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NFPA's Ray Bizal and incoming Cal Chiefs president Mike DuRee (Long Beach)


Ray Bizal, NFPA SW Regional Director, attended the 2016 California Fire Chiefs Association Annual Conference October 26-28 in Sacramento.  There were plenty of leadership presentations and discussions about fire-based EMS.  NFPA provided an update, where Ray outlined NFPA's new mission and strategies around Big Data, Enforcer and First Responder engagement.  Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee was sworn in as President.  Tracy Hansen, Cosumnes Fire, received the honor of Fire Chief of the Year.

In response to the multiple emergency pipeline and rail car incidents involving crude oil spills that have occurred in North America in recent years, the Research Foundation hosted a two-day workshop, Key Performance Capabilities for Hazardous Materials Incident Commanders, at NFPA headquarters, November 2-3, 2016. The goals of the workshop were to review, clarify and confirm tools for incident commander to manage events involving pipeline and rail car spills of crude, and to develop a competency framework that can be applied to the corresponding professional qualification standards.

Presenters addressed a wide range of issues around effective, safe mitigation of these incidents, with a primary goal of ensuring first responders’ safety. Greg Noll of Noll Associates addressed the management of HazMat incidents, High Hazard Flammable Liquid Trains (HHFT) and Flammable Liquid Pipeline emergency incident command. Chris Powers presented the competency guidelines for HHFT incidents developed by the Transport Canada Emergency Response task force and the NFPA. Following this, James Li, Thunkable gave an overview of the NFPA HAZMAT FLIC app. David Hooton, Ed. D., facilitated the breakout sessions on competencies and capabilities for incident commanders. Ken Willette, NFPA discussed the need for research on the foam application rates for HHFT incidents.



Workshop proceedings will be available soon from the Fire Protection Research Foundation website. Two recently published reports on this topic can be found here.

With the flip of the calendar to November, the time of year has arrived (at least in New England) where we need to inevitably turn on the heat. Fall and winter bring their own set of fire safety challenges and users and code officials must be aware of safe practices to help ensure fires caused by heating devices are kept to a minimum. One of the most common hazards during this time is the use of space heaters.  NFPA 1, Fire Code, provides requirements to regulate the use of these devices:


11.5.3 Portable Electric Heater. The AHJ shall be permitted to prohibit use of portable electric heaters in occupancies or situations where such use or operation would present an undue danger to life or property. Portable electric heaters shall be designed and located so that they cannot be easily overturned. All portable electric heaters shall be listed.Pelonis 1500-Watt Digital Fan Forced Electric Portable Heater

During cold weather, portable electric space heaters are used in many locations, including under desks in offices. Although placing a heater under a desk or table lessens the chance of the heater being easily overturned, the heater also can easily be forgotten. A heater that is left on for an extended time can overheat combustible materials that might also be stored under the desk or table. Managers of facilities that allow the use of electric space heaters should be instructed to remind employees to shut them off at the end of the day and keep combustible material away from the heater.

In addition, because of the amount of electric current drawn by space heaters, electric heaters should be used only
where they can be plugged directly into appropriate receptacles or extension cords of adequate current capacity. (See 11.1.5 for requirements addressing extension cords.)


The AHJ is permitted to prohibit the use of space heaters where an undue danger to life or property exists. The AHJ can use past inspection findings, such as portable heaters that were left turned on and unattended, fire incidents, and other reasons to prohibit the use of such heaters.


For additional information on space heater safety, check out NFPA's Safety Tip Sheet.


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Photo: Jim Morrissey


The NFPA Standards Council is in receipt of a New Project Initiation Request for the development of an ANSI Accredited Standard addressing preparedness and response to active shooter scenarios and incidents. The request seeks an NFPA standard to address appropriate training, responder interagency coordination protocol, and the identification of minimal personal protective equipment appropriate for responders to active shooter incidents.

If the New Project Initiation is ultimately approved by the Standards Council, a new Technical Committee may be established and charged with the development of appropriate requirements related to active shooter incident preparedness and response. Activities within the scope of the Technical Committee are anticipated to focus on:

•active shooter incident training for responders;
•personal protective equipment appropriate for responding to active shooter scenarios;
•response protocol and procedures across multiple responder segments; and
•measurable operational objectives.


NFPA is currently soliciting comments from interested organizations and individuals to gauge whether support exists for standards development addressing preparedness and response to active shooter incidents. NFPA specifically seeks input on the following:

•Are you, or your organization, in favor of the development of an NFPA Standard pertaining to active shooter incident response and preparedness?
•Please state your reason(s) for supporting or opposing such standards development.
•Are you or your organization interested in applying for membership on the Technical Committee if established by the Standards Council? If yes, please submit an application* in addition to your comments in support of the project.


Please submit all comments, in support or opposition to active shooter incident response and preparedness standards development to NFPA by the deadline below.


Submit public comments

Deadline: January 17, 2017


*Applications being accepted for purposes of documenting applicant interest in committee participation.  Acceptance of applications by NFPA does not guaranty or imply the Standards Council will ultimately approve standards development activity on this subject matter.

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