Chief Compton's Research Corner

Welcome to Chief Dennis Compton’s Research Corner.  This section of the International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management (IFSJLM) website provides a location and mechanism for Chief Compton to place fire service research studies and other papers in this folder that he believes are a “must read.” Before you start reviewing the studies below, let us tell you a little about Chief Compton.

Chief Compton was the Fire Chief in Mesa, Arizona, for 5 years and Assistant Fire Chief in Phoenix where he served for 27 years. He has served as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board of Directors and is the Past Chairman of the Executive Board of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) and Past Chairman of the Congressional Fire Service Institute National Advisory Committee. He has also served on the International Public Safety Training Institute (IPSDI) Board of Directors.

Chief Compton is a well-known speaker and author. He has received many awards, including the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association and the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association Lifetime Achievement Awards. Chief Compton is recipient of the Dr. John Granito Award for Excellence in Fire Service Leadership and Management Research and the 2016 IAFC James O. Page EMS Achievement Award. Dennis was also inducted into the National Fire Heritage Center Hall of Legends, Legacies, and Leaders – the Firehouse Leaders and Legends National Hall of Fame – and is a charter member of the Arizona Fire Service Hall of Fame.

Chief Compton is a strong supporter of and a vocal advocate for the International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management.  He serves on the Editorial Board of IFSJLM, regularly reviews articles for the Journal and has published in IFSJLM.  He is also a frequent speaker at the Annual IFSJLM Research Symposium that is held in July each year preceding the opening session of the summer International Fire Service Training Association Validation Conference.

We hope you enjoy this collection of research topics and studies chosen for you by Chief Dennis Compton. Also, please check back as new studies and papers are added periodically.

Association Between Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Firefighters: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis© - February, 2024

Published By: The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Authored By: Jaron Ras; Andre P. Kengne; Denise L. Smith; Elpidoforos S. Soteriades; and Lloyd Leach      



Firefighters perform duties on a regular basis that require significant effort to complete their myriad tasks related to performing emergency duties. Approximately 45% of on-duty related firefighter mortalities are due to sudden cardiac death and many of these fatalities are related to cardiovascular disease and overexertion. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between cardiovascular disease risk factors and cardiorespiratory fitness in firefighters. The findings of this review and meta-analysis assert that fire departments must adopt intervention strategies to maintain their firefighters’ level of occupational wellbeing.


The following study and report were endorsed by The International Journal of environmental Research and Public Health on February 5, 2023.

Access the report at the following link:

Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro Chiefs) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) Position Papers - September, 2023

Report Sponsored By: The Urban Fire Forum 

Hosted By: NFPA

Report Authored and Endorsed By: Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Urban Fire Forum Participants and NFPA



The Urban Fire Forum is sponsored and hosted by the NFPA each year. This unique event brings together selected Metropolitan Fire Chiefs who are responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the United States and around the world. The Urban Fire Forum focuses on a wide range of topics including sessions on the latest international research and technology. Fire Chiefs today lead sophisticated organizations that provide fire, rescue, EMS, hazardous materials and other environmental services, as well as a wide array of public education, code enforcement, and community health programs. The Urban Fire Forum conducted in September 2023 resulted in a Report that includes three Position Statements addressing the critical issues of Climate ChangeSupport for increasing Efforts on Mental Health & Wellbeing; and Support for Research on Firefighter Reproductive Health.


The following three Position Statements were endorsed by the Urban Fire Forum on September 28, 2023. 

Access them in the following links:

Research Foundation Review of the Impact of Medications on Older Adult Fall and Fire Risk© - August, 2023

Report Sponsored By: NFPA

Report Authored By: Jamie L. McAllister, P.E., Ph.D. - Margaret Maglione, M.P.P - Brendan McCarrick, P.E. - Zleda Q. Zhao - FireFox, LLC. - New Market, MD.


Fifty-two million Americans aged 65 or older make up 16% of the total US population, yet this age bracket experiences disproportionate injuries and deaths from fire and falls. Falls are the leading cause of death from unintentional injuries for older adults. The risk factors associated with aging populations are similar for fires and falls, making it critical to educate older adults on adopting prevention and response behaviors. The goal of this project is to identify the relationship between medication use and fall/fire risk of older adults and generalize findings to inform message development, thus enhancing overall safety. 

Access the report at the following link:

Truman Fire Forum Report - August 16-18, 2022 - Published - January, 2023

Forum Hosted By: National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF); Event Sponsors Include: Cintas, NFSA, California Casualty, and Grant Funding by FEMA’s Grant Program Directorate for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Final Report Authored By: National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). 


President Harry S. Truman convened the National Conference on Fire Prevention in 1947 to address the nation’s fire problem. In May 2019, the inaugural Truman Fire Forum was held in Key West, Florida to reassess the status of the fire problem and develop future intervention strategies. The second Truman Fire Forum was held in August 2022 in Independence, Missouri to continue planning and follow-up work towards established goals. This report includes an overview of the work of the 2019 Fire Forum, as well as the 2022 Forum. This set of meetings and the work that has been produced beings together the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and many fire service organizations to focus on a vision that includes integrating fire prevention and public education into fire department operations; better utilizing data, research, and science; creating modern fire solutions; leveraging fire prevention and safety; developing better messaging; and enhancing risk management and decision-making. 

Access the Report at the following link:

Fire Loss in the United States During 2021 - September, 2022

Conducted By: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Final Report By: Shelby Hall and Ben Evarts with the assistance of other NFPA staff and with data provided by many U.S. fire departments


During 2021, a fire department responded to a fire somewhere in the United States every 23 seconds. This document captures and analyzes the data from those incidents. The fire and fire loss estimates included in this analysis are derived from the NFPA’s 2021 fire experience survey (FES). This report includes findings evident within the 2021 data, as well as statistical trends from the past and future. Only fires reported to local fire departments are included in this report.

Access the Report at the following link:

Study of Fire Service Residential Home Size-up and Search & Rescue Operations - June, 2022

Conducted By: UL Fire Service Research Institute (FSRI) with Research Partner: Illinois Fire Service Institute – Research Engineer: Craig Weinschenk supported by a 21 member Technical Panel.


The Study of Fire Service Residential Home Size-up and Search & Rescue Operations was funded through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program under the Fire Prevention and Safety Grants. This Research and Development grant focused on the objective of examining size-up and search & rescue tactics on the residential fireground. Twenty-one experiments were conducted in two identical, purpose-built, single-story, single-family residential structures. Eleven (11) experiments examined bedroom fires, eight experiments examined kitchen fires, and two experiments examined living room fires. Across this series of experiments, the impact of isolation of fire and non-fire compartments, the timing of search actions relative to suppression actions, and the influence of isolation, elevation, and path of travel during rescue were examined with respect to firefighter safety and occupant tenability. The primary purpose of the study is to improve firefighter safety and victim survivability by examining the impact of: different search tactics, such as search initiated through the front door or search initiated through a window – different rescue tactics such as path of occupant removal or elevation of occupant removal – isolation (front door, fire room, or remote bedroom) and ventilation – and search and rescue operations that occur prior to, during, or post suppression. These experiments resulted in a three-part fire service technical report series released in May 2022.


Access the Study Introduction, Video Overview, and the Three Reports at the links below: 

Environmental Impact of Fires in the Built Environment – Emission Factors - April, 2022

Conducted By: Fire Protection Research Foundation – an affiliate of NFPA

Final Report By: Margaret McNamee and Joakim Astrom, Division of Fire Safety Engineering, Lund University, Sweden; Benjamin Truchot and Guy Marlair, INERIS, France; and Brian Meacham, Meacham Associates, USA.   


Current efforts to improve the sustainability of buildings focus on increasing energy efficiency and reducing the embodied carbon. Most fires occurring in the build environment contribute to air contamination from the fire plume (whose deposition is likely to subsequently include land and water contamination), contamination from water runoff containing toxic products, and other environmental discharges or releases from burned materials. The environmental impact also has economic consequences for communities and regions. As a start to calculate the true cost of fire to society, the Fire Protection Foundation undertook this study that developed a research road map identifying needed research to be able to quantify the environmental impact of fire from the built environment and its economic consequences. This study identified the need to develop updated emissions factors (EF) for atmospheric emissions and couple this to acceptable EF for emissions to water and soil considering both pure substances and relevant mixtures. The goal of this project was to update existing EFs for a range of fire conditions and develop new EFs for relevant building materials to produce a database that can be built upon with future research.  


Access the Report at the following link: 

2021 National Fire Service Research Agenda. - March, 2022

Prepared, Published, and Sponsored By: The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the UL Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI).


The 2021 National Fire Service Research Agenda Symposium (RAS) was held virtually from February 15 through March 8, 2021. It was released in January 2022. National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Everyone Goes Home® Firefighter Life Safety Initiative #7 calls for the creation of a national research agenda and data collection system related to the sixteen Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives. To that end, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) has previously hosted three research agenda symposiums in 2005, 2011, and 2015. Although the publication of a new Fire Service Research Agenda causes great excitement in the academic and research community, the broader fire service often has very little interface with it and may subsequently lack understanding of its true impact. They are often unaware that virtually every research project conducted by, or on behalf of the fire service, has its roots in the Research Agenda. In fact, demonstrating a project’s connection to its recommendations is often a gateway to grant funding for researchers. The domains and symposium structure were created by a planning team whose members are considered to be among the fire service’s leading visionaries.


Access the Research Agenda at: 

NOTE: If interested, the 2015 National Fire Service Research Agenda is also available for review on Compton’s Corner.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) – Metropolitan Fire Chief Association (Metro Chiefs) 2021 Position Papers - November, 2021

1. Data Modernization; 2: COVID Long Haulers; 3: Crew Sizes and Firefighter Health and Safety; 4: High Threat Briefing.

Prepared By: Fire Chiefs from Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated in-person or virtually in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) held in September 2021 at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, MA. The UFF event was coordinated by Metro Chiefs Executive Director, Russ Sanders and staffed by the NFPA. The majority of U.S. Chiefs in attendance were members of the Metro Chiefs Board of Directors and selected members at large. Special guests who participated included Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council of the United Kingdom, CFO Mark Hardingham; United Kingdom Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety CFO Peter Holland; Chief Tonya Hoover, Administrator of the United States Fire Administration (Acting); International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) CEO and Executive Director Chief Rob Brown; and Chief Stephan Wevers, president of the Netherlands Fire Service and Federation of the European Fire Officer Associations.

Published: The group endorsed four important documents as official Urban Fire Forum – Metro Chiefs position papers released on September 28, 2021


UFF reports and findings have traditionally given exceptional guidance to fire and emergency services leaders on a very broad scale. These four 2021 Position Papers are no exception. “Today’s firefighters respond to a broad range of emergencies and catastrophic events that have become commonplace in the United States and throughout the world. From natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, and ice storms, to domestic terrorism and beyond, chiefs must have data and up-to-date intelligence at their fingertips to make decisions that result in safe and effective outcomes for both their fire fighters and the public they serve. To adequately manage these situations fire chiefs must work with both their government and non-government partners. The position papers endorsed by the Urban Fire Forum Chiefs provide the information and resources needed to effectively address the everchanging challenges facing today’s fire service,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders and coordinator of the event.


Access the Position Papers at: 

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – Fire Safety in the United States Since 1980…Through the Lens of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem - July, 2021

Prepared By: This report was sponsored and executed by NFPA with administrative oversight and support provided by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), a small group of NFPA colleagues, and a 16 member Project Technical Panel; the NFPA Research Team: Marty Ahrens and Birgitte Messerschmidt; and the NFPA Project Sponsor: Lorraine Carli.

Published: 2021


This study looks at fire data and other research to provide an analysis of what has impacted fire safety in the United States in the last 40 years. Through the lens of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem, this report highlights successes, new and ongoing challenges, and opportunities for improvement. The main focus of this study is on reported fires in homes, as home structure fires have consistently accounted for the largest share of reported structure fires and the majority of the reported civilian fire deaths and injuries. It also analyzes fires involving hospitals and nursing homes, as well as catastrophic multiple-death fires and fires in the wildland/urban interface (WUI).

Access the Report at: Here

United States Fire Administration – Emergency Services Ergonomics and Wellness - April, 2021

Prepared By: This report was developed through a partnership between the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) at Oklahoma State University (OSU). Project Administrator: Nancy Trench, Assistant Director for Research, OSU Fire Protection Publications (FPP); Principal Investigator: Cerie Smith, PT, DPT, CSCS, Director of Rehabilitation and Wellness, Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department; Editor: Mike Wieder, Associate Director, FPP, Executive Director, IFSTA.

Published: September 2020


“Ergonomics” can be simply defined as the practice of making the work environment safe and productive for the worker. It is aimed at enhancing a healthy relationship between humans and their working environment, ultimately reducing risk, and thereby creating a safer and more productive workplace. This study was conducted using data from several sources and the results of specific injury characteristics, combined with the science of ergonomics and human factors, to assist in providing corrective measures that will help to increase the safety of emergency responders, reduce the costs of worker’s compensation claims, maximize the longevity of emergency service careers, and assist with sending personnel into healthy retirements.


Access the Report at:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security – United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center: Mass Attacks in Public Spaces Report - January, 2021

Prepared By: This report was prepared and authored by specific staff of the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) – James M. Murray, Director  

Published: August 2020


The U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) is an integral resource for the agency’s no-fail mission to safeguard this nation’s highest elected officials. NTAC’s continuous efforts to ensure the informed development of prevention strategies through research also enables outreach programs and publications that assist protective and public safety partners in their missions to prevent targeted violence in communities across the United States. This NTAC study examines 34 targeted attacks that occurred in public or semi-public spaces (e.g. schools, places of business, houses of worship, open spaces) from January through December 2019. Understanding the key factors in preventing these attacks is even more critical now that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing additional stressors in the lives of our citizens.     


Access the Report at:

Fire Technology 2020: Impact of Repeated Exposure and Cleaning of Protective Properties of Structural Firefighting Turnout Gear - September, 2020

Prepared By: Gavin P. Horn, Richard M. Kesler, Hannah Newman, Jacob W. Stewart, and Denise L. Smith, Illinois Fire Service Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MC-675, 11 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820, USA  
Gavin P. Horn and Steve Kerber, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute, Columbia, MD, USA  
Jessica Andrews, UL LLC, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA  
Kenneth W. Fent, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH, USA  
Denise L. Smith, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, USA  

Published July 26, 2020  

The US fire service has become acutely aware of the need to clean PPE after fires. However, there is concern that damage from repeated cleaning may impact critical protection from fireground risk. Using a protocol that included repeated simulated fireground exposures and/or repeated cleaning with techniques common in the fire service, it was found that several important protective properties of NFPA 1971 compliant turnout gear are significantly changed. These results suggest that some important protective properties of bunker gear can be decreased after repeating exposure/cleaning cycles relative to their levels when tested in a new condition. The findings for this study may have utility for setting preconditions for the measurement of certain performance properties in future editions of NFPA 1971.


Access the Report at:

International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Coronavirus Response and Planning Recommendations - March, 2020

Prepared by the IAFC Coronavirus Task Force: Chaired by Fire Chief John Sinclair; Membership Consists of Fourteen Stakeholder Representatives

This Guide identifies key recommendations, best practices, and considerations for fire departments nationwide who are dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These recommendations are based largely on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


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The Economics of Firefighter Injuries in the United States: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (Technical Note 2078) - December, 2019

David T. Butry; David Webb; Stanley: NIST Office of Applied Economics Engineering Laboratory Jennifer Taylor: Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends – Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at Drexel University

This report identifies, summarizes, and evaluates the available data and the literature describing the economic costs associated with non-fatal firefighter injuries, illnesses, health exposures, and occupational disease (“health outcomes”) resulting from line-of-duty activities.


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Firefighting and Cancer: The National Firefighter Registry (NFR) - Kenneth Fent, PhD, CIH and Miriam Siegel, DrPH – Center for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) - September, 2019

Presented at the NFPA Urban Fire Forum in September 2019

This presentation was provided to participants at the 2019 NFPA Urban Fire Forum. It includes current information on firefighter cancer risk and an overview of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018. Previous studies, including a study completed by NIOSH, clearly indicate that career firefighters are at higher risk of cancer than the general population. Although these are extensive studies of the career firefighter population, they are limited by the inclusion of only small numbers of women and minorities, as well as a lack of data on volunteer firefighters. The goal of the National Firefighter Registry (NFR) is to track firefighters’ cancer risk over time to better understand the link between workplace exposures and cancer. This presentation provides the most current information addressing who might be included in the NFR; recruiting NFR participants; NFR registration information; what will be addressed by the NFR; and the timeline for implementing the NFR.

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Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure - Acquired Structures UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute - July, 2019

Those involved with fire training often ask what is needed to develop the knowledge and subsequent skills necessary for a safe and effective operation on the fireground. Following are critical learning outcomes which directly relate to this issue including: 1) developing an understanding of fire development in a compartment, 2) dynamic risk assessment regarding recognizing critical fire behavior indicators, 3) selecting appropriate fire suppression tactics, 4) developing competence and confidence when operating in a hazardous and immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) environment, 5) developing skill in nozzle operation and technique, and 6) evaluating the effect of tactical operations on victim survivability and incident mitigation. Taking all of these concepts into consideration leaves instructors with the lingering questions of how to create fidelity (constancy) within the constraints of NFPA 1403: Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions during interactive or demonstrative hands-on, live-fire training evolutions. This study addresses these and other issues relating to safe and effective live fire training in acquired structures. 

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Promoting Innovation in Emergency Medical Services - February, 2019

This document was produced with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services, U.S. Department of Transportation. It was created through a cooperative agreement in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health & & Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & & Response (ASPR), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The participants involved in the creation of this document hope that by using the specific recommendations they have provided, the EMS industry and profession can create a more favorable environment for innovation through improved regulatory frameworks, better financial alignment, a stronger educational foundation, greater regional coordination and interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as stronger medical oversight and enhanced data and telecommunications capabilities.

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2018 State of the Volunteer Fire Service Report - November, 2018

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has been working with a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant focused on improving national volunteer recruitment and retention. This effort led to a summit in September 2018 involving leaders from around the fire service community who gathered to examine the current state of the volunteer fire service and forecast what it might look like in the future. The IAFC and its Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) partnered with the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services (iWomen), the IAFC’s Volunteer Workforce Solutions, the Council for Future Volunteer Firefighters, and other national interest groups to create a solutions-based framework that will offer combination and volunteer fire departments throughout America a means to improve their leaderships’ ability to recruit, retain, and manage the volunteers of the future. This report is born from that summit and will focus on specific areas that were identified as being crucial to reversing the negative trends that have been experienced.

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2018 Urban Fire Forum (UFF) Fire Department Capability, Performance and System Resilience White Paper - September, 2018

Fire and Rescue Departments are “ ALL-Hazards ” Departments providing emergency medical response, fire suppression, technical rescue, hazardous materials response, response to active shooter/hostile events, fire inspections, public education, investigation, community training and more. Effectively managing a fire department requires an understanding of and an ability to demonstrate how changes to resources in any of these areas will affect the overall safety of the community. The necessity of data collection, analysis and reporting cannot be overstated. Data, and the information gleaned from it, show the need for prevention, public education, and emergency response services including the number of appropriately staffed and deployed apparatus necessary to mitigate the emergencies that occur. This white paper also discusses the historical use of fire department annual reports and their limitations, guidelines for a detailed community risk assessment addressing hazards and their associated risks, and how to gather data necessary to conduct a community risk assessment. Other sections discuss fire department performance and the associated metrics found in industry standards and in the NFORS data system, as well as several other important sections.

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2018 NFFF Fire Service Health & Safety Report recently published as a Supplement by Firehouse - September, 2018

The 2018 edition of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Health & Safety Report focuses on a broad range of subjects and issues impacting the fire service today. It includes sections highlighting the overall wellness program developed by the Philadelphia Fire Department, as well as other “ Making a Difference ” segments from both the career and volunteer perspectives. This report also addresses improving human performance with the introduction of a new concept for the fire service — human performance optimization — as well as sections covering firefighter/fire officer development and the First Responder Center for Excellence (FRCE). Also emphasized are Fire and Life Safety Initiatives 2 (Accountability), 8 (Technology), 11 (Response Policies) and 13 (Behavioral Health). Each of these sections provide new information covering work the NFFF is doing to promote these efforts. The report also includes a feature addressing wildland firefighting.

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2018 Urban Fire Forum (UFF) Active Shooter Position Paper - September, 2018

It is imperative that local fire and law enforcement departments have common tactics, common communications capabilities and a common lexicon for seamless, effective operations. Local fire and law enforcement departments should establish standard operating procedures to deal with these unusual, highly volatile, and extraordinarily dangerous scenarios. This Position Paper created by the Urban Fire Forum (UFF) addresses the importance of standard operating procedures that address preparedness, response and recovery. These standard operating procedures should be developed in accordance with NFPA 3000, and should include the objectives identified in this position paper.

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USFA Report Titled Safety and Health Considerations for the Design of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Stations. - May, 2018

This report was developed through a cooperative research agreement between the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) at Oklahoma State University (OSU), and Fire Protection Publications (FPP) at OSU. It is a thorough document outlining the safety and health considerations for the construction and remodel of fire and EMS response facilities. This report is a “must read” for all fire department facilities managers, as well as architects, and others involved in the fire and EMS station design and construction decision-making process.

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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Fire Service Behavioral Health Management Guide - December, 2017

Mental health has often been overlooked by the medical community as part of a patient’s treatment plan. Issues such as depression, anxiety and addiction were sometimes considered failings in a person’s character rather than an illness or injury that can be treated and managed. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) – through the Everyone Goes Home® Program has researched and released the Fire Service Behavioral Health Management Guide to help fire departments in their efforts to implement a comprehensive behavioral health plan for their members.

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Rand™ Corporation Report titled Understanding the Economic Benefit Associated with Research and Services at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - December, 2017

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) asked the RAND Corporation to develop an approach for estimating the economic benefit of NIOSH research, using three case studies. The three cases provide concrete illustrations of ways in which NIOSH research could affect worker health and safety practices and outcomes, as well as some initial estimates of the economic benefit associated with those impacts. One of the case studies in this report specifically addresses issues surrounding firefighter occupational cancer and the potential for minimizing exposures and costs.

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Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) National Advisory Committee White Paper: Understanding the Roles, Challenges & Needs of Our Nation’s Fire and Emergency Services - July, 2017

On December 8, 2016, member organizations of the Congressional Fire Services Institute’s (CFSI) National Advisory Committee (NAC) approved a resolution to develop a white paper that describes the current state of the American Fire Service in protecting the public, their property and the nation’s critical infrastructure from fire and other emergencies. Completed and published on July 24, 2017, this white paper is designed to help government officials and others better understand what is expected / required of firefighters nationwide and how specific federal programs enhance the readiness and response capabilities of these brave men and women. The information contained in the white paper addresses important aspects of the federal government’s role in supporting the mission of our nation’s fire and emergency services. It can be useful in many ways, and within various venues, to communicate current fire and emergency services issues and challenges, both internally and externally.

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Study of Cancer Among U.S. Fire Fighters - April, 2017

In February 2015, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) completed a study of nearly 30,000 fire fighters from the Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco Fire Departments to better understand the potential link between fire fighting and cancer. The study was a joint effort led by researchers at NIOSH in collaboration with researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the University of California at Davis Public Health Sciences Department. It was also supported in part by the United States Fire Administration (USFA). This study showed higher rates of certain types of cancer among fire fighters than the general U.S. population. The study provides further evidence that fire fighters are at increased risk of certain cancer types as a result of occupational exposure. This research strongly recommends that the fire service increase efforts to educate members about safe work practices.

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U.S. Fire Department Profile – 2015 - April, 2017

This profile provides a wealth of data breaking down and detailing the make-up of fire departments in the United States and the services they provide. NFPA estimates there were approximately 1,160,450 firefighters in the U.S. in 2015. An estimated 345,600 (30%) of these were career firefighters and 814,850 (70%) were volunteer firefighters. Most of the career firefighters (71%) worked in communities that protected 25,000 or more people. Most of the volunteer firefighters (95%) were in departments that protected fewer than 25,000 people. There are an estimated 29,727 fire departments in the U.S. Of these, 2,651 departments were staffed by all career firefighters, 1,893 were mostly career, 5,421 were mostly volunteer and 19,762 were all volunteer.

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Studies and Reports Related to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Heart Healthy™ Program for Firefighters - January, 2017

Heart health is a critical issue for first responders in the fire and emergency services. This document contains links to studies and reports that provide current information regarding firefighter health. This resource focuses on the following areas:

  • Emergency Duties and Deaths from Heart Disease Among Firefighters in the United States
  • USFA Firefighter Fatality Annual Reports
  • NFPA Firefighter Fatality Report and Fact Sheet
  • Working Inside the Firehouse: Developing a Participant-Driven Intervention to Enhance Health-Promoting Behaviors
  • Addressing the Epidemic of Obesity in the United States Fire Service
  • Obesity and Incident Injury Among Career Firefighters in the Central United States
  • Physician Weight Recommendations for Overweight and Obese Firefighters in the Unites States (2011-2012)
  • Critical Health and Safety Issues in the Volunteer Fire Service

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Examination of Compressed Air Foam (CAF) For Interior Firefighting NIST Technical Note 1927 - January, 2017

This January 2017 report covers a study designed to investigate limitations of compressed air foam (CAF) relative to water when used for interior structural firefighting. Full scale fire experiments were conducted over a period of years from 2012 through 2015. The experiment arrangements and results are presented in this report. These results from both the gas cooling and the suppression of residential scale from fires showed the effectiveness of water and CAF hose streams to be similar. This study, conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was part of a larger research project led by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in collaboration with the Montgomery County (MD) Fire and Rescue Service. It was supported in part by a Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Administration Assistance to Firefighters Research and Development Grant.

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Fourth Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service - November, 2016

This fourth Fire Service Needs Assessment Survey was conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in 2015-2016 and follows three earlier surveys, which were completed in 2001, 2005 and 2010. The first two were conducted under grants from the U.S. Fire Administration. These surveys have been linked from their inception to the DHS/FEMA grant programs, including the Assistance to Firefighters, and the staffing-focused program called SAFER. The goal of the assessments has been to identify major needs of the U.S. fire service, by comparing what departments actually have with what existing consensus standards, government regulations, and other nationally recognized guidance documents state they need to have in order to be safe and effective. Because these grant programs had already targeted many of these identified needs, the surveys were designed to examine the reduction of these needs over time to indicate the success of the grant program. Evidence of the need for staffing engines; training for structural firefighting, Hazmat and wildland firefighting; and updated SCBA and personal protective clothing is concerning. Many AFG and SAFER grant funds are targeted towards these areas of need.

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NFPA Responder Forum and Urban Fire Forum:  1. White Paper – Civil Unrest  2. Sample SOP – Civil Unrest - September, 2016

The United States is sometimes marred by occurrences of civil unrest. Riots and demonstrations are a reality and firefighters and paramedics, along with law enforcement, are called upon to respond and function in the midst of these difficult events. Chapter 8 of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 1500 requires that fire departments develop and maintain written standard operating procedures that establish a standardized approach to the safety of members at incidents involving violence, unrest, or civil disturbance. In response to this requirement, this White Paper and Sample Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) were created by the NFPA Responder Forum in 2015 – then released to the fire community through the Urban Fire Forum in 2016. Together, these excellent documents provide critical guidance to fire department personnel as they address these incidents in close cooperation with law enforcement.

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Read More (Sample SOP)

FDNY World Trade Center Health Program - Health Impacts on FDNY Rescue/Recovery Workers - 15 Years: 2001 to 2016 - September, 2016

This report outlines and updates the World Trade Center Health Program's efforts to support FDNY members affected by 9/11 and what we have learned about the health consequences of exposure to the WTC site. It is the result of years of data collection and health screenings and provides policy makers and the public with critical information to ensure that as the work moves forward, the needs of those affected by 9/11 continue to be met.

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2015 National Fire Service Research Agenda Report - January, 2016

The 2015 National Fire Service Research Agenda Symposium (RAS) was held November 15-18, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. Firefighter Life Safety Initiative #7 calls for the creation and maintenance of a fire service research agenda. To that end, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has previously hosted two research agenda symposiums in 2005 and 2011. Although the publication of a new Fire Service Research Agenda causes great excitement in the academic and research community, the broader fire service often has very little interface with it, and may subsequently lack understanding of its true impact. They are often unaware that virtually every research project conducted by, or on behalf of the fire service, has its roots in the Research Agenda. In fact, demonstrating a project’s connection to its recommendations is often a gateway to grant funding for researchers.

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Report from the 2014 Tampa2 Firefighter Life Safety Summit March 10–12, 2014 – National Fallen Firefighters Foundation - March, 2014

In March 2014, a select group of fire service leaders came together for a landmark event: the Tampa2 Firefighter Life Safety Summit. Held in Tampa, Florida hosted by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). The summit brought together several hundred individuals representing a broad spectrum of the fire service and related organizations. The participants included the leaders of national fire service organizations, influential members of the fire service, up-and-coming leaders in the fire service, representatives of numerous governmental agencies, researchers, fire service media and industry, and related fields. All came to Tampa with one goal in mind: reduce firefighter line-of-duty deaths (LODDs).

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National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Report on High-Rise Fireground Field Experiments - April, 2013

This report presents the results of a scientific study that included 48 field experiments and 48 complementary fire modeling simulations that collectively quantify the impact of differing crew size deployments (3-person, 4-person, 5-person, and 6-person crews), different alarm assignments, and different vertical response modes on occupant survivability, firefighter safety, and property protection for four potential high-rise fire response scenarios. For the high-rise fireground experiments, a 13 story vacant commercial building was used in Crystal City, Virginia. Props were built within the structure to closely resemble an occupied workplace including a mixture of employee cubicles and private offices. Each floor of the structure measured approximately 30,000 sq ft (2800 m2 ). This is a modest high-rise building that represents a baseline best case scenario for high hazard environments.

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National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Report on Field EMS Experiments - September, 2010

This EMS portion of the Firefighter Safety and Deployment of Resources Study was designed in 2005 solely to assess the personnel number and configuration aspect of an EMS incident for responder safety, effectiveness, and efficiency. This scientific study does not address the efficacy of any patient care intervention. The study does however quantify first responder crew size, i.e., the number and placement of ALS trained personnel resources on the time-to-task measures for EMS interventions. Upon recommendation of technical experts, the investigators selected trauma and cardiac scenarios to be used in the experiments as these events are resource intensive and will likely reveal relevant differences in regard to the research questions.

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National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Report on Residential Fireground Field Experiments - April, 2010

This report presents the results of a scientific study of more than 60 laboratory and residential fireground experiments designed to quantify the effects of various fire department deployment configurations on the most common type of fire — a low hazard residential structure fire. For the fireground experiments, a 2,000 sq ft (186 m2), two-story residential structure was designed and built at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy in Rockville, MD. Fire crews from Montgomery County, MD and Fairfax County,VA were deployed in response to live fires within this facility. In addition to systematically controlling for the arrival times of the first and subsequent fire apparatus, crew size was varied to consider two-, three-, four-, and five-person staffing. Each deployment performed a series of 22 tasks that were timed, while the thermal and toxic environment inside the structure was measured.

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