To date, the American fire service has not officially collected the number of or means of which civilians are rescued at fires. The result of this information gap is a service unable to quantify if or how, presence, actions, or operations result in saving lives. For the fire service to deliberately improve outcomes and not just reduce loss, the mission (saving lives) must match the metrics (lives saved). Until then, the operational impact of the American fire service will remain unknown.
The purpose of this graduate research project is to demonstrate the scope and value of fireground civilian rescue reporting using mixed methods of positive metrics and qualitative survey methods. The results will support an improved understanding of fireground operational influence on outcomes. A clearer vision of the nation’s fire problem for the future includes the knowledge of both the parameters of our problem (loss) and the dimensions of our success (saves). The results presented demonstrate a study conducted over the first 90 days of 2021.