The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), in coordination with the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), has developed an online Vulnerability Assessment Tool that will provide fire departments with a systematic process to evaluate risk and ultimately reduce the threat of firefighter injuries and deaths.
At the end of the assessment, users have a customized report identifying areas of vulnerability linked to firefighter injuries and deaths. Each report contains suggestions for risk reduction strategies specific to identified vulnerabilities and provides pertinent industry standards and guidelines to address the identified concerns.
Fire departments can then use this analysis to develop operational and strategic plans to implement the risk reduction recommendations necessary to minimize or eliminate predictable causes of line-of-duty injuries and deaths.
The Fire Service Vulnerability Assessment Program (VAP) is a collection of surveys to assist fire departments in identifying vulnerabilities in organizational culture that could endanger firefighter safety. Once a survey is completed, the organization receives a series of recommended resources to help reduce or eliminate the identified risk.
The VAP currently has 7 surveys:
In order for a department to know its firefighter safety baseline, the NFFF encourages every fire department in the United States to register and complete the 7 VAP surveys, beginning with Comprehensive VAP.
Since 2015, more than 1594 fire departments have used the VAP with the goal of identifying and correcting risk factors that may lead to a firefighter injury or death. Additionally, the VAP provides justification to municipalities to support budget requests for training, staffing levels, equipment, and other resources.