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Fire Prevention & Safety Grants - Research & Development

Applied Research Projects

R&D Awards

The goal of this Research and Development Grants (R&D) is to reduce firefighter fatal and nonfatal injuries and improve firefighter safety, health and wellness.

Research institutions applying for R&D grants must have fire service partners that will support the ongoing project efforts from design through dissemination and implementation of successful results.

The emphasis of this program is on research that will yield results that can be readily applied to improve firefighter safety, health, and wellness. Research and Development Grants have been awarded since 2005.

Applied Research Projects

Clinical Studies

These include projects that address behavioral, social science, and cultural research as well as physiological and medical research activities. Such studies address the relevant aspects of reducing fatal and nonfatal injuries among firefighters and target the appropriate level of investigation based on the state of the science.

At the most basic level, these studies may be foundational, investigating the underlying risk and protective factors associated with certain injury outcomes. These may include individual-level characteristics; departmental/organizational policies, practices, and norms; and environmental factors that may be linked to incidents involving injury outcomes. Where evidence exists to progress to more applied research, studies emphasize intervention development and testing for effectiveness, including field testing.

Technology and Product Development

Technology and Product Development activities include projects that result in outcomes that can enhance the safety of firefighter activities. Firefighter safety can be improved through greater understanding of fire phenomena inside and outside of structures, the development of products to enhance firefighter situational awareness and firefighting effectiveness, and the use of fire protection strategies and products to minimize the development of fire hazards. Projects may develop new technologies or adapt existing products and technologies to new uses.

Projects address the safety of firefighters for all types of fire incidents including residential, commercial, industrial, and wildland fires. Technology and Product Development projects address fire and firefighting hazards by making use of technology transfer opportunities in which existing technologies can be adapted to enhance firefighter safety.

As the intention of the R&D activities is to deliver outcomes that can be applied to improve firefighter safety, projects assess the use of the products and technology by the fire service under realistic fire conditions. Technology and product development projects assess the ultimate practicality of deployment through the use of the results by firefighters during actual firefighting operations.

Database System Development

Database Systems are used for the systematic collection of information to determine the predictors and correlates for incidents pertaining to fatal and nonfatal injuries. The focus of data collection projects may include but is not limited to the following:

  • Firefighter demographic and health factors (e.g., age; blood pressure)
  • Firefighter employment factors (e.g., shift; volunteer; training)
  • Firefighter safety behaviors (e.g., seat belt use; hydration)
  • Firefighting equipment
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Departmental/organizational safety policies and practices
  • Cultural or social norms regarding injury prevention practices
  • Community-based resources (e.g., hospitals, cornrnunication systems)
  • Environmental factors such as local building structures, types of building materials

Database System development projects may focus on the design and feasibility of a new database system, expand variables and/or data collection methods, seek to build upon an existing database system, or move from a local level database system to a broader State or regional level system.

Dissemination and Implementation Research

Dissemination and Implementation Research projects include the ways that new programs, policies, or products with credible evidence of effectiveness are moved to nationwide adoption and use. Credible evidence of effectiveness is defined as positive results from systematic and rigorous study, and the absence of negative results or side effects. These projects may involve studies of the dissemination and implementation of results from a prior firefighter safety, health, and wellness R&D activity provided that the project resulted in success as represented by publication in a peer-reviewed journal or other expert review of findings.

Preliminary Studies

Some project ideas may require information, evidence, experimentation, and study in order to justify a larger and complete study that can impact firefighter safety, health, and wellness. Preliminary studies have limited goals and short-duration investigations designed specifically to explore ideas that may be appropriate for further development in a full study in one of the four primary categories of R&D activities.

Research and Development Grants Awarded Fiscal Years 2005 - 2018

Fiscal YearTotal Number of AwardsTotal Federal Funds Awarded
20056$3,310,824.00
200611$9,921,057.00
200713$11,604,465.00
20089$8,172,639.00
200912$9,590,457.00
201011$10,352,759.00
20117$5,695,893.00
20125$4,065,272.00
20136$8,493,980.00
20146$8,326,972.00
20155$6,100,101.00
20166$8,365,202.00
20177$8,191,961.00
20189$8,671,722.00
Totals104$110,863,304
Last updated July 21, 2020