advance
As a team, the candidates will advance a 2 ½” hose line a distance of 15 feet and flow water from the nozzle. The candidates will then back the nozzle to the original starting point without turning away from the simulated fire location. The candidates are required to stay low (duck walk is permitted). This evolution requires flexibility of the upper & lower extremities, back & shoulders, strength in the upper & lower body, and works the cardiovascular system.
The candidate will drag the hose drag prop a distance of 50 feet. This requires flexibility of the back, upper and lower body strength.
Pike Pole/Simulated Ceiling Breach
The candidate will pull the handle of a pike pole downward until it touches the ground 25 times. The pike pole will be attached to a rope/ cable that is attached to 50 lbs of hose. The candidate will be required to complete this task using primarily the upper body to complete the pull. The pike pole handle & hose must touch the ground successively in order to complete the cycle. The candidate is required to verbalize each repetition This exercises the upper body and grip strength