Implementing Tactics and Policies to Reduce your Fireground Exposure Risk

This event was originally broadcast on November 7, 2017 and is now available for on demand viewing.

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Event Description:

The risks we face as firefighters are constantly evolving: The fuels in the structures we respond to are changing, and the training ground is undergoing rapid changes. In addition to the hazards from rapid fire progression, building collapse, and the limitations of personal protective equipment, there are other insidious threats that may not be as evident while implementing tactics or even developing policies. Cancer is a primary chronic health concern associated with firefighting. Sudden cardiac events are the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths in the fire service and a primary acute health concern. Recent research involving the Illinois Fire Service Institute, Underwriters Laboratories Fire Service Research Institute, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has shown more clearly the cardiovascular and chemical exposure risks associated with firefighting activities. This presentation will review the critical results of the research with a focus on how tactical decisions affect firefighters operating in different roles on the fireground.  

Presented by: 

Gavin Horn
Director of Research
Illinois Fire Service Institute

GAVIN HORN has served as the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) director of research since August 2004, immediately after receiving his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He us a  volunteer firefighter/engineer with the Savoy (IL) Fire Department, where he was named the 2011 Firefighter of the Year. He has taught in multiple hands-on and lecture-based training courses at IFSI ranging from Firefighter Basic Academy to rehab basics to fire dynamics and tactics. He has taught courses at national fire service conferences across the country and for departments and training academies around the world.  He teaches traditional engineering at the University of Illinois, where he was awarded an M&IE Alumni Board Teaching Fellowship and was named to the UIUC "List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students" five times. He has conducted research in the areas of first responder technology development, firefighter health and safety, material testing and design, infrared imaging, and nondestructive evaluation. He has a senior research scientist position at Illinois. He is a member of NFPA’s Technical Committee on Special Operations Clothing & Equipment and the Advisory Board for UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute.

Bobby Halton
Fire Engineering Magazine

BOBBY HALTON, editor in chief of Fire Engineering and education director of the Fire Department Instructors Conference, began his fire career in structural firefighting with the Albuquerque (NM) Fire Department. He left as chief of operations in 2004 and joined the Coppell (TX) Fire Department as its chief. He left this position to assume his duties at Fire Engineering. He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. He has served on National Fire Protection Association technical committees and is active with the National Fallen Firefighters Life Safety Initiatives.

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