This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

System Safety Analysis of the Opelika Fire Department's Crawling Simulator




Sherman, Alexander

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Industrial and Systems Engineering


Firefighters have among the most physically and psychologically challenging jobs in the world, incurring more than 80,000 injuries each year. Firefighter training is crucial, as higher knowledge and experience levels are inversely proportional to their risk of injury or work-related illness. However, a paradox is created in that the training itself is the third highest cause of firefighter injury. Therefore, enhancing training safety is paramount to creating a safer overall work and training environment for firefighters. This study focused on a particular training facility, a crawling training device used by the East Alabama Fire Departments. The simulator is built into a cargo trailer and is located in Lee County, Alabama. A system safety analysis was performed incorporating the use of tools such as a preliminary hazard list (PHL), preliminary hazard analysis (PHA), risk assessment matrix, fault tree analysis (FTA), and failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA). Through the analysis, several hazards were identified and assessed, and recommendations for abating these hazards were proposed, specifically for hazards resulting from the lack of an evacuation plan and absence of an occupant monitoring system.