Document


Title

An assessment of research needs related to wildland firefighter safety - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program
Document Type: Report
Author(s): W. Matt Jolly ; Bret W. Butler ; Wesley G. Page ; Patrick H. Freeborn
Publication Year: 2019

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • burnover
  • entrapment avoidance
  • fire environment
  • firefighter fatalities
  • firefighters
JFSP Project Number(s):
18-S-01-1
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 24, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 57871

Description

Wildland firefighters in the United States (US) are exposed to a variety of hazards while performing their jobs in America’s wildlands. Although the threats posed by vehicle accidents, aircraft mishaps and heart attacks claim the most lives (Figure 1), situations where firefighters are caught in a life-threatening, fire behavior-related event (i.e. an entrapment) constitute a considerable danger because each instance can affect many individuals. In an attempt to identify the scope of our understanding of the causes of firefighter entrapments a review of the pertinent literature and a compilation and synthesis of existing data was undertaken. The literature review and the creation of a firefighter entrapment database (https://www.wfas.net/entrap/) led to the identification of five key findings:(1) previous investigations of firefighter entrapment incidents have similar summaries and recommendations, (2) the entrapment investigation process and existing data reporting/storage systems are flawed, (3) there is likely a substantial under-reporting of entrapment incidents, (4) the annual number of entrapment-related fatalities are decreasing but the number of entrapment incidents are not and (5) information from previous entrapments can be used to predict/project future entrapment hazard and risk. A summary of research needs is also presented.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (1.7 MB; pdf)
Citation:
Jolly, W. Matt; Butler, Bret W.; Page, Wesley G.; Freeborn, Patrick H. 2019. An assessment of research needs related to wildland firefighter safety - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program. JFSP Project No. 18-S-01-1. Missoula, MT: US Forest Service, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. 28 p.