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Los Angeles, CA, United States

Li N.,620 S Vermont Ave | Yang Z.,620 S Vermont Ave | Ghahramani A.,620 S Vermont Ave | Becerik-Gerber B.,620 S Vermont Ave | Soibelman L.,620 S Vermont Ave
Fire Safety Journal | Year: 2014

Building fire emergencies are big threats to safety of building occupants and first responders, and they can result in significant property losses. During building fire emergency response operations, establishment and utilization of situational awareness are of essential importance, enabling first responders, especially incident commanders, to better assess changing on-scene situations and make informed decisions. The paper uses an interactive card game to guide first responders to establish situational awareness about an imaginary building fire emergency, and examines the information items needed by first responders in this process. An evaluation of the importance of each information item is performed. The results show that location and status of occupants and first responders, and status and development of fire and smoke are the foremost important information items. Information items in the "at emergency scene" category were updated on average five times more frequently than information items in other categories. In order to investigate sources for obtaining the above information, and examine requirements for better implementing situational awareness at emergency scenes, a nationwide survey was conducted with first responders in the United States. The results point out a discrepancy between current and desired information sources for establishing situational awareness at building fire emergency scenes. The paper also reports detailed implementation requirements, including type of assistance, level of details and format of representation for establishing situational awareness, and illustrates statistical impacts of location, years of experience and job title on the requirements. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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