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• In 2005-2009, high-rise fires claimed the lives of 53 civilians and injured 546 others, per year.
• The risks of fire, fire death and direct property damage due to fire tend to be lower in high-rise buildings than in shorter buildings of the same property use.
• An estimated three percent of all 2005-2009 reported structure fires were in high-rise buildings.
• Usage of wet pipe sprinklers and fire detection equipment is higher in high-rise buildings than in other buildings of the same property use.
• Most high-rise building fires begin on floors no higher than the 6th story.
• The risk of a fire is greater on the lower floors for apartments, hotels and motels, and facilities
NFA Launches FESHE Recognition Program
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) announced a new National Fire Academy (NFA) program opportunity for educational institutions offering undergraduate fire science degree programs. This effort is designed to offer national recognition to students participating in the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) model core associate’s and bachelor’s courses. The new FESHE recognition acknowledges the regionally accredited institutions that promote the standardization of fire science course titles, descriptions and outcomes across the nation.
“The NFA has consistently demonstrated a commitment to standardize fire science degree programs,” said Ernest Mitchell, the new U.S. Fire Administrator. “Working with FEMA and USFA partners in colleges and state fire training systems, the USFA has an opportunity to support a universal system of professional development for fire service personnel.”
To achieve this national recognition from the USFA, regionally accredited institutions will provide a six-course model fire science curriculum in their associate’s or baccalaureate programs. In addition, regionally accredited institutions with the FESHE designation will also be able to provide the participating students with a NFA course Certificate of Completion for each course they complete. The documentation of a student’s participation in the FESHE model core curriculum will further recognize the graduate’s degree as one tied to a nationally recognized standard of education and achievement. This national approach to standardizing fire science education will produce graduates well prepared to improve the quality of fire and emergency services delivery throughout the nation.
“With our current NFA curriculum development and delivery and our continued resolve to prepare the fire service for the future through training and education, this FESHE effort moves the fire service another step closer to providing the leadership and safety all citizens have come to expect of their fire departments now and into the future,” said NFA Superintendent Dr. Denis Onieal.
For more information about the FESHE program and the USFA’s continued efforts to standardize professional development for the nation’s fire service, visit the USFA website at www.usfa.fema.gov.
Younger Firefighters Wanted
According to the “U.S. Fire Department Profile Through 2010,” an annual report that was recently issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 44,000 fewer volunteer firefighters in 2010 compared to 2009, a reduction of 5.4 percent. The loss of volunteers is primarily coming in communities with populations of 2,500 or fewer, which were protected by 377,550 firefighters in 2010 compared with 408,550 in 2009, a drop of approximately 7.6 percent.
The lower number of firefighters is only part of the problem, and maybe not even the most troubling. For the seventh year in a row, the percentage of firefighters over the age of 40 serving in communities of 2,500 or less rose. A total of 51.2 percent of firefighters in our nation’s smallest communities were over 40 in 2010, and 28.7 percent were over the age of 50. The percentage of firefighters over 50 years old serving communities of 2,500 or less has risen every year since 2000, when it stood at 18.9.