Service expectations placed on the fire service, including EMS, response to natural
disasters and hazmat incidents all the way to acts of
terrorism, have steadily increased.
decision-makers are challenged to balance these community
service expectations with finite resources without a solid technical
foundation for evaluating the impact of staffing and deployment
decisions on the safety of the public and firefighters.
For the first time, this study investigates the effect of varying
crew size, first apparatus arrival time, and response time on
firefighter safety, overall task completion, and interior residential
tenability using realistic residential fires. The results and conclusions will directly inform the
NPFA 1710 Technical Committee, who is responsible for
developing consensus industry deployment standards.
This report presents the results of more than 60 laboratory and
residential fireground experiments designed to quantify the
effects of various fire department deployment configurations on
the most common type of fire — a low-hazard residential
A 2,000 sq. ft. (186
m2), two-story residential structure was designed and built at the
Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy in
Rockville, MD. Fire crews from Montgomery County, MD and
Fairfax County, VA were deployed in response to live fires within
In addition to systematically controlling for the
arrival times of the first and subsequent fire apparatus, crew size
was varied to consider two-, three-, four-, and five-person staffing.
Each deployment performed a series of 22 tasks that were timed,
while the thermal and toxic environment inside the structure was
Additional experiments with larger fuel loads as well as
fire modeling produced more insight.
Report results quantify
the effectiveness of crew size, first-due engine arrival time, and
apparatus arrival stagger on the duration and time to complete the key 22 fireground tasks and the effect on occupant and