Protecting the health of first responders is focus of new NFPA Journal column

Blog Post created by jesseroman Employee on Apr 1, 2015

Reasearch column blog
Everyone knows that fighting a fire is an inherently dangerous job in the moment, but few think of the longterm health consequences for those in the fire profession. 

In her research column in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal, Kathleen Almand, the vice president of research at NFPA, writes about this silent killer and about the projects underway to better understand the risks. 

The Fire Protection Research Foundation has launched several projects in recent years, Almand writes. In 2007, the Foundation published “Respiratory Exposure Study for Fire Fighters,” focusing on developing best-practice guidance for determining when to use (and discontinue use of) self-contained breathing apparatus and other respiratory protective equipment. Last year the Foundation published “Data Collection Summary for PPE Care and Maintenance,” which focused on the questions of when gear is considered dirty and when it’s considered contaminated. 

Now the Foundation is conducting another study study, “PPE Cleaning Procedures,” a project intended to clarify the cleaning methods required by NFPA 1851, Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting.

The Foundation is currently seeking support on this topic through its website,

To read more about these efforts, visit to read Almand's column


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