VIDEO: Panindre and Smith On “Multimedia Training for Firefighters”

By Derek Rosenfeld

The first day of FDIC International 2017’s preconference workshops continued into the afternoon as New York University Senior Research Scientist Prabodh Panidre was joined by Fire Department of New York Engine Co. #38 Captain Erik Smith to present “Multimedia Training for Firefighters: Residential Fires and Cardiovascular Health” in Room 138-9.

Panidre and Smith offered students an interactive, hands-on classroom experience with ALIVE (Advanced Learning Integrated through Visual Environments), a scenario-based, interactive, multimedia training methodology that disseminates firefighter safety related research and educates firefighters for a wide variety of firefighting topics.

“Panidre Researchers have made substantial progress in developing technologies and tactics to improve firefighter safety, but firefighter training and dissemination have not kept pace, and the gap between science-based interventions and widespread firefighting practice remains large,” said Panidre.

“Through research and development activity of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program, in 2009, New York University and fire departments from New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis developed ALIVE.”

Here, they conduct polling on a question posed to class students by the ALIVE (Advanced Learning Integrated through Visual Environments) program on large home fires:

Panidre continued, “Experiments conducted with firefighters in three substantially different topics showed that the quality of learning using ALIVE was superior to traditional methods at a statistically significant level, including better post-training and on long-term retention tests.

“In partnership with fire departments from New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis and leading research institutions including Underwriters Laboratories, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Illinois Fire Service Institute, and Skidmore College, we have developed four training modules for nationwide fire service: residential fire dynamics: science and safer tactical considerations, cardiovascular health of firefighters, fires in lightweight construction, and wind-driven high-rise fires.”

Here, they examine a suburban house fire in Maryland used by the ALIVE program to ask students questions about ventilation:

These free training modules have been used by more than 60,000 firefighters from all 50 states, adopted by more than 800 fire departments, and featured in more than 500 newswires. 


“Many factors contribute to the number of deaths and injuries, but a likelihood is that many firefighters may not have been aware of the advancements that could have changed these tragic outcomes. Education is the key, and a well educated firefighter is the safe firefighter!”

Here, they use the ALIVE program to pose questions resulting from a deadly Houston, Texas, fire and consider the research and input from Underwriters Laboratories Senior Research Engineer Dan Madrzykowski to the importance and success of the ALIVE program.

“ALIVE a is highly interactive user-friendly training platform where evidenced-based firefighting strategies are divided into series of steps.

“Our team members from partnering fire departments ensure that the each ALIVE module is user-engaging. Each ALIVE module includes videos of stories of firefighters and fire incidents in relation to the topic of module.”

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