AUTHOR: Cathy Longley

Katy, TX building under construction fire

NFPA Addresses Building Under Construction Fires with New Fire Prevention Program Manager Online Training and Webinar Panel on April 15

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) launched a new Fire Prevention Program Manager Online Training Series today to help the building industry understand and adopt the strategies defined in NFPA 241 Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operation. The topic will also be discussed by a panel of industry experts during an Addressing Fire Safety Challenges During Construction webinar on April 15. Fire Prevention Program Manager Online Training Series In recent weeks, massive building under construction fires have occurred in Las Vegas, NV, Dallas, TX, and Everett, WA, underscoring NFPA research which shows an average of 3,840 fires in structures under construction and 2,580 fires in structures under major renovation per year. Building under construction fires cause an average of four civilian deaths, 49 civilian injuries, and $304 million in direct property damage annually, while fires in buildings undergoing major renovation cause an average of eight civilian deaths, 52 civilian injuries, and $104 million in direct property damage annually. “This new online learning, centered around NFPA 241, was developed in the spirit of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem, which emphasizes the importance of applying referenced standards, investing in safety, and a skilled workforce,” NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley said.  Although NFPA 241 calls for a fire prevention program manager, credentials for the role are virtually non-existent in the market today. To help construction company leaders, building owners, job site supervisors, code officials, fire marshals, facility managers, and fire protection engineers have the skills needed to ensure the safety of buildings under construction, NFPA developed the new five-hour, five-part online learning series, assessment, and digital badge based on the anticipated job performance requirements (JPRs) for fire prevention program managers proposed for the next edition of NFPA 241. The training covers general fire protection awareness for all people on construction sites and the role of fire prevention program managers on a construction project with an emphasis on: Building safety and fire protection systems Hazard protection Inspections, permits and procedures The NFPA online training series is intended for fire prevention program managers who are new to the role and is designed to help learn how to actively manage a fire prevention program for a typical construction project.  Addressing Fire Safety Challenges During Construction Webinar The NFPA webinar scheduled for April 15 will feature a panel of industry experts discussing key considerations for construction site fire safety, including fire risks and the role of the fire prevention program manager, with time allotted for a robust Q&A session. Webinar panelists providing perspective on the topic include: Jim Begley, PE, FSFPE, CFM, TERPconsulting, principal Matthew Bourque, PE, WS Development, director of Fire Protection and Construction Operations Dick Davis, PE, FM Global, AVP, senior engineering technical specialist Nicholas Dawe, division chief/fire marshal, Cobb County (GA) Fire and Emergency Services

NFPA Launches Free Structural Firefighting Online Training Based on the Fire Dynamics within NFPA 1700

NFPA released free NFPA® 1700 Guide for Structural Fire Fighting online training for firefighters to learn safer and more effective ways to handle fire incidents involving modern day materials and contents. The all-new online instructional course, centered around NFPA 1700 Guide for Structural Fire Fighting, is based on extensive scientific research and testing on contemporary structures from the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute. Today’s home fires burn faster, reach flashover quicker, collapse sooner, and result in reduced escape times largely due to synthetic contents including furniture, plastics, rugs, and composite materials versus the wood-constructed legacy furnishings of days gone by. Residences also tend to be constructed on smaller lots, include a second story, feature more open floor plans, and house all kinds of new technologies. These components and evolving fuel loads led to the November release of NFPA 1700, the first NFPA document connecting fire dynamics research to response strategies and best practices; and have prompted changes to the tactics that the nation’s 1.1 million firefighters have used for decades. The all-new instructional course is designed to help the fire service evolve the way it responds to incidents and provides evidence-based recommendations and methodologies. The course provides: Guidance focused on interacting within a structure on-fire to achieve the most successful outcome based on documented fire investigations, research, and testing Interactive modeling of residential structural firefighting with simulated training scenarios and coaching throughout exercises Concepts based on NFPA 1700 principles and tactical advice for effective search, rescue, and fire suppression operations, as well as civilian and responder safety   NFPA 1700 online training puts firefighters in an immersive digital environment that replicates in-person, hands-on learning. Ideal for both new and seasoned structural firefighting personnel, the online program offers an introduction to NFPA 1700, followed by a series of interactive learning modules. Each session offers a 360-degree, full-3D virtual experience featuring realistic scenarios and requires firefighters to make observations and decisions on how to respond and fight the fire. The course covers how to enter buildings, where to apply hose streams, and when to stand down due to potential life-threatening situations; and culminates with a Capstone exam to help firefighters synthesize learning and put knowledge to the test. The training takes into consideration fundamental occupancy, building construction, while addressing the health and safety of firefighters by reinforcing the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and methodologies for contamination control. NFPA 1700 and its corresponding free training for the fire service are prime examples of the investment in safety and skilled workforce components that are essential in the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem. Take and share the training today.

Metro Chiefs Re-Names Annual Lifetime Achievement Award After Long-Time Executive Secretary Russ Sanders

The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association Board of Directors has unanimously voted to rename their annual Lifetime Achievement Award the “Russell E. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award” in recognition of Sanders’ leadership and continuous contributions to Metro Chiefs and the international fire service. Metro Chiefs is a section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Metro Chiefs President John Lane, the fire and paramedic chief in Winnipeg, Canada, lauded Sanders for his vision, passion, and energy. “Russ has collaborated with authorities from North America to South America to Europe to Australia, and spent every waking moment dedicated to the Metro Chiefs organization and our mission,” Lane said.  “There is no more fitting recognition of his more than 34 years of service to the Metro Chiefs organization than to name this award after him.” The Russell E. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award is granted to an individual who has demonstrated a long history of accomplishments and contributions to the Metro Chiefs organization, as well as contributions to fire safety, in general. Honorees demonstrate leadership and have overcome workplace challenges.  Sanders spent 27 years in the Louisville, Kentucky fire department, serving his last nine years as chief of the department.  He joined the National Fire Protection Association in 1995 and has served as Executive Secretary of the Metro Chiefs since then. Sanders has a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Master of Education Degree, and a Master of Science Degree from the University of Louisville. He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and Harvard University’s Senior Executive in State and Local Government Program. Sanders has received  many of the highest honors in the fire and emergency services including the rank of Fellow in the Institution of Fire Engineers (highest grade offered); the Everett E. Hudiburg Award from the International Fire Service Training Association; induction into the 2018 National Fire Heritage Center’s Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders; and the Mason Langford Fire Service Leadership Award by the Congressional Fire Services Institute for exemplary leadership in public safety. He also co-authored the first edition of Structural Fire Fighting: Strategy and Tactics in 2000 and a second edition in 2008. Sanders will retire from his Metro Chiefs role and his NFPA career at the end of 2021. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career firefighters.
Metro award winners

Metro Chiefs Announce Chief of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Honorees

The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ushered in some changes this year as they considered their two illustrious awards - Fire Chief of the Year and Lifetime Achievement. For the first time in Metro Chief’s 56-year history, a female officer has been named Fire Chief of the Year. Mary Cameli, Chief of the Mesa Fire and Medical Department in Arizona earned this distinction based on her accomplishments locally, regionally, and nationally. Chief Mike Duyck (ret.) of the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) earned the Lifetime Achievement Award for his 33 years of service and leadership. The award was renamed this year to the Russell E. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of Russ Sanders, the longtime Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary and an NFPA employee who will retire later this year. Chief Cameli has been a member of the Mesa (AZ) Fire and Medical Department (MFMD) since 1983, serving in every rank within the department before assuming her current role in 2016. Recognized as the Mesa Woman of the Year in 2020, Cameli has earned accolades in her community, throughout Arizona, and across the country for spearheading the MFMD program which is regarded as a ‘Gold Standard” example of Integrated Community Health Care. MFMD service delivery elements, and the research and data generated as part of a significant federal Health and Human Services grant, have been shared widely throughout the fire service and medical community to impart important lessons learned. MFMD provides its own separate 9-1-1 communications and dispatch center for their community, as well as their automatic aid partners. Chief Cameli credits her labor/management team for the development and success of a critical public safety tax initiative for both police and fire. A past President of the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA), Cameli currently serves as Vice Chair of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) Executive Board. She is also Vice President of the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) Board and Co-Chairs the IAFC Women Chiefs Council. Mike Duyck ended his long career in the fire service as Fire Chief/Chief Executive Officer of TVF&R, Oregon’s largest fire district with a service area covering eleven cities and portions of four counties over 390 square miles. Chief Duyck was responsible for leading more than 630 firefighters and support staff who provide progressive fire, emergency medical, and specialty rescue services to approximately 535,000 citizens. He joined TVF&R in 1989 and became fire chief in 2010 after serving in all ranks of emergency services as well as fleet services, human resources, logistics, emergency management, and government affairs. In addition to being Past President of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, Duyck is a past President of the Western Fire Chiefs Association and served on the IAFC Board of Directors. He currently serves as Chair of Oregon’s State Interoperability Executive Council and is a member of the Department of Homeland Security Executive Committee for the Public Safety Advisory Committee for FirstNet. Chief Duyck is also involved in local, state, and national initiatives addressing firefighter safety and survival, emergency communications dispatch, interoperability, mobile healthcare, fire and EMS service innovation and technology, intergovernmental affairs, government efficiency, and economic development. He is an Oregon-certified Paramedic who has completed the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program and has been designated as a Center for Public Safety Excellence Chief Fire Officer (CFO). The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career firefighters.
Safety Stand Down

2021 Safety Stand Down Theme Focuses on Rebuilding Rehab

Firefighting puts intense strain on firefighters, both physically and mentally, and yet rehab frequently doesn’t get the consideration it should. Many think simply providing food and beverages to firefighters constitutes a rehab program. Thus, the reason that the focus of the 2021 Safety Stand Down campaign will be “Rebuild Rehab.” During the week of June 20-26, fire departments are advised to suspend all non-emergency activities to conduct training that helps responders reframe their thinking around rehab. In advance of that designated week, fire department leaders and trainers are asked to revisit their rehab program to ensure that post-incident and post-training protocol adequately addresses the health and safety of firefighters. Effective rehab programs evaluate both a firefighter’s physiological and psychological wellbeing and ensure that those on the front line are ready to respond to the next emergency. Rehab programs should encompass all areas of health, including cardiac, nutrition, exposure, mental health, hydration, and heat stress. Fire personnel can find best practices and benchmarks within NFPA 1584 Standard on the Rehabilitation Process for Members During Emergency Operations and Training Exercises. A wide array of topical information, training, and resources is also available at www.safetystanddown.org; the site will be updated periodically with new tips and tools leading up to Safety Stand Down in June so that departments can plan their education and awareness activities. Safety Stand Down is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The awareness campaign is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations, including the Fire Department Safety Officers Association.  NFPA will once again launch a Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz this spring to foster a greater understanding of this year’s theme. Everyone who completes the online quiz will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes; 200 randomly selected participants will win a commemorative Safety Stand Down challenge coin. 

New web version and quarterly print schedule for NFPA Journal

NFPA Journal®, the magazine of the National Fire Protection Association, has launched a new web version and moved to a quarterly print publication schedule as part of a larger plan to expand the magazine’s online presence, extend the association’s global reach, and provide convenient access to a range of content generated by the award-winning NFPA Journal team and the magazine’s many contributors. The new NFPA Journal online site will feature highlighted pieces from the print magazine, as well as breaking news coverage, thought leadership content, a daily feed of national fire service news, and the latest installments of the popular NFPA Podcast and Learn Something New video series. Readers can also view the current issue of the magazine in digital flipbook format and access NFPA Journal en Espanol. Until recently the print edition of NFPA Journal was published on a bimonthly basis. Now, NFPA Journal will be distributed exclusively to NFPA members in February, May, August, and November. The magazine will continue to provide in-depth coverage of emerging trends, codes and standards development, and education and advocacy initiatives to NFPA members. “These changes mark an exciting point in the evolution of NFPA Journal and represent an important part of NFPA’s growing international influence,” said Scott Sutherland, executive editor of NFPA Journal. “Our new and expanded web identity, combined with our new print schedule, will help us reach more audiences around the world with a wider variety of stories on emerging fire and life safety issues.” Visit and bookmark nfpa.org/journal to access fire, electrical, building and life safety news or download the NFPA Journal app for IOSor >Android today.
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