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Human Factors of Firefighter Safety

The recognition of human factors as a foundational aspect of firefighting operations is one of the most impactful advances in the evolution of fire management. Human factors research provides a way to learn from unwanted outcomes, to understand accidents,and  to imrpove performance through new informal and formal training. This page cites key resources (including publications, reports and webinars) that recognize human factors as prime ingredients of firefighter safety.

For more information, visit our Organizational Learning hot topic, or search our research and publications database under Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire.

Podcasts

Apr 21, 2021 On the Line Season 3, Episode 10: Survey Says...
Charles G. Palmer, Patty O'Brien, Duncan Campbell
Mar 10, 2021 On the line Season 3, Episode 09: Post Traumatic Stress/Growth
Charles G. Palmer, Brent Ruby, Asad Rahman, Deb Silveria
Feb 11, 2021 On the line Season 3, Episode 08b (Bonus): "Firefighters Are Burning Out"
Charles G. Palmer, Brent Ruby, Ali Pattillo
Apr 21, 2020 On the line - Podcast: Survey Says
Patty O’Brien, Duncan Campbell

Storymaps

Publications/Reports

2021 Wildland firefighter exposure to smoke and COVID-19: A new risk on the fire line
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Kathleen M. Navarro et al.
2021 Consequences of a future increase in fire: the human health perspective
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Nancy H. F. French et al.
2020 We can provide a universal Basic Fireline Life Support system – and we should
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Eli Schned
2020 Seasonal changes in wildland firefighter fitness and body composition
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Steven E. Gaskill et al.
2020 A robust p-Center problem under pressure to locate shelters in wildfire context
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Marc Demange et al.
2020 Optimizing Firefighter Nutrition: Average Glycemic Index of Fireline Meals
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Ben McLane
2020 The Smoke That You Shouldn’t Have
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Randall C. Thomas
2020 Engineering A Safer Crew Protection System
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Andrew Webb et al.
2020 Firefighter neural function and decision-making following rapid heat stress
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Cory J. Coehoorn et al.
2019 Wildland firefighting: adverse influence on indices of metabolic and cardiovascular health
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
R.H. Coker et al.
2019 Noise exposures and perceptions of hearing conservation programs among wildland firefighters
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
George A. Broyles et al.
2019 Understanding the leadership perspective in wildland firefighting: gaps and opportunities for growth
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Alexis L. Waldron et al.
2019 Descriptive analysis of injuries and illnesses self-reported by wildland firefighters
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Valerie J. Moody et al.
2019 Escape Route Index: A Spatially-Explicit Measure of Wildland Firefighter Egress Capacity
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Michael J. Campbell et al.
2018 How do weather and terrain contribute to firefighter entrapments in Australia?
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Sébastien Lahaye et al.
2018 Metabolic demand of hiking in wildland firefighting
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Joseph A. Sol et al.
2018 Sleep in wildland firefighters: what do we know and why does it matter?
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Grace E. Vincent et al.
2018 Taking Care of Us: The Art of Listening
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Kathy Clay
2018 Body Composition Changes of United States Smokejumpers during the 2017 Fire Season
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Callie N. Collins et al.
2017 Using reverse geocoding to identify prominent wildfire evacuation trigger points
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Dapeng Li et al.
2016 Sleep quantity and quality is not compromised during planned burn shifts of less than 12 h
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Grace E. Vincent et al.
2015 Voices from the field: wildland fire managers and high-reliability organizing mindfulness
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
David Thomas et al.
2015 Fighting fire and fatigue: sleep quantity and quality during multi-day wildfire suppression
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Grace E. Vincent et al.
2014 Work patterns dictate energy demands and thermal strain during wildland firefighting
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
John S. Cuddy et al.
2014 Seasonal heat acclimatization in wildland firefighters
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Brianna Lui et al.
2013 Twelfth international wildland fire safety summit proceedings
Conference Proceedings
Rebekah L. Fox
2011 Glycogen levels in wildland firefighters during wildfire suppression
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
John S. Cuddy et al.
2007 Using social science to understand and improve wildland fire organizations: an annotated reading list
Annotated Bibliography, Technical Report or White Paper
Gregory Larson et al.
2007 Supplemental feedings increase self-selected work output during wildfire suppression
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
John S. Cuddy et al.
2005 Use of human factors analysis for wildland fire accident investigations
Conference Proceedings
Michelle Ryerson et al.
2004 Deep survival: who lives, who dies and why
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Laurence Gonzales
2003 Water turnover and changes in body composition during arduous wildfire suppression
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Brent Ruby et al.
2002 Human factors in fire behavior analysis: reconstructing the Dude Fire
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Karl E. Weick
2002 Total energy expenditure during arduous wildfire suppression
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Brent Ruby et al.
2002 Injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among wildland firefighters
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Richard Mangan
1999 Wildland fire fatalities in the United States: 1990-1998
Technical Report or White Paper
Richard Mangan
1996 Attitude of wisdom: the experience component in wildland firefighter decisions
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
George Atwood
1996 Drop your tools: an allegory for organizational studies
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Karl E. Weick
1995 Creating a passion for safety vs. management oversight & inspection
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
James M. Saveland
1995 Analysis of escape efforts and personal equipment on the South Canyon Fire
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Ted Putnam
1993 Mann Gulch fire: a race that couldn't be won
Technical Report or White Paper
Richard C. Rothermel
1993 The collapse of sensemaking in organizations: the Mann Gulch disaster
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Karl E. Weick
1991 The 1985 Butte fire in central Idaho: a Canadian perspective on the associated burning conditions
Conference Proceedings, Technical Report or White Paper
Martin E. Alexander
1937 Death in Blackwater Canyon
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Erle Kauffman

Management Documents

Videos

Jun 24, 2020 Facilitated Learning Analysis: An introduction
Persephone Whelan, Randy Draeger, Jerry Ingersoll, Julian Affuso, Joe Harris, Steve Holdsambeck, Dale Snyder, Ruth Spradling
Oct 31, 2016 Understanding Human Error Part 1
Sidney Dekker
Oct 31, 2016 Understanding Human Error Part 2
Sidney Dekker
Oct 31, 2016 Understanding Human Error Part 3
Sidney Dekker
Oct 31, 2016 Understanding Human Error Part 4
Sidney Dekker
Oct 31, 2016 Understanding Human Error Part 5
Sidney Dekker
Jan 6, 2012 Burn boss stories
Andy Norman, Dan Buckley, JoAnn Larsen, Ben Jacobs, Mac McFarland
Oct 11, 2011 Lessons from the Woodview fire burnover
Paul Keller
May 9, 2010 Dude Fire Staff Ride

Upcoming Events

None.

Past Events

Learning from Events: Butte Fire Staff Ride
June 28, 2016 to June 30, 2016
Aerial Fire Fighting International
March 22, 2016 to March 23, 2016
Learning from Events: Cramer Fire Staff Ride
June 25, 2012 to June 27, 2012