04/11/13 201 W - + 6 - 1 NIST Releases Landmark High-Rise Fire Study

That's the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The study evaluated effectiveness of crew sizes and elevator use, for fires in buildings that are seven or more stories in height. The study was conducted with thirteen DC-area fire departments. The results were presented yesterday at a fire chiefs conference in Phoenix.

They analyzed fourteen tasks deemed critical, undertaken when potential risks are highest both for building occupants and firefighters. They found, not surprisingly, that six-member crews completed all tasks faster than five-person crews and far faster than four- and three-person crews. So what, you say? Just send more units with three- and four-person crews. Except they found that larger crews have tactical advantages. They can complete those tasks in parallel instead of in a series. That saves time, which can save lives and prevent injuries and damage. (Because the fires don't grow as large.)

What about elevator use, for getting people and equipment to the staging floor? The study concluded that most tasks were started two to four minutes faster, when crews used elevators instead of stairs. 

That's my summation. Readers are welcome to comment, correct, expand, or explain.

Read the press release.

This study was well run, my company participating in the study and we were placed on heart monitors and had all sort of observers timing us doing the various tasks. Hopefully some good comes from this study.
Participant - 04/11/13 - 15:58

Science is good stuff, though the fire service is traditionally a trade resistant to change. At least the young bucks are game for trying new things. Slowly, steadily, it’ll get there.
Legeros - 04/11/13 - 18:17

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