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The Fire Protection Research Foundation is currently looking for sponsors to support its upcoming project on contaminant removal from fire fighters’ personal protective equipment (PPE), but they need your help to do it.

While general cleaning procedures have been established in NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, more science is needed to support, clarify and enhance those procedures to ensure optimum contaminant removal.

Firefighters on scene

This issue is of serious concern to today’s fire service community, particularly as cancer - a leading concern for fire fighter health – is presumably linked to fireground exposures and associated PPE contamination.

Becoming a sponsor is a powerful opportunity to address this issue, and to ultimately help better protect fire fighter health and safety.

The first phase of the Foundation project focuses on gathering information and data to identify and characterize persistent contaminants in fire fighter PPE. While NFPA has pledged approximately half the required funding, at least five principal sponsors providing $10K apiece are needed for Phase I to move the initiative forward. (One sponsor has been confirmed to date, but we still need four more.)

Principal sponsors will play an integral role, receiving prominent recognition as an active supporter during all outreach efforts. They’re also granted privileged access to associated ongoing events and progress reports, with the ability to:

  • monitor research results;
  • actively provide guidance and commentary as a non-voting member of the Project Technical Panel; and 
  • help ensure that overall project goals are met.

All sponsors also will receive featured recognition in the published final report. Lastly, contributions are generally tax deductible because of the Foundation’s status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

For any groups or individuals interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Casey Grant, executive director of the Research Foundation.

Wildfire blog photo

The aftermath of January's Adelaide Hills fires in Australia. 

In the United States, wildfire season hits when the weather becomes warm and dry. We don't think of January as a particularly troubling month. It's easy to forget that, no matter the time of the year, it's wildfire season somewhere, writes NFPA Firewise Communities manager Lucian Deaton in his new column in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal.

In fact, while the United States was in a deep freeze, 2015 kicked off with a a big 31,000-acre wildfire that destroyed 27 homes and damaged 130 outbuildings in Australia. 

"The Australian fires made me think of the often-raised concern over 'Americanizing' the wildfire issue, and the risk of improperly viewing international connections as simply an avenue for bringing solutions to others," Deaton writes in the column. "I believe international outreach is not a matter of what 'they' can learn from 'us,' but rather an opportunity to leverage the ability to create positive conversation, one that teaches NFPA valuable lessons that can enrich its programs, messaging, and standards."

To read more, check out the latest issue of NFPA Journal, and visit nfpa.org/journal

  Ozarkhotel

One of the stairways in the Ozark Hotel. Seattle Times

A fire of incendiary origin occurred at the Ozark Hotel in Seattle, Washington, on March 20, 1970 and
claimed the lives of 20 occupants.  Fire investigators determined that a flammable liquid had been poured and ignited on the first-floor level of two open stairways.  The fire quickly spread throughout the building rendering the stairways and corridors useless.  As a result, 20 occupants perished, either from smoke inhalation or from injuries suffered when jumped from the upper stories. 

NFPA members can download the Fire Journal  article January 1971 Fire Journal article Those interested in more information about hotel and motel fires can download NFPA's Hotel and Motel Structure Fires report and fact sheet  More information on intentional fires NFPA's report on Intentional Fires

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