On Friday, January 29, 2016, the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) conducted an operational field assessment (OFA) of the firefighter accountability and proximity (FFAP) system in Butler, Pennsylvania, with members of the Herman Volunteer Fire Company.
The genesis of the FFAP occurred in May 2011, when members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department formalized a capability gap they had in regards to team integrity and accountability in the Firefighter Accountability and Proximity System Operational Requirements Document. Maintaining fire ground personnel accountability and proximity to the team leader or incident commander during structural firefighting operations was sub-optimal. As a result, the risk of firefighters becoming lost during chaotic operations was higher than desired. The time to locate and recover lost firefighters was also higher than desired. Increased situational awareness could reduce the time to locate and recover a downed firefighter. This could sometimes mean the difference between injury and death.