About Us

Firecrowd: SOP & SOG Crowdsourcing

This project focuses on the use of crowdsourcing techniques to develop and refine Standard Operating Procedures and Standard Operating Guidelines (SOPs and SOGs) for the fire service.

Who we are

Firecrowd is made possible by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and was created by Custos Fratris, a company dedicated to improving occupational safety and health. The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to plan, manage and communicate research in support of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mission.  Learn more at the FPRF website. Contact the NFPA at firecrowd@nfpa.org with questions about the Firecrowd project.

Intent of Firecrowd

The fire service and other emergency responders serve an important societal role by saving lives, reducing injuries and minimizing the adverse impact from unwanted fire and other emergency events.  In addition to their life-saving role, this includes protecting property, minimizing business interruption, supporting mission continuity, and protecting the environment.

The duties of emergency responders are numerous and they commonly utilize Standard Operating Procedures and Standard Operating Guidelines (SOPs/SOGs) to fulfill their mission.  SOPs/SOGs are typically prescriptive documents that are not uniform and are customized between emergency response organizations. For example, in the United States there are more than 31,000 individual fire departments, and each is likely to use dozens of different SOPs/SOGs addressing numerous tasks. These ultimately represent best practice for a particular emergency response organization, and are used to facilitate training, support operational guidance, and to interpret policy during post event assessment.

A new information development tool that is becoming recognized in recent years is “crowdsourcing”, and it offers intriguing potential benefits for the development of SOPs/SOGs. The transparent communication tools of today’s internet age have strongly enabled the concept of crowdsourcing. It offers a novel approach to synthesis and coordinate information on a common technical topic based on broad and on-going input from directly impacted stakeholders. This project focuses on the use of crowdsourcing techniques to develop and refine SOPs/SOGs for the fire service, with a prototype focus on addressing fires involving electric & hybrid vehicles. However, we plan to expand Firecrowd to include additional SOPs.


Image from spifi.publichealth.arizona.edu