It is hard to believe that this class is coming to end. It has been a fast 7 weeks so far. There are a lot of ethical considerations to take into account when doing any type of research and fire research is no different. the biggest question to ask when doing research is this right to research and does it go against what I think is right. When it comes to firefighting research most research may cross a line when dealing with a firefighter injury or death and it could hurt the department or even the family. One thing about fire research dealing with a line of duty of death or injury is that some thing could have happened and from that event other firefighters could learn from it. If the research just presents the facts and try not to put any one in a bad light then it would not be getting into anything ethical or unethical. In the case of my research topic which is on modern fire behavior there is no ethical considerations to take into account. It is just facts and research of legacy furniture vs. modern furniture and how it is burning hot now than it did before. If i was adding a part where I talked about a flashover killing a firefighter and said it was all the firefighters fault and said some questionable things then that would be an ethical issue and I may get a lot of back lash from it. There is some research that has been that may be pushing some ethical considerations but it is research that needs to be done. You can not please everyone all of the time and what you think is right may not be right to someone else. Good luck to everyone on everything due this week.
I have never officially researched ethics before and it has been a fascinating study so far into the different considerations that must be thought of to insure ethical behavior.
Luckily for fire researchers there are not as many ethical dilemmas as there for a profession such as the medical field, but there still are a number to be considered as research deals with the public and life and death matters. Consequence ethics seem to be more prevalent in the fire service and are acknowledged by another term (Given, 2008). Risk Analysis is a greatly discussed topic in every aspect of an emergency responder’s duties. Is the risk worth the reward? A person anecdote, a year ago I was in command of a group of guys on a water rescue with a person trapped. While the boat team was getting ready, me and my guys walked as far as we could and made contact with the person and threw them a life jacket. We theoretically could have gotten to the vehicle and made the rescue, and my guys wanted to do this, but with the risk presented and the non emergent nature of the civilians situation, it would have been unethical for me to ask my guys to risk their lives when there was a safer option for everyone involved. In short, the risk was not worth the reward. The boat came, grabbed the guy, and everyone went home. For researchers, is the risk worth the knowledge gained? A researcher might be invested in proving a new technique or piece of equipment will safe time and lives, but it has to be tested first. A few questions must be answered first; has this been proven in a non life threatening environment? Has the tester been briefed on the possible risks he or she might be about to face? Has the tester been briefed on the possible consequences that could be a result of the test? Has the tester volunteered after being told of the risk? Will the tester benefit from the experiment? These a just a few of the questions that need to be asked to insure the testing is ethical and the testers personal rights are not be infringed (Gunderson & Lindsey, 2011).
Sorry for the side track, but I hope it illustrates the point I was trying to make.
Also, What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important? By David B. Resnik, J.D., Ph.D. has some great information on ethics in the medical field. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis/index.cfm
Given, L. M. (2008). The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods (Vols. 1-0). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412963909
Gunderson, M. R., & Lindsey, J. (2011). Applications of fire research and improvement. Retrieved May 14, 2019.