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Federal fire managers' perceptions of the importance, scarcity & substitutability of suppression resources

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In the United States, multi-jurisdictional fire suppression demand is met by a national-scale pool of suppression resources that come from a variety of jurisdictions and provide a wide range of skills, experience, and associated mobility limitations and logistical needs. We designed and implemented an online survey of U.S. Forest Service employees who hold direct or indirect responsibility for ordering suppression resources; our main research objective was to identify the field’s perceptions of resource importance, scarcity, and substitutability. Importantly, we asked questions to help distinguish between resources that are high value, scarce, and without substitutes versus ones that are low value, readily available, and highly substitutable. We hypothesized that resource ordering patterns change with elevated resource scarcity and that, because of this, true resource demand and frequent resource associations and substitutions are not reflected in dispatch summary reports. In this webinar, we will present an overview of our survey results, including future research and analysis plans. Additionally, we will relate the discussion back to firefighter risk, exposure, and risk transfer themes.

Webinar presenter will be Crystal Stonesifer, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Human Dimensions