During this difficult time, as the world witnesses the relentless spread of COVID-19, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released several new resources to help stakeholders with life safety efforts. Two documents, in particular, an Emergency Preparedness Checklist based on NFPA 1600 and a new bulletin that highlights information within NFPA 1600, NFPA 1581, Standard on Fire Department Infection Control Program, NFPA 1999, Standard on Protective Clothing and Ensembles for Emergency Medical Operations, and guidance from both the World Health Organization and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be used by first responders during this pandemic. Both documents have been translated into Arabic, the main language in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a region that consists of 22 countries and makes up 5% of the world’s population. The latter of the two documents was prepared in collaboration with the Saudi Patient Safety Center.
In the days since this guidance was released, feedback from fire officials and Civil Defense authorities has been overwhelming. The documents began to go viral via various fire service social media channels; and resulted in great comments and sharing. The overall sentiment? The timely creation of important guidance, translated to the language of choice in the MENA region, during an unprecedented time in history shows that NFPA, is invested in cultivating strong alliances throughout the GCC states (the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf). While it continues to hold true that there is enormous variation in the economic, demographic, and technological levels in MENA countries, each of the countries in the region share an unfortunate lack of knowledge about fire and life safety codes, compliance, and enforcement. NFPA is committed, and our Global team is driven, to fill this awareness gap, and provide authorities throughout the MENA territories with the information and knowledge that will help protect people and property from harm.
Utilizing these two translated documents will go a long way in keeping communities and first responders safe during COVID-19 and ordinary times. In recent weeks, NFPA has provided a wide range of resources in English that support fully operational fire and life safety systems as required by applicable codes and standards, while balancing the realities of the current pandemic. Our goal is to support you and your work with useful resources and communications during this difficult time. How are we doing? How else can we help? Take our short survey and tell us what you think.