A multidimensional evaluation of fire fighter training for hazardous materials response: first results from the IAFF program.
Am J Ind Med 1998 Oct; 34(4):331-341
The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) course on hazardous materials training for first responders is described together with an evaluation plan that includes multiple levels of assessment. Trainee appraisals of the course, shifts in their ratings of task competencies, gains in knowledge quiz scores, and self-reports on actions reflecting lessons learned from the course are among the measures used. Evaluations of courses given in several city fire departments found more than 60% of trainee judgments of course quality and utility to be highly favorable, along with significant post-course improvements in their competency ratings and quiz scores. Follow-up interviews with samples of trainees also suggested more self-protective behaviors and preventive actions being taken with regard to alarms and risks of hazardous materials exposures. However, cross-comparing the results for the various evaluation measures gave only limited support to a popular evaluation model that hypothesized that they would be interdependent. Limitations in appreciating technical course subjects, the value of add-on or refresher instruction, and variable risk experiences are noted in explaining differences in some training results.
Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Training; Hazardous-materials; Occupational-safety-programs; Emergency-responders; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis;
Author Keywords: occupational safety training; fire fighters; hazardous materials exposures
Alexander Cohen, 6752 East Farmacres Drive, Cincinnati. OH 45237
American Journal of Industrial Medicine