by Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines
The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-498) authorizes the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) to develop, test, and evaluate equipment used by the Nation’s fire, rescue, and civil defense services and conduct management studies with the aim of improving firefighting suppression and operations, as well as protection and notification devices, by incorporating the latest technology. In order to carry out these goals, the USFA’s National Fire Data Center (NFDC) initiates research projects covering a variety of topics to mitigate the loss of life and property due to fire and related emergencies. These projects address a number of areas including firefighting operations, emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety, protective clothing and equipment, firefighter wellness, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), communications, virtual firefighter training, smoke alarms, and residential sprinklers.
- USFA is working with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Health Affairs on numerous EMS research initiatives.
- USFA and the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety are collaborating on a study of cancer among firefighters, one of the largest occupational health research studies of the fire service ever conducted.
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology and USFA are teaming to create virtual reality training that will effectively teach firefighters about fire behavior and the impact of firefighting tactics on a fire without the possibility of harming themselves or others.
- The National Institute of Justice and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration provide critical support to USFA’s emergency vehicle and roadway safety efforts.