UL FSRI Fire Safety Academy

Online Training Helps Firefighters Identify Ways to Reduce Cardiovascular and Chemical Exposure Risks During Training

April 9, 2020

The “Cardiovascular and Chemical Exposure Risk Considerations During Training” online course is based on evidence from a series of studies led by the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI), the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) along with partners from Skidmore College.

This course is designed to help firefighters, fire instructors and training officers identify and incorporate best practices and control measures to reduce risk during training and reinforce muscle memory for use during fireground response. The interactive modules focus on the impact of training fuel selection and personal protective equipment (PPE) donning, doffing and cleaning techniques on exposure risk on the training ground.

After taking this course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize how thermal and chemical exposures on the fireground and in the training environment can have an impact on their health as a firefighter.
  • Recognize the impact that training fuel selection has on exposure risk and the fidelity of the training environment.
  • Understand PPE donning and doffing techniques that reduce exposure and cross contamination risk.
  • Identify ways to reduce exposure by using evidence-based techniques and decontamination methods on turnout gear and skin.

Funding for this project was provided by the Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention & Safety Grant program, along with additional support from the CDC Foundation and the National Toxicology program, and Globe.

“This course is designed to provide insight into some of the risks associated with training fires that use traditional wood-based fuel as well as theatrical smoke or engineered wood products.  It also covers a few simple actions that can be taken to reduce risks during training, while also reinforcing muscle memory for use during fireground responses,” said UL FSRI Research Engineer Gavin Horn (formerly IFSI Director of Research).

The course can be accessed through the UL FSRI Fire Safety Academy



Resource #1: UL FSRI Fire Safety Academy

Resource #2: UL FSRI Cardiovascular and Chemical Exposure Risks on Today's Training Ground project page