FSRI Awarded 2014 DHS Fire Prevention and Safety Research Grant

September 17, 2015

FSRI is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a Fire Prevention and Safety Research Grant through the DHS Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to conduct a project titled, “Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity and Exposure.” This 3-year study will take everything we have learned over the past 10 years of research and build on it to improve firefighter hands on training. The increased understanding of fire behavior that has emerged from previous AFG funded research has raised many questions that revolve around teaching these principles during hands-on training. Most training buildings or props, when used according to current training standards, will not create an environment that effectively demonstrates the impact of firefighting tactics (i.e. ventilation and suppression) on fire behavior. Despite ongoing financial and time restrictions, firefighter training academies must continually produce firefighters who have a thorough understanding of fire dynamics and are able to transfer that knowledge to tasks and tactics on the fireground. Firefighter training standards provide important constraints on fuel (type, arrangement and quantity) and the structure (geometry and materials) as a result of past incidents where firefighters have been injured or killed in training. With all of these limitations, the potential exists for students to observe and internalize inaccurate concepts such as “ventilation always leads to cooling”, “ventilation always reduces the chance of flashover” and “enter the fire room before flowing water.” It is imperative that fire instructors are able to provide the correct context to the students so that the proper lessons are learned, even if they are not visible, while providing a safe and predictable training environment.

We would like to thank the Illinois Fire Service Institute, International Society of Fire Service Instructors, International Association of Fire Fighters, North American Fire Training Directors and our Advisory Board for their support of this project.

Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure