No, there’s no name change in NFPA’s future—the organization has and always will be associated with preventing fire. However, many of the codes that NFPA develops stretch well beyond the fabled “F” word, and there’s good reason for NFPA to broaden its scope even more, argues Ken Willette, a division manager for Public Fire Protection at NFPA.
In “Getting Past the ‘F’ Word,” his “First Responder” column in the July/August NFPA Journal, Willette writes that NFPA’s time-tested process for developing codes and standards allows it to extend its reach across a range of industries and fire and life safety issues—in fact, it already has. NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, are good examples.
Despite this track record, some Emergency Medical Services (EMS) officials demurred when, several years ago, NFPA’s Standards Council established a Technical Committee on Ambulances, Willette writes. The creation of NFPA 1917, Automotive Ambulances, caused a stir among some EMS directors who had concerns with the document. However, through engagement, inclusion, and education about NFPA and its processes, all of the important stakeholders in the industry were able to provide input for the first draft of the 2015 edition of NFPA 1917.
Collaborations like that on NFPA 1917 need to continue as NFPA expands its code development further in recognition of the changing needs of America’s responders.
“That participation will certainly be a measure of our success,” Willette writes.