June 2nd - 4th 2023, Wolfville, Nova Scotia



Jim Silvernail

Fire Chief

Kirkwood Fire Department

St. Louis County, MO 

Saturday Afternoon 13:00 - 14:30 & 15:00 - 16:30


"Adaptive tactical Implementation for non-urban departments"

The modern fireground requires realistic situation, tactical implementation for safe, effective and efficient objective achievement. The challenges of managing structure fires can be unique and regionally specific; however, all underlying themes are constant. Regardless if your organization is urban, suburban, or rural, the objectives of rescue, containment, confinement, and extinguishment are the same. The differences are the tactics undertaken to accomplish these objectives. For the majority of fire service agencies, this means making the most out of what you have and prioritizing essential functions. Tactics must be adapted to your agency’s specific capabilities and be circumstantially implemented for fireground success.


This interactive discussion will detail how the evolving structure fire environment, effective firefighting principles, and specific agency circumstances affect fireground decision making and tactical delivery. This approach begins with a realistic, honest self-assessment of your agency’s capabilities in relation to service delivery, constrained by: 1. Resources, 2. Staffing, and 3. Response area characteristics. These situational circumstances are then applied, in conjunction with firefighting principles, to the challenges experienced with modern structure fires. This class follows the principles of the author’s text, Suburban Fire Tactics (Fire Engineering Books and Videos, 2013): “same objectives, different tactics.”


Jim Silvernail is the Fire Chief of the Kirkwood Fire Department of St. Louis County, MO with over 23 years of operational experience and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy EFO Program and is international accredited as a “Chief Fire Officer” (CPSE). He is the author of Suburban Fire Tactics and the coauthor of Suburban Fire Tactics from the Right Seat video and has written numerous articles for Fire Engineering magazine. He is a workshop instructor at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) (2011-2020) and presents at various regional deliveries. 

Chief Silvernail served as a principle member of NFPA technical committee 1710 and is a Western Regional Director of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors.Jim was a lead instructor at the St. Louis County Fire Academy, specializing in truck company operations. He also served as a member of MO-TF 1 (a FEMA Urban Search & Rescue team), serving as a Planning Team Manager. 

Chief Silvernail’s formal education includes: an AAS in Fire Protection Technology, a BA in Business

Administration, and an MS in Human Resource Management.