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Study of Firefighter Line of Duty Injuries and Near Misses
Reviewing near miss incidents to effect change across firefighter tactics, codes, and standards.
Overview

The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) is leading a DHS/FEMA AFG supported project investigating fire incidents that result in firefighter line of duty injuries and near misses. The goal of this project is to enhance the safety and situational awareness of the fire service with interactive training materials developed from applying fire dynamics research results to significant near miss or line of duty injury incidents.

Firefighter line of duty injuries and near miss incidents provide a unique opportunity to interact with and collect information from the scene and the personnel involved within a short time after the incident occurs. Studying these incidents with the advantage of primary accounts of actions and observations enables the most accurate representation of events and facilitates an objective determination of the factors that contributed to the outcome. By analyzing the factors that contributed to the incident with knowledge of fire dynamics and the research results from past studies, UL FSRI is able to provide recommendations on changes to codes, standards, and firefighter tactics and to develop training materials and curricula to prevent similar injuries.

Project Resources

“Typically, these kinds of events are examined when a fatality occurs but with this project, we’re trying to make sure the firefighter experiences are taken into account, providing valuable context to the findings so that they can be channeled into actionable insights for other fire service personnel to prevent future close calls and potential fatalities.”

— UL FSRI Vice President of Research Steve Kerber

UL FSRI has committed to conducting four in-depth examinations with fire departments that experience near misses or line of duty injury incidents. Near miss incidents will be selected for examination so that each investigation has the potential to yield several important insights. During analysis of the incidents, the UL FSRI team will apply the findings from previous DHS AFG funded research, utilize computational modeling tools, and perform experimental demonstrations to better understand the factors surrounding each incident and develop recommendations and training materials to prevent similar future incidents. Training materials will include interactive online courses and videos that explain the incident, the reasons the incident occurred, and recommended changes to be applied to the strategy and tactics in the future.

This project is supported through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program as a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant: (EMW-2018-FP-00476).

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UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute is dedicated to increasing firefighter knowledge to reduce injuries and deaths in the fire service and in the communities they serve.