Being a firefighter in the 21st Century comes with many known risks and challenges, but also many that aren’t immediately apparent—such as preparing for the possibility of terrorist groups using fire as a weapon.
In the “In a Flash” section of the November/December issue of NFPA Journal, an article titled, “The Next Threat,” looks at this possibility and explores how fire departments can partner with law enforcement to prepare. There have already been several instances of fire being used as a weapon, from the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, in which terrorists set blaze to the Taj Mahal Hotel, to the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
“The fire community needs to understand the threat and look at vulnerabilities of the structures where large groups gather,” said Chief Joseph Pfeifer, who works in counterterrorism at the Fire Department of New York.
In response to the threat, leaders of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, a membership section of both NFPA and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, endorsed a position paper on the topic during the annual Urban Fire Forum, held last September.
Also in the November/December “In a Flash” section of NFPA Journal, read about the latest research being done to establish testing criteria for technologies to prevent cooking fire; learn more about the new director of NFPA’s Fire Analysis & Research Division; read an interview with Anna Thompson, the longest-serving employee in NFPA history, who recently retired after 49 years; and read the summary of a new report which details the sobering links between age, race, and fire.
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