National Wildfire Coordinating Group

2016 WOR Day 1: Introduction to Human Performance

Week of Remembrance June 30-July 6, 2016Ribbon symbol for WOR next to Wildland Fire Lessons Learned logo.

This Week of Remembrance is dedicated to all those who have fallen in the line of duty and has been intended to serve as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the health, wellness and safety of wildland firefighters.


Human Performance is a complex and multi-faceted process. It consists of physical, psychological, and environmental factors, and each of these is vital for us as firefighters to complete our missions safely and effectively.

Physical elements are those pieces that keep our bodies functioning smoothly and well; some key pieces to our physical performance include:

  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Aerobic conditioning
  • Strength conditioning

Psychological elements are the pieces that keep our mind and emotions focused, and prepared; some key elements to our psychological performance include:

  • Internal Awareness (self)
  • External awareness (others and the environment)
  • Stress Management

Environmental factors are comprised of elements that we must interact with on a daily basis; some key elements to our environment include:

  • Significant others (coworkers, supervisors, and our support networks).
  • The physical demands of the environment (temperatures, terrain, etc.)
  • Time and space (time of day & season; home or at work; rest or working)

Optimal human performance or “fitness” incorporates much more than our physical capabilities. Being optimally fit requires training the mind as well as the body for the environments in which we operate.

What do your environmental factors demand?

What are you doing to stay in the optimal performance zone?

  • Physically fit?
  • Psychologically fit?
  • Environmentally fit?

chart showing optimal performance zone for physical, psychological and environmental fitness a wildland firefighter should be in to perform to the best of their ability.


The topics for the NWCG “Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance” have been drawn from the Human Performance Optimization course taught as a part of the USFS Apprentice Academy in cooperation with the Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) and is rooted in the desire to prepare wildland fire personnel to optimally manage themselves and others at any given time. Review and resources have been contributed by the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, NIFC External Affairs, the Wildland Fire annual refresher group, and the Wildland Fire Leadership Subcommittee.


Week of Remembrance
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Jun 2023

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