PMS-419 Engine Operator -ENOP

Update 2023-1-

If  it is impossible for one to  FAIL A COURSE, you cannot consider yourself QUALIFIED! 



The statement above applies to every type of class we may go through in life. It is mentioned here to promote thought.


Wildland Apparatus Engineer, SP. has developed a program to teach well BEYOND the standard PMS-419 Hydraulics sections of the Engine Operator course. The PMS-419 course is not an Engineer Course and as a result of such, there are what WAE classifies as shortcomings.  Thus, the ENOP Course should be considered a primmer. 

Since there is NO Other course to teach the missing elements, and there is no examination for the course then these topics below should be included as they all affect and influence your tactical decisions you make as well as your capability.  Like Sun Tzu & The Art of War, knowledge influences your Tao, your Tao affects your process. If it’s flawed, you fail. 

The problem is that you will likely never know your TAO is flawed unless you are informed or you simply get tired of losing battles and decide to find out why.

Because the PMS-419 is NOT a Engineer Course, it does not train anyone in the wildland fire service on any of the following items nor is any of the information within the Instructor Guide: 

INSTRUCTOR GUIDE HAS ZERO training and instruction on how much heat your nozzle can absorb.

INSTRUCTOR GUIDE HAS ZERO training on Btu absorption from your Engine Cooler Valve and associated problems.

INSTRUCTOR GUIDE HAS ZERO training on proper engine interfacing with various types of apparatus (Structure & Wildland).

INSTRUCTOR GUIDE HAS ZERO training on the Dangers of Fire Ground & Pump Hydraulics.

INSTRUCTOR GUIDE HAS ZERO training on Relay Pumping & Tandem Pumping operations and why they are important tools to train on for the wildland arena.

INSTRUCTOR GUIDE HAS ZERO training on the problems and solutions of Parallel Pumping issues. 

INSTRUCTOR GUIDE HAS ZERO training or instruction on resource size up and needs based upon Btu Output estimation of the fuels. (FireBridge). Hence the Energy Release vs Btu Absorption and how that determines size, type, and number of resources. 

INSTRUCTOR GUIDE HAS ZERO training or instruction on Aircraft Resource Capability & Determination as it relates to heat Absorption for Fires.

INSTRUCTOR GUIDE HAS ZERO training on Specific and Latent Heat properties, calculations for use in operational scenarios. 

Further, there is also no instruction as to how to use Fire Behavior Nomograms during extended attack operations to determine Rates of Spread, Heat per Unit Area and how to use those fire intensity numbers to determine the better type(s) of resources, both air and ground, that likely should be used. 

Also, it seems the number of lessons learned stories on scalding injuries with pumps keep climbing and there is little instruction on how to avoid such problems.

It is extremely easy to turn a pump into a steam generator and seriously injure folks

See the 2017 Crescent Fire Scald Injury report link above. This has been demonstrated to folks both in the classroom and in the field portions on what to look for, and how to remedy the issues and more importantly, how to eliminate potential problems before they can begin! 

A few of the aspects WAE teaches are:

  1. Working with varied apparatus (Wildland and Structure Engines)
  2. Hose lays: all kinds and distances; 50,000 feet? what size hose? 1800 feet of head?
  3. Synchronizing multiple pump platforms at different elevations?
  4. Helicopters & the Dip Site. (Travel time of the water to reach the dip? Matching supply to use)
  5. SEATS(remote bases with limited or no water?)
  6. How to setup remote seat bases and support infrastructure.
  7. How to plan for an Airport losing its water and power supplies.
  8. Water tenders (calculating shuttle relays, right type and capability?)
  9. Varying fuel types and BTU ratings.
  10. Determine the amount of water required for each type of scenario.
  11. FireBridge (read about it on this site).

WAE  can help operators to become solution providers as “Engineers”. Engineers solve problems and make things happen and are highly accurate due to their training. Operators on the other hand are typically trained for just that, to solely operate and not necessarily devise engineering solutions.

A WAE Engineer Course (in development and nearing completion) will instantly allow you to outperform any other ENgine OPerator on the battlefield compared to those who have only taken the standard  PMS 419 course.

While WAE’s course is still in development for the online portion, WAE has the ability to provide in person instruction and training.

Consider “The Wildland Apparatus Engineer” 150 page Book in the store link as a powerful supplement and learning tool to the existing PMS-419 Publication. See the Store Link.


Looking for the NIFC/NWCG link to the publication?

Joseph Moylan

Please see the About me link on the website.

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