What information do you use to move your department forward? What resources do you use to make decisions on policies and procedures? Do you worry about decisions you make today that will affect your members in the long term?
To help answer these questions, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has expanded the Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR) project. Available at FSTAResearch.org www.fstaresearch.org, we are making research available on one searchable website, with additional tools called Featured Studies for fire service leaders and departments to use in making sound decisions.
A massive amount of research is improving our undertanding about various aspects of our response and safety environments. We have collected and correlated research on fire dynamics, exposures, cancer, mental health, cardiac health, building construction, PPE, technology and more. The list is long; given our vast responsibilities, our research database should be broad.
FSTAR will begin pushing out Featured Studies www.fstaresearch.org/featured-studies. Subject-matter experts and researchers are working together to translate critical research into the usable, simple takeaways found in our Featured Studies.
This week, the IAFC is hosting our annual conference, Fire-Rescue International www.iafc.org/FRI. We will gather to network, to learn and to go home better educated to handle whatever our communities need. I encourage you, if you are at FRI, to visit the FSTAR booth #3442 and ask questions. Visit FSTAR www.fstaresearch.org/fstar-fri-schedule/ for our complete FRI schedule.
Lastly, FSTAR is an Assistance to Firefighter Grant Fire Prevention and Safety Award. The federal government has made significant investments in research to help the fire and emergency service. The investment is for us—we must leverage it to make our industry better, safer and more nimble.
The bottom line on research: look for it, use it, understand it and ask questions about it.
Mark W. Light, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, IAFC
For more information on FSTAR, visit us at FSTAResearch.org www.fstaresearch.org and follow us on Twitter @FSTAR_Research www.twitter.com/FSTAR_Research and on Facebook www.facebook.com/fstaresearch.