Accidents, Accident Guides, Stories and the Truth 

09-20-2019 16:07

Abstract: Here at the 11th Wildland Fire Safety Summit we are students of fire safety, which is our basic reason for gathering to exchange our collective and separate visions. The secondary theme is how stories and narratives aid in this process. Historically accident investigations have
provided crucial feedback for maximizing safety. These investigations have usually produced step-by-step factual reports to document the accident. Recently some investigations have recommended relating the accident in a story format to increase readability, interest and learning within firefighter safety cultures. Generally the goal of accident reports is to convey as much of the truth of an event that is discoverable. However time, money, skill level, skill variety, accident guide used and other related factors can either enhance or deter the depth of understanding the accident causal elements. Sometimes investigators deliberately distort or do not report all the causal elements. Such biases lead firefighters to distrust the resulting reports, which can hamper our efforts to stay safe.

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