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Behavioural neuroscience improves firefighter decision-making

BBSRC-funded behavioural neuroscience research at Cardiff University underpinned changes to the national guidance provided to Incident Commanders in the UK Fire and Rescue Services. The guidance provides a rapid mental checklist that aims to ensure Incident Commanders are making the best decisions to protect firefighters and meet incident objectives.

Data breakout

161,770 Number of fires attended by fire and rescue services in England in 2016/17
2,600 Number of injuries sustained by firefighters in England in 2015/16
2016 Year the revised guidelines, including the new process, were published
£402k Value of BBSRC investment into the underpinning research

The new decision control process has also been incorporated into the doctrine of the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Procedures used when UK emergency services come together to tackle large complex incidents. It has also attracted significant interest from fire and rescue services in other countries.

Fire and Rescue Services have also incorporated the research methods into their own evaluation and training processes by equipping Incident Commanders with small digital cameras, as used in the research, to record their actions and review performance.

Read the full impact evidence report: