firefighting apparatus parked outside of a house

Journal Article Published Addresses Effects of Crew Size on Firefighter Health and Safety

December 16, 2021

Fire department leaders are encouraged to review the findings detailed in the Effects of Crew Size on Firefighter Health and Safety peer-reviewed journal article published in the International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management. 

This state-of-the-art review led by recently appointed U.S. Fire Administrator Lori Moore-Merrell examines the effect of emergency response vehicle crew size and total effective response force deployment on firefighter’s health and safety risks. Recognizing that firefighter health and safety is necessary to ensure that firefighters can effectively perform their jobs and protect their community, the authors provide a detailed review of multidisciplinary research efforts including engineering, medicine, fire technology and social sciences, published data, and industry standards. 

According to the available evidence, crew sizes and effective response force sizes recommended in NFPA 1710: Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments should be considered the minimum to provide for firefighter health and safety. When possible, additional resources should be provided to address firefighter physiological stress, and limit fire growth to the extent possible and  ensure that proper steps can be taken to mitigate occupational exposure on today’s rapidly evolving fireground.

FSRI partnered with the International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI) and Skidmore College to publish this paper. This paper includes information from and references many historical FSRI papers related to firefighter health and safety such as the “Analysis of Changing Residential Fire Dynamics and Its Implications on Firefighter Operational Timeframes” paper.

Article authored by: 

  • Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, U.S. Fire Administrator, FEMA, (formally of International Public Safety Data Institute) 
  • Dr. Steve Kerber, Vice President of Research and Director of UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute
  • Dr. Gavin P. Horn, Research Engineer, Fire Safety Research Institute
  • Dr. Denise L. Smith, Research Scientist, University of Illinois, Fire Service Institute, and Professor, Skidmore College

Click here to read the article.


About International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management:

The International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management (IFSJLM) is a refereed journal that publishes articles of interest to an international audience of academics and in-service fire and emergency management professionals.  The principal thrust and primary impetus for the creation of IFSJLM is to offer the international fire service articles focusing on leadership and management.


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