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Peter Drucker, the respected management consultant, educator, and author, once said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast"—meaning that even the most strategically sound plan can fail if the culture of an organization is unprepared or unwilling to accept it.

That's the idea behind "Pass the Syrup," Ken Willette's latest "First Responder" column in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal. Willette looks at a discussion currently taking place in the fire serviuce—the effect ventilation activities have on a structure fire and promotion of revised firefighting tactics, where the initial fire attack starts from outside the structure and transitions to an interior attack—and how some proposals around this issue are being met with resistance from firefighters. "Yet another case," he writes, "of culture wolfing down strategy like a stack of waffles." 

MembersThe Technical Committee on Forest and Rural Fire Protection (FRU-AAA) submitted a request to the NFPA Standards Council at its October 2013 meeting to reorganize into two new technical committees with more well-defined scopes.  The proposed committees would separate the current document workload, increase the number of wildland fire protection experts involved, and increase the capacity for the committees to take on new projects.  The NFPA Standards Council approved the proposed reorganization of FRU-AAA at its quarterly meeting just this past week in San Juan, PR.  NFPA is currently seeking members to develop balanced rosters for the two new committees.  The application deadline for the development of the new committee rosters is May 12, 2014.  These rosters will be submitted for approval at the August 2014 meeting of the NFPA Standards Council.  Please take a look at the details below, and submit an application online to the committee, or committees, of your expertise. 

The Technical Committee titles below contain links where applications can be submitted online.  The approved reorganization of FRU-AAA will result in the following new committees and corresponding document assignments:


Technical Committee on Wildland and Rural Fire Protection

Scope:  This committee shall have the primary responsibility for documents on fire protection in wildland, rural, and suburban areas.


• NFPA 1141, Standard for Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Wildland, Rural, and Suburban Areas

• NFPA 1142, Standard for Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Firefighting

• NFPA 1144, Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire


Technical Committee on Wildland Fire Management

Scope:  This committee shall have the primary responsibility for documents on wildland fire management.


• NFPA 1143, Standard for Wildland Fire Management

• NFPA 1145, Guide for the Use of Class A Foams in Manual Structural Fire Fighting

On March 14, 1981 an early morning fire in the first floor laundry room area spread to a nearby stairway Captureand trapped many of the 62 occupants of this 4-story residential hotel.  The fire resulted in the deaths of 19 tenants and in the collapse of a major portion of the structure.

The structural aspects of this building were contributing factors in both the fire spread and the number of fatalities.  These structural aspects include:

   •     lack of proper protection in hazardous areas,

    •     penetration of corridor walls by floor joists,

    •     improper enclosure of stairways, and

    •     combustible construction of stairways.

Although classified as a hotel, the occupants of this building ranged in age from the very young to elderly and, the physical and mental condition of some tenants probably effected the number of fatalities.

Individual tenant rooms were protected by single-station, battery-operated smoke detectors; however, a post-fire examination revealed that several of these detectors did not have batteries. 

NFPA members can download the full Fire Journal article Chicago Hotel Fire Those interested in more information about residential hotel fires can download  NFPA's Fires by Occupancy 2007-2011 Annual Averages report More information can also be found in  NFPA's Smoke alarms in US Home Fires Report

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