It’s very clear from firechat discussions that firefighters who have many years of experience do not think having a better fireshelter is the issue. They believe that just having one may put inexperienced (or gung-ho) firefighters at risk by creating a mindset that they are protected, when in fact they are not. Such FF may stay in risky situations for longer than they would without it, or they may push the envelope intentionally because the shelter has reinforced a culture of invencibility that is sometimes evident in young inexperienced people
Being trained in how to stay safe, including knowledge of fire behavior and experience with it seems to be as important as or more important than the fire shelter. As several ff said, “If a fireshelter is deployed, someone has seriously screwed up — misread the fire behavior or failed to communicate about it.”
Perhaps some energy should be put toward figuring out how to fasttrack fire behavior training in our large number of new folks.