Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Community Health Option)

Department or School/College

Health and Human Performance Department

Committee Chair

Dr. Annie Sondag

Commitee Members

Dr. Charles Palmer, Dr. Joseph Domitrovich


program evaluation, performance, wildland firefighter, online


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene | Public Health Education and Promotion


Peña Cueto, José M., M.S., Spring 2018 Health and Human Performance

Evaluation of a web-based performance program for wildland firefighters

Chairperson: Dr. Annie Sondag, PhD

Introduction: In an effort to increase work capacity and reduce occupational injury rates and mortality rates among wildland firefighters, a web-based performance program named The Black was developed. The training program was designed to provide evidence-based training specific to wildland firefighters’ needs.

Purpose: A formative and process evaluation of the program was conducted to study the user rates, and user’s attitudes and preferences regarding the program during the pilot of its first phase.

Methodology: A sequential mixed-methods design was utilized for this evaluation. Qualitative interviews were conducted with firefighters who attended an introductory seminar. Interview data was utilized by program evaluators in the creation of a predominantly quantitative instrument to survey firefighters who were invited to participate in the first-year program pilot.

Results: Nine firefighters were interviewed and thirty-six partially or fully completed survey responses were collected. Despite users’ positive attitudes toward the program’s content and high regard for the expertise of its developers, evaluation data brought to light issues with usability of the program’s online platform and other content delivery methods. Incompatibilities with, and lack of adaptability to the target population’s traditional practices and seasonal needs were also noted.

Conclusions: The heterogeneity of the wildland firefighter population makes it a uniquely challenging population to provide a standardized training program for. Further segregation of content to address specific needs of sub-populations conveyed through compatible delivery methods, along with the application of concepts from Diffusion of Innovations Theory, may lead to the widespread utilization of The Black.



© Copyright 2018 José M. Peña Cueto