Searching for effective training solutions for firefighting: the analysis of emergency responses and line of duty death reports for low frequency, high risk events
McDevitt, Deanna M.
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Since 9/11, the fire service has experienced a shift and an expansion in the nature of threats and hazards that it faces. Despite advances in the field, firefighters are still losing their lives inside of burning buildings, and they must find new ways of identifying training gaps and improving current training practices. This thesis explores whether emergency incidents connected to low frequency and high risk events contain sufficient warning signs or indicators of imminent catastrophic events, if firefighters could identify them, and if there was a potential of changing decision making and averting a tragedy. In order to create a firm basis for this discovery, this research effort included a detailed analysis of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s line of duty death reports from the years 2013–2015. The work provided an opportunity to learn from past events and practices and identify successes and failures in the firefighting domain without the bias of being closely involved with the cases or having a specific agenda. Quantitative analysis performed on this data set and the knowledge gleaned from looking at the events after the fact provide a foundation for advising novel training approaches and scenarios that can be used to train both individuals and teams of fire fighters.
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