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NFPA looking for more firefighter participation

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) wants more firefighters chiming in on the codes and standards-making process that directly affects them.

The association has launched a campaign called “NFPA Standards: Your Voice Matters” to increase firefighter participation.

According to the results of an NFPA survey in the United States, most firefighters either do not know how to participate in the standards-making process, or do not think their input will make a difference. Eighty-six per cent of survey respondents said they had never participated in a codes and standards-making process.

In Canada, says Shayne Mintz, the Canadian regional director for the NFPA, the numbers are likely the same.

“I think a lot of people perceive that the NFPA is this huge, monolithic organization that doesn’t hear their individual suggestions; but that’s what we are trying to dispel,” Mintz said.

“I encourage anyone to participate,” he said, “and if they want any assistance, I offer that to anyone.”

As part of the campaign, the NFPA also created an easy-to-use web page to help users to navigate the standards-making process and input their comments. Revision comments are accepted to existing NFPA standards or the first drafts of new ones.

Mintz also encourages firefighters to get involved in meetings held by NFPA technical committees and panels as they develop new codes and standards. Even if the committee is full, he said, there is frequent turnover.

Being from Canada, said Mintz, can increase the likelihood firefighters are chosen for committees since Canadian representation is often lacking.

See www.nfpa.org/standards-in-action for more information on standards making.

July 20, 2015
By Maria Church


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