North, South and Central American fire associations unite in historic agreement


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The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro Chiefs), a section of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), have signed a five-year cooperation agreement with the Organization of American Firefighters (OBA), the largest international firefighting organisation in Central and South America.

The signing, which happened at the Asociación Mexicana de Jefes de Bomberos Conference in Durango, Mexico, marks the first time in history that the leading fire service organizations of North, South, and Central America have formally united to promote best practices in fire prevention, high-risk response, community risk reduction, and other emerging issues that threaten global community safety.

The official signing, presided over by the President of the Asociación Mexicana de Jefes de Bomberos, President Commander Sergio Ramirez, was witnessed by Commander Gustavo Paredes Moreno, Durango Fire Chief.

Signatories included Captain Roberto Duque Mora, president of the Organization of American Firefighters and Chief Robert Rocha, president of the Metropolitan Association of Fire Chiefs.

The agreement is part of a coordinated effort to expand the Metro Chiefs’ outreach to all Latin America countries beginning in 2019 and culminated this year with the signing of the agreement with the OBA.

To advance their cooperative goals and objectives, each association will be required to participate in joint conferences and meetings that focus on the established programs and projects laid out by the agreement.

“This cooperation agreement underscores the power of collaboration and evolution of emergency response around the world,” said Metro Chiefs president Robert Rocha of the Corpus Christi Fire Department.

“And we are pleased that the OBA and Metro Chiefs will be able to work alongside our Latin American counterparts as we confront some of today’s most pressing fire service issues such as the wildland/urban interface, emerging energy technologies, and the impacts of climate change in emergency response.”

NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley commented: “Today’s fire service is continuing to adapt to the rapidly changing response landscape that includes fire prevention and protection, firefighter training, disaster relief, and rescue.

“This historic agreement provides an important and unique opportunity for international fire organizations to come together to share learnings and best practices that will result in more lives saved and more property protected worldwide.”

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