Fire chiefs endorse position papers at NFPA Urban Fire Forum


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Fire chiefs from Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States recently took part in the National Fire Protection Association Urban Fire Forum (UFF) at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Mass.

NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley welcomed the chiefs and provided an overview of the association’s mission, reinforcing the critical role that urban fire service leaders play in reaching the association’s goals and initiatives.

Special guests included Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, administrator of the United States Fire Administration (USFA); Peter Holland, chief inspector, Crown Premises Fire Safety CFO, United Kingdom; Chief Rob Brown, CEO and Executive Director, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); and Chief Stephan Wevers, president of the Netherlands Fire Service and Federation of the European Fire Officer Associations.

The group endorsed five important documents as official UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Fire & Rescue Service: A Roadmap for Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (DEI FIRE); Technological Advancements Push the Boundaries of All Hazards and the Fire Service Emergency Response System; Ambulance Patient Offload Time (APOT); Support for the Firefighter Cancer Cohort Study; and Support for the National Firefighter Registry.

Otto Drozd III, executive secretary of the NFPA Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro Chiefs), and coordinator of the event, said: “In today’s increasingly complex fire and emergency services environment, fire service leaders are confronted with a host of issues that go well beyond traditional emergency response.

“They must be adept at building cultures that attract willing public servants, instill trust, create systemic equity, and foster a sense of belonging. These organizational strengths are paramount to confronting the rapidly changing response landscape brought on by emerging energy technologies and our changing climates.

“These changes have far-reaching global impacts manifested by increased frequency and intensity of wildfires, heat waves, flooding, hurricanes, and ice storms, not to mention the continued increase in domestic terrorism (active shooter) and beyond.” 

To be successful, Drozd said that fire service leaders must have the latest research and intelligence to make decisions that result in safe and effective outcomes for both their firefighters and the public they serve.

To adequately manage these situations, he said NFPA and the Metro Chiefs must work with both their government and non-government partners. The position papers endorsed by the Urban Fire Forum Chiefs provide the information and resources needed to effectively address the dynamic challenges facing today’s fire service.

About the Urban Fire Forum

Work being done by the Urban Fire Forum chiefs, speakers, and research partners address current and emerging issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusion; fire fighter health and safety; emerging energy technologies; the impact of changing climates of global fire operations, and emergency health care. The latest research is made possible through the work of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, FM Global, and UL Fire Safety Research Institute.

The Urban Fire Forum brings together fire chiefs responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world, providing an important opportunity to learn from peers and expert speakers. It also allows NFPA to stay abreast of current trends and needs in the fire service. As part of the overall mission, chief officers share UFF deliverables and related information with fire officers from around the world.

The Urban Fire Forum documents and presentations can be found here.

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