Most of the improvements in the fire service are based on research which may be the result of incident or series of similar incidents or the need for improvement.
Topic: Understanding Fire Research
Time Required: 2 Hours
• Appropriate audio-visual materials
• Essentials of Fire Fighting, 4th ed., International Fire Service Training Association
• Fire Protection Handbook 19th Edition, NFPA
Motivation: Most of the improvements in the fire service are based on research which may be the result of incident or series of similar incidents or the need for improvement. The evolution of the fire service has a direct relationship to the research that has taken place. Change did not just take place by accident but is based on research.
Objective (SPO): The firefighter will demonstrate a general knowledge of fire research and how it contributes to the health and safety of firefighters.
Overview: Understanding Fire Research
• Research Initiatives
• Testing and Standards
• Lessons Learned
Instructors Notes: This drill could be more beneficial for all involved if it were conducted as an interactive discussion with the instructor leading the discussion. It should be an opportunity for personnel to reflect on how research has contributed to improving the health and safety of firefighters. The discussion would be enhanced by having a broad range of experience among the participants so that the progression of tools, equipment, apparatus, and training can be discussed based on first-hand knowledge.
Understanding Fire Research
SPO 1-1 The firefighter will demonstrate a general knowledge of fire research and how it contributes to the health and safety of firefighters.
EO 1-1 Identify various research initiatives that have contributed to improving the safety and health of firefighters.
EO 1-2 Describe the importance of testing and standards as part of the fire research process.
EO 1-3 Identify sources of lessons learned that can be used in fire research.
I. RESEARCH INITIATIVES (EO 1-1)
• Personal protective clothing
• Turncoat coat and pants design and fabric, e.g., from rubber and canvas duck to
Nomex and PBI
• Helmet design and material, e.g., from metal to materials that do not conduct
• Eye protection design, e.g., from fold-down helmet eye shields to specifically
• Glove design and material, e.g., from rubber coated "fireball" gloves to specially
treated leather materials
• Hood adaptation
• Self-contained breathing apparatus
• Operation, e.g., from negative pressure and mainline controls to positive pressure
and mask mounted regulators
• Quick fill or buddy breathing
• Integrated PASS device that are turned on automatically when the cylinder is
turned on (reduces human intervention)
• Cylinder capacity, size, and weight, e.g., from steel and aluminum cylinders to
smaller, lighter weight composite cylinders (accomplished by increasing pressure
and reducing cylinder size)
• Facepiece spider design and material, e.g., from rubber spiders to Nomex and PBI
webbing that provides a better seal
• Accountability systems
• Development of systems
• Use of accountability tags
• Incorporation into incident management system
• Use of electronic devices to monitor the location of personnel
• Personnel Accountability Report (PAR) as part of the incident management system