Some Questions for Sammi:
What are the research priorities at MTDC (Missoula Technical and Development Center and/or other fire research facilities)? Scientists must have a rationale for the science they do, if for no other reason than to apply for and receive funding.
How are the priorities determined? There usually is a more or less scientific way of prioritizing. By thinktank (brainstorming by experts with their own research expertise)? By focus groups (of whom)? By poll (of whom)? By priority of cause of injury or death of firefighters? By public opinion? Some combination? (I don’t mean to offend by saying death, just need to be real here.)
Where does the fire shelter rank in the stack of maybe 15 or 20 most important research areas? â—¦ Was it even included in the researchable list to be prioritized?
If it’s not first priority, what’s ahead of it?
Looking at the research trend (or maybe just out of curiosity), where has the shelter ranked in the past, say in 1980 or ’85? Is it closer to the top today?
Given its current priority or ranking (which we must assume is not number ONE), what is different today than a year ago (or 15 years ago) that might suggest it should move up? If the fireshelter is considered the top priority or even the second priority, scientists working on it can test it and get it out in record time, much faster than is currently projected. I am convinced of this. We have some smart dudes working for us. Maybe we need to make a case for moving the fireshelter to top priority.