Development and implementation of an improved fire shelter for wildland firefighters
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Development and Implementation of an Improved Fire Shelter for Wildland Firefighters. Leslie Anderson USDA Forest Service Missoula Technology and Development Center. Standard Fire Shelter. Developed in 1960s Laminate of fiberglass and aluminum foil Designed to reflect radiant heat

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Development and Implementation of an Improved Fire Shelter for Wildland Firefighters

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Development and implementation of an improved fire shelter for wildland firefighters

Development and Implementation of an Improved Fire Shelter for Wildland Firefighters

Leslie Anderson

USDA Forest Service

Missoula Technology and Development Center


Standard fire shelter

Standard Fire Shelter

  • Developed in 1960s

  • Laminate of fiberglass and aluminum foil

  • Designed to reflect radiant heat

  • Rapidly damaged by flames


Standard fire shelter1

Standard Fire Shelter

  • Deployed more than 1,100 times

  • ½ Precautionary

  • ¼ Prevented

    serious burns

  • ¼ Saved life

    of occupant

  • Approximately 20 fatalities


Fire shelter development

Fire Shelter Development

  • 1999: Discovery of potential flammability

    Response:

  • New training materials

  • January 2000 –MTDC is asked to develop new

    shelter


Goals for new fire shelter

Goals for New Fire Shelter

  • Maintain protection in radiant heat

  • Improve protection in flames

  • Also consider:

    • Strength

    • Durability

    • Weight/Bulk

    • Toxicity

    • Flammability

    • Cost


Performance test development

Performance Test Development

  • Reliable performance tests needed

  • MTDC collected fire environment data

  • Contracted for test development


Performance tests

Performance Tests

  • Strength

  • Durability

  • Flammability

  • Thermal Protection

  • Toxicity


Shelter design

Shelter Design

  • Substantial interest from private industry

  • Fully designed shelters were tested as received

  • Other materials were sewn into design developed at MTDC


Mtdc shelter design

MTDC Shelter Design

  • More efficient use of material

  • Shape to minimize absorption of

    radiant heat

  • Allows person

    to lie prone


Mtdc shelter design continued

MTDC Shelter Design (continued)

  • Rounder shape

  • Rounded ends

    scatter radiant heat


Selection process small scale tests

Selection Process: Small-scale Tests

  • 40 materials

  • Small-scale thermal tests

  • Strength

  • Flammability

  • Toxicity


Selection process full scale tests

Selection Process:Full-scale Tests

  • 17 material combinations

  • Radiant tests

  • Direct flame

    tests

  • Durability

    tests

  • Shake tests

  • Toxicity tests


Selection process

Selection Process

  • Peer Review of Test Methods

  • 10 Options Presented

  • Selection made June 7, 2002 by Federal Fire and Aviation Leadership Council


New generation fire shelter

New Generation Fire Shelter

  • Two laminated

    layers

  • Rounded shape

  • Shake handles

  • 4.2 pounds

    (1.9 kg)

  • Seams for structure – and to limit damage.


Materials

Materials

  • Outer Layer: Woven silica and foil

  • Inner Layer: Fiberglass and foil


Performance in radiant heat

Performance in Radiant Heat


Performance in radiant heat1

Performance in Radiant Heat


Performance in direct flame

Performance in Direct Flame


Performance in direct flame1

Performance in Direct Flame


Training

Training

  • Video/DVD and Booklet:

    “The New Generation Fire Shelter”

  • New practice fire shelter

  • MTDC Tech Tip:

    “New Generation Fire Shelter Developed for Wildland Firefighters”


Training continued

Training: (continued)

  • Keep focus on avoiding situations that lead to entrapment.

  • New shelter is not an excuse to take risks.


Transition

Transition

  • Expensive

  • 3-5 year transition


Development and implementation of an improved fire shelter for wildland firefighters

Questions?


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