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NIST Report on Residential Fireground Field Experiments
Updated On: Nov 09, 2010
More than 60 full-scale fire experiments were conducted to determine the impact of crew size, first-due engine arrival time, and subsequent apparatus arrival times on firefighter safety and effectiveness at a low-hazard residential structure fire. This report quantifies the effects of changes to staffing and arrival times for residential firefighting operations. While resource deployment is addressed in the context of a single structure type and risk level, it is recognized that public policy decisions regarding the cost-benefit of specific deployment decisions are a function of many other factors including geography, local risks and hazards, available resources, as well as community expectations. This report does not specifically address these other factors.
The results of these field experiments contribute significant knowledge to the fire service industry. First, the results provide a quantitative basis for the effectiveness of four-person crews for low-hazard response in NFPA 1710. The results also provide valid measures of total effective response force assembly on scene for fireground operations, as well as the expected performance time-to-critical-task measures for low-hazard structure fires. Additionally, the results provide tenability measures associated with a range of modeled fires.
Future research should extend the findings of this report in order to quantify the effects of crew size and apparatus arrival times for moderate- and high-hazard events, such as fires in high-rise buildings, commercial properties, certain factories, or warehouse facilities, responses to large-scale non-fire incidents, or technical rescue operations.

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