Last Friday, the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) received a Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program award of $618,696. This funding will allow ISFSI to partner with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the South Carolina Fire Academy for the research and creation of a training module that will improve firefighter safety.
"This is a unique opportunity for us to utilize the great research work of UL and NIST to create reality training focused on the National Fallen Firefighter Foundations Life Safety Initiatives, partner with NIST and gather new information that will be included in a firefighter training module that explores firefighter behavior at residential fires," says Shane Ray, South Carolina State Fire Marshal and former ISFSI Vice President. "This research will lead to training that changes behavior and improves decision making from the firefighter to the Incident Commander."
The grant is within the Fire Prevention and Safety Grant category of the Grants Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will provide funding to conduct eight live fire burns with NIST gathering data at each one. The research will test firefighting tactics based on already developed research and science and develop a training program that will focus on firefighter safety in residential fires.
This grant is a great example of how federal, state, local, and private partnerships conduct research and create training programs that improve service to the citizens and firefighter safety. Recent research from UL and NIST indicate the need to change our tactics based on conditions. Firefighters are vulnerable to increased risk of injury and even death due to changing conditions at residential fires. With a newer built environment as indicated in Structural Stability Study and the new contents in homes, as indicated in the Upholstered Furniture Study, we need training outreach that translates the information in these studies into tactics. Recent studies on the impact of ventilation on the fire needs to be expanding into firefighter tactics that are based on science, not stories.
"This research and the outcome as a result would not be possible without the assistance of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program," adds Chief Doug Cline, ISFSI President. "The programs as a result of this grant will allow fire instructors to train thousands of firefighters across the United States and beyond."
For more information about the ISFSI, visit www.isfsi.org .