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Research on Survival in Bushfires

A firefighter can bear rising air temperatures, but it is the intense heat radiation from a fire front that causes the second and third degree burns from which he may die.

This film shows the performance in several field tests of an experimental tent made of aluminium foil and fibreglass cloth, designed to protect a firefighter trapped in a bushfire. The tent is recommended only in an emergency, and then only for use by trained firefighters.

Produced in 1964.

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18:01:14 | Title over forest fire
18:01:46 | Interview Dr A King
18:02:56 | Paper held in front of radiant heater, burns
18:03:06 | Graphics Firefighter and flame front
18:03:17 | Dr A King hand shielded by aluminium foil close to radiant heater
18:03:46 | Dr A King demonstrating aluminium foil laminated to fibreglass cloth
18:04:14 | Dr A King pulls on tapering cone tent of aluminium foil, walks toedge of bushfire, flames surround him, walks out of flames, takes offtent, coughing
18:05:32 | Dr A King unfolds aluminium survival tent, crawls in, cutaway showshow to lie in tent
18:06:56 | Area in jarrah bush cleared, test instruments and safety gear displayed,tend set up, instruments checked in research vehicle. Dr A King enterstent
18:09:27 | Foresters standby, fire front approaches tent
18:09:50 | Interior tent Dr A King measuring temperature of himself and air
18:10:12 | Fire passes over tent
18:10:29 | Interior tent, Dr King noting temperatures
18:10:54 | Observers with walkie talkies, Dr King walks out of smoulderingarea and smoke, talks to observers
18:11:23 | Records from instruments checked
18:11:46 | Dense scrub area in bush, cleared, Dr King fits tent around himself
18:12:28 | Forester using walkie talkie fire front passing over tent
18:12:38 | Fire burning grass bushes, smoke filled air
18:14:06 | Forester runs over burnt ground, lifts tent, Dr King emerges
18:15:08 | Interview Dr King with helmet, goggles and mask
18:17:30 | Survival tent in bushfire
18:18:08 | End