It’s been nearly a year since the fire in Boston’s Back Bay tragically claimed the lives of two firefighters. Because their deaths were attributed to an uncharged fire hose that burned through, the incident has since prompted many important questions about the flammability and limits of fire hoses.
In response to those questions and concerns, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have each launched comprehensive research initiatives to investigate how fire hoses operate under specific fire conditions, and to determine what changes may be needed to minimize potential risks to firefighters.
NFPA’s Technical Committee on NFPA 1961, Standard on Fire Hose, is actively participating in these efforts by connecting with the WPI and ATF research activity in preparation for the next revision of the Standard.
The fire service is now being called upon to play an active role in this issue as well. As part of its research, WPI sent out a survey this week to fire departments nationwide to identify fire hose burn-through issues they may have experienced. We encourage all departments to fill it out. The more information WPI receives, the better equipped they’ll be to adequately address this issue.
Meanwhile, take a look at this video message from Ken Willette, NFPA’s division manager of public fire protection, to learn about other ways you can participate in NFPA’s standard on fire hoses. Every voice matters – let yours help make a difference.