I was recently told "we are not NFPA compliant" when I referred to something we were doing at the fire dept., that was not to the NFPA standard. My response was " well shouldn't we strive to be as compliant as we can?" Throughout the discussion we agreed that we should in fact strive to be the best we can and try to get our dept. to as close to the standards as we can. I know this isn't going to happen overnight and want to take baby steps. Now my question for all of you is; what is the 5 most important NFPA standards I should work on, and why? Again, I will start slow by trying to get "us" to these standards and then move on to incorporate more of the standards.

 A little info. on my dept: we are a small rural vol. dept.in north east Ohio, running approx 400 fire/ems calls a year covering 25sq. miles. and approximately 4000 residents (mostly Amish) we have 29 members on the roster (of which only about 12 are actively responding)

Qualifications of members:
3- FFII / Emt-b
1- FFII / Medic
1- FF1 / Medic
1- FFII
1- FFI
1- Medic
1- 36hr FF/ emt-I
2- Emt-I
5- 36hr FF/Emt-b
8- 36hr FF
5- Emt-b

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NFPA 472 (Hazmat Aware & OPs) [Why: needed for FFI & II],
1001 (FFI & FFII) [Why: national standards for professional firefighter vollie & career],
1002 (Driver Operator-Pumper) [Why: legalities involved with noncertified drivers, also don't you want someone who has been nationally deemed competent to operate the expensive piece of equipment where the majority of emergency responders fatalities occur?],
1021 (Fire Officer) [Why: if we didn't have certified officers than anyone could lead the company...do you want ANYONE], and
1500 (FD Safety & Health Plan) [Why: This one speaks for itself] I know you asked for 5 but here's a 6th
NIMS 100, 200, 700, & 800 [Why: in order to receive certain types of government funding you're supposed to have all members NIMS compliant].
Well we are on our way then , everyone has ops. and awareness, and all NIMS. Trying to get people to get their FFI or FFII is difficult. Almost everyone has had the Emergency vehicle operations course. As far as Officers well that is just another story in it self. And we have nothing for health and safety except mandatory rehab. at a fire scene. Thank you for your response and insight.
The NFPA is the organization that develops and promotes standards (best practices) for the fire service, many of which get incorporated into OSHA regulations, which are mandatory. Regardless, NFPA standards are designed to make operations on the fireground safer.

While considered 'voluntary', in the case where death or injury occurs and litigation follows, the courts have looked at NFPA standards as the "law" and ruled accordingly. In other words, failure to follow the Standards could set up a fire department for (and to lose) a law suit. Read NIOSH LODD reports and conclusions. These can likewise set up a department for a law suit.

You indicate that you are a Safety Officer, so you should be aware of (and compliant with) NFPA 1521: Standard on Fire Department Safety Officer.

NFPA 1403: Live Fire Training Evolutions in Structures. If your department acquires and uses structures for training burns 1403 HAS to be followed.
Hi..I would like to take a Shot at this.. I would add the following to the list:

NFPA 1720 - Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Volunteer Fire Departments - Why ? Because it tells you what you need and how quickly it needs to be assembled.

NFPA 1584: Standard on the Rehabilitation Process for Members During Emergency Operations and Training Exercises - Why ? Because if we have low membership in the FD, we certainly need to keep our firefighters ready for action, while on the fireground.

NFPA 1407: Standard for Training Fire Service Rapid Intervention Crews - Why ? Because we need to know, what We need, How we need to train, and what is expected of a Firefighter Rescue Team, before the Incident happens.
So far an excellent choice of standards, I'd probably add 1720 on operations. If you don't have the manpower or equipment regularly responding then you need to think about about automatic mutual aid, or consolidating with other departments.
Interesting suggestions.

The number one firefighter killer is medical related and nobody has tapped NFPA 1582; Part-A for new hires and Part-B for annual recurrent medical evaluations.

Oh wait.... the reason most people, turn their nose or shy away from probably the biggest reduction in LODD's, is that the majority of hero smoke eaters in the US would be tapped to be potential non-players.

Until city or town manager's and fire chief's accept the fact that our profession, (paid or Volunteer) truly takes an INDUSTRIAL ATHLETE to do the job, then we will continue to see heart attacks, and strokes take fairly young and unhealthy or elderly responders every year.

I know some will say, hey man lighten up, but in reality, how many guys died because command didn't have 17 responders on the scene within 8-10 minutes, or how many brothers died because we didn't have a Rapid Intervention Team? Both forthewith examples had a human chain reaction that operationally the scene could have done things differently.

Not everyone can play in the NFL, NHL, NBA, or MLB and neither should the fire service.
Because we are an all vol. dept. we have automatic mutual aid agreements with two other depts. that border our twp. for all structure/chimney fires. We also have one of the best mutual aid agreements for our area, with every dept. in the county (15) and several bordering fire depts.(18) listed for different MABAS (mutual aid box alarm system) alarms. We also have a tri-county water shuttle that a full shuttle will bring 30+ tankers (or tenders if you wish).

Our first alarm brings us minimum : engine co., ladder co., 2 - 3000gal. tankers and a rescue squad on top of our response, with manpower would be two engines a tanker and a squad.
I would like to see us do at least a physical every two years to start. I've keep putting a bug in the chief's ear.... I know it isn't a good excuse at all but our annual income is only about $125k, of which we are trying to get a budget together to put on a new levy. I will be adding to the budget, line items to try to "squash" these excuses.

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