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S&H WeekInternational Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week is a joint initiative of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), and sponsored by NFPA. The event is coordinated by the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program and the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section, and is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations as well as health and safety-related organizations and agencies.

The 2014 event is taking place this week, June 15-21. Fire departments are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activity during Safety and Health Week in order to focus on safety and health training and education. An entire week is provided to ensure all shifts and duty crew can participate.

The theme of this year's Safety and Health Week is "Train Like You Fight." The IAFC and NVFC have provided many resources and tools to help your department focus on health and safety through the website, including resources to help your department keep a safe training ground as well as get the proper training to prepare for fireground operations.

Two free webinars will also be held during Safety and Health Week. Plan to attend as part of your Safety and Health Week activities. Learn more and register on the Planning page of the Safety & Health Week website.

2014 coin
Recently, we ran a fun, interactive quiz, reinforcing the training messages behind this year’s International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week (June 15-21) theme, "Train Like You Fight".

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NFVC) co-sponsored this quiz and sweepstakes with NFPA. Career firefighters, volunteer firefighters and other fire department employees and fire service members were invited to take the online, interactive quiz, featuring 15 questions related to firefighter health and safety.

Now that the quiz period has ended, 200 randomly selected winners were chosen based on completion of the quiz, to win a specially designed challenge coin (shown above)! Check the website to see if you are a winner. Congratulations!

Air bridges
There are several boarding bridge manufacturers that build glass bridges, which are currently permitted in countries that have not adopted NFPA standards. The Technical Committee for NFPA 415, Standard on Airport Terminal Buildings, Fueling Ramp Drainage, and Loading Walkways, would like more information about the global experience using glass boarding bridges including fire resistance of the bridges, fire test methods, use of alternate/additional escape routes from the plane, and psychology/sociology of occupants that must egress through a glass boarding bridge with a large fire outside/below.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) responded to the NFPA 415 committee request by sponsoring a project to investigate the many factors associated with glass loading walkways. This involved a literature search/information gathering project performed by a student intern. This intern was mentored by a senior engineer familiar with aviation safety and fire protection. A technical panel, comprised of professionals in the field of aviation safety and fire protection, was formed to provide input as well as review the results.

Download the complete review, authored by Joshua D. Swann and Joseph L. Scheffey with Hughes Associates, through the Foundation website.

Bigglestone 1

Ann Jeffers (right) accepts the Bigglestone Award on behalf of her team from Kathleen Almand of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

Bigglestone 2
Erica Kuligowski accepts the Bigglestone Award from Kathleen Almand of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

This year Harry C. Bigglestone Award for Excellence in Communication of Fire Protection Concepts is shared by two papers:  “Probabilistic Evaluation of Structural Fire Resistance” by Ann Jeffers, Qianru Guo, Kaihang Shi, and Zili Jia of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan and “Predicting Human Behavior During Fires”by Erica Kuligowski of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Out of the 44 papers published in 2013 which were eligible for the award, these two papers were first among those nominated by the Editorial Board and then judged to be the best papers by the panel formed by the Associate Editors.

“Probabilistic Evaluation of Structural Fire Resistance” and “Predicting Human Behavior during Fires” both appeared in quarterly 2013 issues of Fire Technology, which is available for free access to NFPA members.

Jeffers’ paper reveals the full power of the probabilistic approach to evaluate the fire resistance of a structure given the uncertainties of key fire and structural parameters. It serves as a major boost for the structural reliability of fire protection and will help close the gap with more mature structural hazard calculations such as wind and earthquakes where the probabilistic evaluation is already in use.

Kuligowski’s paper serves as an in-depth review of human behavior models during building fires, an emerging topic gaining great strength and a promising future in Fire Technology. In addition, the paper also addresses the importance of model robustness and validation while identifying knowledge gaps within the material.

The Harry C. Bigglestone award is presented annually, along with a $5,000 cash prize, to the author(s) of the most outstanding paper submitted to Fire Technology during the previous calendar year, as voted by the International Editorial Board. This award is named after the late Harry C. Bigglestone, a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and fellow and president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

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Bangladesh Fire Chief speaking during Conference


Robert Solomon, PE, NFPA Division Manager for Building Fire Protection and Life Safety, was a featured speaker and panelist at the International Conference on Globalization and Sustainability of Bangladesh Garment Industry. This symposium, held at Harvard University on Saturday, June 14, 2014, was co-sponsored by NFPA .  Robert provided guidance on how NFPA's codes and standards can improve fire safety in developing nations for an audience of over 100 business leaders, government officials, labor leaders and academics from the U.S. and Bangladesh.


NFPA hosted a delegation from Bangladesh at the 2014 NFPA Conference &amp; Expo &#0160;last week as well.&#0160; In addition to meeting with President James Shannon, the group had the opportunity to learn about fire and electrical safety technologies and strategies that will support their efforts to improve garment factory safety.&#0160;</p>

FW Virtual Workshop
Don't miss out on your opportunity to "Ask the Expert" by participating in our upcoming virtual workshop on July 15th. The workshop will teach you about how embers ignite roofs in a wildland fire and how to make your roof more survivable. 

Join Firewise residents throughout the country through a one-hour format including a thirty minute presentation by Dr. Stephen Quarles, Ph.D. from IBHS, followed by a thirty minute live “Ask an Expert” interactive opportunity for pre-selected homeowners to ask a question related to the session’s topic. This unique learning format provides wildland/urban interface homeowners with information on how to make important mitigation modifications at their homes. Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Register now for the virtual workshop on July 15th at 1:00pm EDT.

Mark your calendars for the next “Ask an Expert” Virtual Workshop and join us August 19 at 2pm MDT for Mulch Combustibility – Choosing the Right Type for Your Wildland/Urban Interface Home.  Pre-registration information will be available following the July 15 session.

Chesapeake AP Broadcasters AssociationThe 10-part radio series "Firefight," an all-encompassing look at residential sprinklers and the battle for mandatory installation in Virginia, recently won the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association award for "outstanding news series."

The 2013 report thoroughly examines nearly every aspect of home fire sprinklers and how eliminating the sprinkler requirement mandated in all model building codes is placing firefighters and homeowners in harm's way. Per the report, safety seems to be getting trumped by politics and profit.

For more information on this award-winning series, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

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