Date of Award

January 2010

Degree Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

David C. May

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

Thomas D. Schneid

Department Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

Third Advisor

Larry R. Collins

Department Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management


Because many structural firefighters throughout the United States often respond to wildland fires in the Wildland/Urban Interface, the National Fire Academy developed an online educational curriculum to train structural firefighters in the basics of wildland fire fighting tactics. This training has been available for 18 months and this research attempted to determine whether the use of this online wildland firefighting education improves the relationship between structural fire departments in Tennessee and the State of Tennessee Division of Forestry.

A mail survey of all 727 fire departments within Tennessee was administered through a questionnaire which determined current fire response characteristics and methods of wildland firefighting education. Of the 278 departments that returned the questionnaires, only 20 departments had taken advantage of these online educational opportunities. Conclusions from the research also demonstrated that fire departments utilizing online wildland firefighting education in their training curriculum show a more positive relationship with the Tennessee Division of Forestry.