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6 Posts authored by: michaelwixted Employee

 

NFPA 2400®Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Used for Public Safety Operations has been released to help public safety officials integrate drones into their emergency response.


The new body of knowledge supports police, fire and EMS authorities as they put forth sUAS programs that are based on industry standards; and connects with groundbreaking UAS integration advancements identified in Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Aeronautics and Space.


Whether you are applying for Part 107, “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems” Waivers or taking the path of Part 91, “General Operating & Flight Rules” with a Public Operator Status & Certification of Authorization (COA), the FAA will have questions. As a public safety official or an emergency responder in the field, how are you going to demonstrate a truly integrated sUAS program? How are you going to show that you have considered a variety of fly operations? How will you demonstrate that you have considered the associated risks to you and the public, and most importantly your methods to lessen or mitigate those risks?


That’s where NFPA 2400 comes in - the first public safety-centric, ANSI-accredited standard to support your wholesale integration of sUAS. In short, NFPA 2400 will help public safety leaders meet FAA expectations and effectively deploy sUAS programs.


Developed by dozens of representatives from NIST, the fire service, law enforcement, emergency medical services, manufacturing, transportation, aviation, and consultant organizations, NFPA 2400 is a clear, concise, all-encompassing standard that addresses everything from program criteria to Con-Op to training, and so much more. It applies to all public safety departments that operate sUAS, and breaks down SUAS program into three key areas:

 

  1. A section devoted to sUAS organizational deployment, which includes, program criteria, deployment, sUAS selection, and both general and multiple aircraft operations.
  2. A professional qualifications component with minimum JPRs for both the pilot and observer so that they can be trained in accordance with public safety and emergency responder-specific requirements.
  3. An area that identifies maintenance responsibilities such as record keeping, discrepancy reporting, routine cleaning, upkeep, and storage.

 

The consensus process for NFPA 2400 was fairly quick. Over the course of 27 months, a request for the standard was submitted; a Technical Committee was established; public input and comments were sought and received; the Standards Council approved the standard; ANSI accredited NFPA 2400; and the new roadmap on sUAS was released on November 25, 2018 to help authorities establish safe, swift emergency response protocol from up above.

 

To learn more about NFPA’s new public safety drone standard, visit www.nfpa.org/2400.

drone, NFPA 2400
For public safety departments this question may seem more like a 1980’s movie plot, however, recent years and the even more recent executive order signed by President Donald Trump last Wednesday makes this a very real and plausible question.
Prior to Wednesday’s developments, fire departments, law enforcement agencies and EMS providers have explored Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Operations [otherwise known as drones, Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV), Unmanned Aircraft] via certification through FAA 14 CFR Part 107, or a FAA — Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA). However, both come with certain restrictions and limitations. Although we can’t comment on the exact details of what extra new avenues a Public Safety Department can explore based on this order, the fact that the presidential order is aimed at local governments and allowing more freedom to test and explore UAS applications via waiver’s through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), this can only result in an increase in the experimentation, use and adoption of UAS within the Public Safety Community. What we can now explore today is different from last week and will likely be ever changing in the weeks that follow. 
So what’s NFPA doing to help Public Safety Departments enter the UAS arena? Well we are putting together a standard, NFPA® 2400, Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Used for Public Safety Operations. This standard is being developed by representatives from all types of public safety departments with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including the fire service, law enforcement, and emergency medical services. It covers everything from organization deployment to professional qualifications to UAS maintenance. (Download our fact sheet for some useful tools and sources you can use right now, and additional exclusive NFPA membership content that shares the concepts discussed by the technical committee.)
The committee responsible for developing NFPA 2400 will be meeting this November to discuss industry suggestions to NFPA 2400. Stay tuned for more NFPA UAS activity as there is much more to come. Fly safe and land softly.  

 

NFPA 2400, Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Used for Public Safety Operations, is now open for public input. This standard is being developed by representatives from all types of public safety departments with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including the fire service, law enforcement, and emergency medical services.

 

I presented on this topic during my latest NFPA Live. I got this great follow-up question at the end of the presentation. I hope you find some value in it.

 

NFPA 2400 is your standard, and you can be a part of the public safety community that drives its direction! Public Input Closing Date is October 13, 2017. Go to www.nfpa.org/2400 and participate by submitting a public input to help drive changes for your industry.

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NFPA Live is an interactive video series in which members of NFPA staff address some of the most frequent topics they receive through the Member's Only Technical Question service. If you are currently an NFPA Member you can view the entire video by following this link. If you're not currently a member, join today!

Data and scientific proof hold tremendous value in our world. This is certainly the case in legal, investigative, manufacturing, insurance and fire service circles that in the past put greater emphasis on just the expert’s opinion. Today those same authorities overwhelmingly consider “the how” of fire origin and the cause behind that opinion.

Experience is not the same as competency, especially in the field of fire investigation where reliable scientific methodology is king. When it comes to fire investigations, there are basic job performance requirements (JPRs).
NFPA 1033 The Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator identifies the duties a fire investigator needs to facilitate a safe, scientific based investigation. The document takes into account responsibilities; duties; tasks, tools, equipment and materials; evaluation parameters; desired performance outcomes; and the requisite knowledge and skills required to perform the role. It states that investigators consider scientific method; safety assessment; collaboration with interested parties; legal or regulatory requirements; and how investigative teams are organized and operated. It does not, however, explain how to perform these actions. Those critical steps are covered in NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations.  
NFPA 921 explains how a fire investigator can locate and apply scientific methodology in order to render scientific-based opinions about fire origin, cause and responsibility. It is regarded as the foremost guide in the field, in training, and in court for fire and explosives investigation. Both public sector employees who are responsible for fire investigation and private sector professionals who conduct investigations for insurance companies or litigation purposes use NFPA 921 to conduct scientific investigations.  
Today more than ever, it is essential to marry the JPRs outlined in NFPA 1033 with the scientific methodologies and practices covered in NFPA 921. To simply know the JPRs is not enough; a fire investigation professional needs to understand how to employ systematic investigation and analysis; basic scientific principles, eliminate junk theories and determine where the facts are pointing.  
To help investigators prepare for the complexities of their job, NFPA has developed Using NFPA 921 to Meet the Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator in NFPA 1033. The two-day training program teaches participants how to navigate both documents core to their industry. The course is offered at a reduced NFPA training rate, with further discounts for municipal employees
Authorities that investigate just one fire per year are still required to meet the JPRs identified in NFPA 1033 and to demonstrate that the investigation was conducted in accordance with NFPA 921 methodology. The elements of NFPA 1033 and NFPA 921 are married. Now there is a training session that explains that bond to all those associated with fire investigations.    

You are all probably wondering what’s happening in the world of NFPA and Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS, or outside of the U.S.A. commonly referred to as UAV’s/Drones), especially since the request for a new standards project was approved at the August 2016 NFPA Standards Council meeting.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to see what’s happening at NFPA, check out industry tools for emergency responders on sUAS, and even take a look at some stuff overseas, all at a glance? Well, see attached the NFPA sUAS Topic Handout just for you. Not just what NFPA is doing, but some really useful tools and information available through other organizations and groups.

 

Note the standard is still in draft development, subject to change and ballot of the full Technical Committee, and a full public review through NFPA’s Standards Development Process (once the draft is completed and approved by the NFPA Standards Council).

 

Stay tuned and fly safely.

On January 11th, 2016 NFPA welcomed a guest visit from the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). There was a great discussion about some of the challenges ahead of the fire investigation community and how each organization can continue to support the industry. See below Dan Heenan, IAAI president ’15-16, George Codding, IAAI 1st VP, Scott Bennett, IAAI 2nd VP, Randy Watson, IAAI Director and NFPA 921 Chair, Deborah Keeler, IAAI Executive Director and COO, Kenneth Willette, NFPA Division Manager, Public Fire Protection, Michael Wixted, NFPA Emergency Services Specialist, Edward Conlin, NFPA Emergency Services Specialist, Ryan Depew, NFPA Technical Lead and Nicole Comeau, NFPA Segment Director.

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