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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

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 for Wildland Firefighters

  • Developed in 1960s

  • Laminate of fiberglass and aluminum foil

  • Designed to reflect radiant heat

  • Rapidly damaged by flames


Standard fire shelter1
Standard Fire Shelter for Wildland Firefighters

  • 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 for Wildland Firefighters

  • 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 for Wildland Firefighters

  • Maintain protection in radiant heat

  • Improve protection in flames

  • Also consider:

    • Strength

    • Durability

    • Weight/Bulk

    • Toxicity

    • Flammability

    • Cost


Performance test development
Performance Test Development for Wildland Firefighters

  • Reliable performance tests needed

  • MTDC collected fire environment data

  • Contracted for test development


Performance tests
Performance Tests for Wildland Firefighters

  • Strength

  • Durability

  • Flammability

  • Thermal Protection

  • Toxicity


Shelter design
Shelter Design for Wildland Firefighters

  • 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 for Wildland Firefighters

  • 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) for Wildland Firefighters

  • Rounder shape

  • Rounded ends

    scatter radiant heat


Selection process small scale tests
Selection Process: for Wildland FirefightersSmall-scale Tests

  • 40 materials

  • Small-scale thermal tests

  • Strength

  • Flammability

  • Toxicity


Selection process full scale tests
Selection Process: for Wildland FirefightersFull-scale Tests

  • 17 material combinations

  • Radiant tests

  • Direct flame

    tests

  • Durability

    tests

  • Shake tests

  • Toxicity tests


Selection process
Selection Process for Wildland Firefighters

  • 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 for Wildland FirefightersFire Shelter

  • Two laminated

    layers

  • Rounded shape

  • Shake handles

  • 4.2 pounds

    (1.9 kg)

  • Seams for structure – and to limit damage.


Materials
Materials for Wildland Firefighters

  • Outer Layer: Woven silica and foil

  • Inner Layer: Fiberglass and foil


Performance in radiant heat
Performance in Radiant Heat for Wildland Firefighters


Performance in radiant heat1
Performance in Radiant Heat for Wildland Firefighters


Performance in direct flame
Performance in Direct Flame for Wildland Firefighters


Performance in direct flame1
Performance in Direct Flame for Wildland Firefighters


Training
Training for Wildland Firefighters

  • 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) for Wildland Firefighters

  • Keep focus on avoiding situations that lead to entrapment.

  • New shelter is not an excuse to take risks.


Transition
Transition for Wildland Firefighters

  • Expensive

  • 3-5 year transition


Questions for Wildland Firefighters?


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