Skip navigation
All Places > NFPA Today > Blog > 2012 > January > 17

NFPA Today

January 17, 2012 Previous day Next day

09-09%20hybrid%20school%20bus%202[1]

Way back in October, we posted about the eTrans: an all-electric school bus created by Trans Tech Bus intended to cut the gas guzzled by school districts across the U.S. While the eTrans won’t be available until later in 2012, some school districts have decided to get the next best thing: hybrid school buses.

In Kentucky, Jefferson County Public Schools have purchased 18 hybrid school buses as “part of a statewide push to use more of the fuel-efficient vehicles to save money on gas,” according to WLKY. This brings the district’s hybrid bus total to fifty, more than any other school district in the country. Kentucky has almost 160 hybrid buses, which were purchased using federal stimulus money.

With approximately 26 million elementary and secondary school children riding school buses twice a day in the United States, it’s no surprise that school bus gas bills can easily eat their way through a state budget. With the increased gas mileage provided by hybrid models, schools can reduce their carbon footprint—and teach students that going green saves more than just the environment.

Code equivalencies for health care occupancies
A feature story in the new January/February 2012 issue of NFPA Journal® includes an extensive overview of how the 2012 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, can be used to achieve compliance for a range of health care occupancies, especially hospitals. Here's a sample:

While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission (TJC) continue to enforce the 2000 edition of NFPA 101, both organizations will consider the use of a newer edition of the code for compliance purposes. If a health care facility chooses this option, it must comply in most cases with everything in the newer edition of the code — the intent is to prevent facilities from selecting only specific provisions in a newer edition of the code, resulting in a level of safety that may be lower than intended.

But there are exceptions. CMS calls them waivers, while TJC calls them "traditional equivalencies," but both processes allow health care facilities to select specific provisions of a newer edition of the code, including the 2012 edition, to achieve compliance with the 2000 edition. During the approval process, either CMS or TJC can determine whether compliance with selective provisions of a newer edition results in an acceptable level of safety. The code recognizes this concept of allowing the use of alternative methods to achieve compliance with the code when approved by the authority having jurisdiction.

The story, "Deficiencies + Equivalencies," includes an extensive selection of common design, maintenance, and operational deficiencies for health care occupancies, along with provisions of newer editions of the Life Safety Code, including the 2012 edition, that can help those facilities comply with current CMS and TJC requirements. This includes existing facilities as well as the design of new facilities. 

The story is part of the issue's health care theme. Read the complete story.

-Scott Sutherland, executive editor, NFPA Journal

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: