Research on alcohol-related campus fire death may save lives

Numerous members of the public safety community will come together to observe and assist in a research project that may have a wide ranging impact on fire fatalities involving college students. A member of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department, in cooperation with the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI), the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association (IAFF Local 1619), and the University of Maryland Police Department, will be conducting a research project on the relationship between alcohol consumption and a students ability to conduct an emergency egress from a building.

Prince George’s County Fire Fighter/Paramedic Technician Andrew K. Pantelis is the lead investigator for this project that is being conducted for his National Fire Academy (NFA) Executive Fire Officer Program (EFO). The research will include University of Maryland students that will start the day demonstrating their ability to exit a building that is filled with a non-toxic fog to simulate smoke. As the day progresses, and with the assistance of the University of Maryland Police Department and Fire/EMS Department Paramedics, the students (of legal drinking age) will consume controlled amounts of alcohol and then continually demonstrate their ability to exit the building. Precautions will be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

Alcohol consumption is often one of the leading common factors in campus related fire deaths (see The results of this project will help public safety advocates and firefighters across the country in developing programs to assist in reducing these deaths.

There will be plenty of photo opportunities and interviews available from researchers and fire service leaders.

WHAT: The Impact of Alcohol Consumption on Fire Egress Behavior

WHEN: Sunday, November 2, 2008, 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM

WHERE: Maryland Fire/Rescue Institute – University of Maryland
4500 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, Maryland

WHO: Researchers, Fire Service Leaders, Firefighters/Paramedics, Campus Advocacy Groups,

Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930 (Homepage) (Newsroom)

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