Firefighting, Fireground Management

Tactical Changes That Can Save Firefighters’ Lives

Issue 5 and Volume 169.

BY NICK J. SALAMEH Much has been said and studied about fire behavior over the past few years. So why are some in the fire service slow to consider the science-based information and adjust strategy and tactics to make positive changes in our own best interests? The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have completed and continue to produce significant work to aid the fire service in better understanding fire behavior, air flow dynamics, and the benefits of door control. These research organizations conducted scientific studies and illustrative tests to empirically demonstrate their findings in real time. The results suggest that many of our fundamental strategies and tactics-taught and used for decades-may not be in our best interests today. The research supports the argument that the fire service itself is creating the negative fireground environments-through our actions or inactions-that contribute to firefighter injuries and fatalities.…

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