Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

First Advisor

William D. Hicks

Second Advisor

Paul J. Grant

Third Advisor

James L. Pharr

Abstract

This research was undertaken in order to determine if there was a significant difference between various factors affecting air consumption rates and air management in the fire service. The purpose was to develop a better understanding of what had the most significant effect on air consumption rates in order to develop a point of focus so that fire departments could concentrate their efforts on an area of improvement that would give them the most return for their effort. An air management obstacle course was utilized to simulate work any firefighter could be reasonable expected to perform at a structure fire. All of the volunteer participants were members of the fire service in some capacity. In order to participate, the individual had to be a member of a career, part-time, or volunteer fire department. Measurements were taken of the air that was contained in their self-contained breathing apparatus prior to beginning the obstacle course and a second measurement was taken once the participant had completed the obstacle course. The two measurements were used to calculate air consumption rates in psi per minute and cubic feet per minute.

It was concluded that the sample size (59) of volunteer participants was too small to produce significant results in this type of study. Further research should be undertaken in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of what affects air consumption rates and air management in the fire service.

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