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Fire Protection Engineering in the Fire Service

This SFPE Special Interest Group (SIG) consists of members that have an interest in advancing cooperation and communications between the fire service and fire protection engineering professions. The SIG uses research, emerging trends, and hot topics, where applicable, to transfer engineering information to the fire service.

“Over the past few decades, the fire service and its scope have undergone an evolution. Unprecedented new hazards and threats have emerged. Fires are burning differently because of modern construction techniques and furnishings; budget constraints are limiting staffing, equipment purchasing, and training; and firefighters now face not only new hazardous materials and technical rescue challenges but also terrorist and criminal events. Upholding the fire service mantra “adapt and overcome,” we have responded proactively to these challenges by expanding our capabilities and introducing new technology, equipment, and training. To assist in fully understand these ever-changing issues, fire protection engineers (FPEs) have provided valuable technical expertise to the fire service’s progression. By hiring an FPE, a fire department will benefit greatly.” The article in the January 2014 issue of Fire Engineering magazine by Thomas Platt describes how fire protection engineers can be an asset to any fire department.

Available Resources

Fire Service FPE Job Description - This job description lists the full range of possible duties that a fire protection engineer (FPE) can provide for a fire service organization. It is the organization’s responsibility to tailor the job description by first determining which duties to include and then establishing the corresponding knowledge, abilities, qualifications, and certifications to adequately fulfill the FPE’s role within the organization. In this manner, organizations can match their needs with candidates’ capabilities.

Fire Service Considerations: A Primer for Building and System Designers PowerPoint Presentation - This presentation discusses design issues that impact first responders. The target audience for this presentation is architects, fire protection engineers, engineers from other disciplines, and system design technicians.

Articles Relevant to the Fire Service

SMART Fire Fighting,” Q3 2019 Issue #83 Fire Protection Engineering magazine

Operational Challenges in Large Wood Buildings Under Construction,” Q2 2018: Issue 78 Fire Protection Engineering magazine

"Firefighters’ Perspective on Flame Retardants," Q4 2015 Fire Protection Engineering magazine

"Fire Service Features of Buildings: Phase by Phase," Q2 2015 Fire Protection Engineering magazine

Why Simulation is Key for Maintaining Fire Incident Preparedness,” Q2 2015 Fire Protection Engineering magazine

Other SFPE Activities That Support the Fire Service:

Interested in joining the Fire Service Subcommittee, click here to complete the committee application. It takes less than a minute to complete.  If you are not yet a member of SFPE, click here to join.

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