Implicit Coordination in Firefighting Practice: Design Implications for Teaching Fire Emergency Responders

, and . Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, page 707--716. New York, NY, USA, ACM, (2007)


Fire emergency response requires rapidly processing and communicating information to coordinate teams that protect lives and property. Students studying to become fire emergency responders must learn to communicate, process, and integrate information during dangerous, stressful, and time-sensitive work. We are performing an ethnographic investigation that includes interviews with experienced fire emergency responders and observations of team burn training exercises with students. We distill salient components of firefighting practice, which are relevant to the design of fire emergency response education systems. We derive design implications for systems that teach fire emergency responders to deal with issues surrounding the communication and integration of fireground information: the mixing of communication modalities, the distribution of information acquisition sources to create information differential and uncertainty, and audible clues.

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