What similarties exist between an assistant district attorney and a firefighter? There are many, says Philip Stittleburg, who has spent time in both the courtroom and the scene of a fire, situations that have prepared him for his new role as chair of NFPA's Board of Directors.
Stittleburg highlighted the board's goals in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. As chair of the National Volunteer Fire Council, he also aspires to utilize the synergy of both organizations to address a decline in new volunteer firefighter recruits.
"You can describe a whole array of challenges for the volunteer fire service, but you can distill them down to two categories: time and money," Stittleburg tells NFPA Journal. "Of the two challenges, the greater one is time. What we’re seeing is the American worker spending more and more hours at their job, which is contrary to what was being predicted 30 or 40 years ago. Lumped on top of that, we’re seeing a decline in the economy, which is forcing people to take second jobs. The net result is volunteers with less discretionary time. Concurrently, their work as firefighters is placing greater demands on their available time, because the role of the fire service — career and volunteer — is expanding."
Read about Stittleburg's proposed solutions to this problem and his other aspirations for NFPA in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal.