U.S. Fire Administration/Technical Report Series Special Report: The After-Action Critique: Training Through Lessons Learned [open pdf - 460KB]
"The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) develops reports on selected major fires throughout the country. The fires usually involve multiple deaths or a large loss of property, but the primary criterion for deciding to write a report is whether it will result in significant 'lessons learned.' In some cases these lessons bring to light new knowledge about fire--the effects of building construction or contents, human behavior in fire, and so forth. In other cases, the lessons are not new, but are serious enough to highlight once again because of another fire tragedy. Under this project, USFA also develops special reports addressing a variety of issues that affect the fire service, such as homeland security and disaster preparedness, new technologies, training, fireground tactics, and firefighter safety and health. The reports are sent to fire magazines and are distributed at national and regional fire meetings. The reports are available on request from USFA. Announcements of their availability are published widely in fire journals and newsletters. This body of work provides detailed information on the nature of the fire problem and the many types of service provided by fire departments. The information informs policymakers, who must decide on allocations of resources between fire and other pressing problems, and personnel within the fire service, to improve codes and code enforcement, training, public fire education, building technology, and other related areas. For reports on major fires and other critical incidents to which fire departments respond, USFA, which has no regulatory authority, sends an experienced fire investigator into a community only after having conferred with the local fire authorities to ensure that USFA's assistance and presence would support, not interfere with, any local review of the incident. The intent is to arrive after the dust settles so that a complete and objective review of all the important aspects of the incident can be made. Local authorities review USFA's report while it is in draft form. The USFA investigator or team is available to local authorities should they wish to request technical assistance for their own investigation. For additional copies of this report write to the United States Fire Administration, 16825 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727 or visit our Web site: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/