From Knowledge to Practice Fire Literacy and Applied Fire Dynamics

From Knowledge to Practice: Fire Literacy and Applied Fire Dynamics

Scientiam Quaerere In Igni = Seek Knowledge In Fire

The City of Ottawa Fire Services is leading the development of an evidence-based fire dynamics training (FDT) curriculum that will assist in closing current critical knowledge and capability gaps.  This training will be incorporated into Canadian firefighting training certification standards for adoption and use by all fire services in Canada.  Ottawa Fire Services is partnering with the Calgary Fire Department; Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal; and Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency.

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) has funded the project with a $1.2 million dollar grant and the project has an additional $2.5 million in-kind funding from participants and industry partners. The DRDC-CSSP mandate is to strengthen Canada’s ability to anticipate, prevent/mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, crime, natural disasters, and serious accidents through the convergence of science and technology with policy, operations and intelligence.

Embedding scientific knowledge of fire dynamics into firefighting operations.

Project Synopsis

This project addresses gaps between the science of fire dynamics and current firefighting strategies and tactics, translating knowledge into practice and resulting in safer and more effective fire-related emergency and disaster mitigation.  The project goals are to reduce social, economic, environmental, legal and life-safety risks and impacts due to fire through the development of a collaborative, evidence-based fire dynamics curriculum, and safe, realistic live fire training tools.  The project will confirm theory and make it accessible to front-line workers, confronting a wide range of existing, inaccurate and potentially dangerous assumptions and replacing them with complex, often non-intuitive research findings in a valid and reliable way. Project transition to the operational level will occur through new industry standards, endorsed curriculum and validated technologies. These outcomes will inform fire service investment decisions, policies, procedures and practices nationally and internationally and present innovative commercial development opportunities for industry.

The project has received widespread support from the international fire service community, including: the Canadian Council of Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners; the Canadian Fire Service Education, Training and Certification Council; the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs; the International Association of Fire Fighters; the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association; the Association des Pompiers de Montréal; the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association; the National Research Council of Canada; the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG U.S. Department of State); Underwriters Laboratories; the National Institute of Standards and Technology;  the North American Fire Training Directors; the International Fire Service Training Association; International Society of Fire Service Instructors; and the National Fire Protection Association; the University of Waterloo; Carleton University; Algoma University; and the University of Toronto; and fire services from the United States (FDNY, Columbus Division of Fire, L.A. County), Australia (Brisbane – QFRS, Sidney – NSWFB) Belgium (Brussels), England (Lancashire Fire & Rescue), France (Yvelines), Germany (Frankfurt), Ireland (Dublin), Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

Industry partners include Bullard, Bullex, DQE Inc, Fire Engineering Magazine, Firefighter Close Calls.com, LION, Logistik Unicorp, Mercedes Textiles, MSA and Task Force Tips.

Through this tremendous international collaborative effort it has been made possible that the curriculum and all project content will be made available free of charge internationally for adoption/adaptation by interested fire services and standards organizations.

The Project Manager, Ottawa Fire Services Division Chief of Safety & Innovation – Peter McBride will be presenting an overview of the project and lecturing on the novel practitioner focused approach being taken with this project at FDIC Tuesday the 21st of April from 08:00 to 12:00. The lecture is entitled “Fire Literacy and Applied Fire Dynamics”.