The purpose of this graduate research project is to demonstrate the scope and value of fireground civilian rescue reporting using 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).
For the first two months of 2021 (59 days), 594 civilian rescues from residential fires by firefighters were collected from U.S. news media or fire department press releases. This is the eighth consecutive week that U.S. firefighters averaged 10 or more fireground civilian rescues a day.
There were 309 residential fire incidents where the 594 reported rescues occurred. This informs us that residential fire incidents with a rescue are more likely to have multiple victims.
The impact of moving victims from a toxic, hostile atmosphere to one of treatment and care in fresh air is an intervention that can be measured. For residential structure fires with potential occupants, this should be both the highest priority intervention and data collection point for the discipline of operations.