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Participants need for a simulated firefighting computer game!

What is this research studying? 

An effective response to an emergency such as fire greatly relies on the information provided to a firefighting team before the response (i.e., pre-response information) and planning for goals, roles, and actions (i.e., pre-response planning). Indeed, an investigation of a previous fire and explosion that occurred in West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas clearly indicates the importance of such pre-response information and pre-response planning. Despite such significance, the effects of the information and planning activity before the response are not thoroughly investigated.


What would I do if I participate? 

The research team will form a team of three participants each of whom has not known other team members. Once the three participants show up at the lab, the research team will provide a short orientation regarding the study purpose and what the participants are asked to do. And then, the participant team will be given time for training of the firefighting simulator by playing easy firefighting scenarios. Once they feel comfortable and do not have any significant problems playing the simulator, the participant team will be ready for the final session. The research team will reschedule them within 2-3 days with other participants for the actual trial to avoid familiarity with each other. The trained person will appear to the lab as per schedule, then they will play an actual trial (a more difficult scenario). The trial will last until the participant team completes all the missions of the scenario. Participants' conversation and action will be recorded by Noldus Audio-Video Recording System installed in the lab. In addition, the computer screen will be captured throughout the trial to understand what participants have done during the simulation. After the participant team finished the trial, each will be given a tablet (iPad) to fill out surveys. Electronic survey instruments include perceived workload assessment, perceived team efficacy assessment, and perceived team trust assessment. Also, the participants will fill out a demographic information form. The participant team's simulation performance outcomes will be collected from the simulation program by replaying the screen capture video. Once you finish the whole procedure, we will provide $15 for individual participants and $90 for the team with the best performance. The participant will receive a separate email with the link to the e-gift card after they finished the participant including an early withdraw.


Can I quit if I become uncomfortable?  

Yes, absolutely. Dr. Changwon Son and Texas Tech University’s Institutional Review Board have reviewed this research project and think you can participate comfortably. However, you can skip parts of the research you are not comfortable with and stop at any time. You will keep all the benefits of participating even if you stop. Participating is your choice. 


How long will participation take? 

We are asking for up to 90 minutes of your time for two days session. 


What are the benefits and risks of participating in this research? 

Participants will have a chance to advance their knowledge of firefighting and team communication through the computer simulation. Also, the participants will experience team communication under simulated firefighting situations. People who are uncomfortable working as a team toward a common goal may be reluctant to participate, however this is not a significant source of risks. In addition, there will be fire in the experimental scenarios, which could be traumatic for participants who are already overly sensitive, which may trigger any previous fire related incidents that they experienced previously. Although, we chose the scenarios after conducting numerous PILOT tests, and it was discovered that there was no impact related to trauma because the scenario does not include any long-term damage or victim injuries.


How are you protecting privacy? 

The participant's privacy will be protected throughout the study period. During the recruitment, the research team will collect data only required to assess their eligibility and minimal information for future contact (email address). The results of the screening form will be password-protected and accessed by only authorized personnel of this IRB. During the consent, the research team will email the consent form individually in advance and seek their participation to avoid any peer pressure when the participant is asked to decide to participate while other participants are present. During the data collection, the research team will block non-research team and non-participants from getting into the lab. Collected data will be stored in a password-protected server computer located in the lab, which has a lock. During the analysis of data, all the personal information will be identified and replaced with participant codes.


What will happen to my data?  

Identifiers might be removed from the identifiable private information and after such removal the information could be used for future research studies or distributed to another investigator for future research studies without additional informed consent from you or your legally authorized representative.  


I have some questions about this study. Who can I ask? 

The study is being run by Dr. Changwon Son from the Department of Industrial, Manufacturing, & Systems Engineering at Texas Tech University. If you have questions, you can call him at 806-834-5508 or email at 


Texas Tech University also has an Institutional Review Board that protects the rights of people who participate in research. You can contact them at 806-742-2064 or



Please feel free to ask the research staff any questions at this moment. 

This study has been approved by the Human Research Protection Program at Texas Tech University. 


Armina Rahman Mim


Industrial Engineering