Major Fire-Rescue Groups Back Blue Ribbon Panel's Report

There has been a positive reaction from the fire-rescue service to the Blue Ribbon Panel report on the federal fire programs and operations of the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the National Fire Academy and their relationship with the Federal Emergency...


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Obviously, the gap between Brown and the fire-rescue service is wide and deep and goes far beyond where the administrator's office should be located. Sadly, she has lost the confidence of her constituents because, in their view, she was more concerned with the Clin-ton administration's budget balancing than fighting to preserve and expand the federal fire programs.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs also supports the report, but Executive Director Garry Briese is convinced that it doesn't go far enough.

"There still are many deep problems to be addressed to create change in the fire service and determine the role of the Fire Administration and Fire Academy in doing it," Briese explains, "...if their mission is to lead, they have to look at what the fire service needs in order to move ahead."

For now, we're in a waiting period to see how much of the report is implemented and how fast it starts to happen. Will it really bring meaningful change that rehabilitates the federal fire programs? Or, will it be just one more in a series of reports that have had little or no impact? Stay tuned, because every firefighter and every fire department has a stake in the outcome.


Hal Bruno, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a political analyst with ABC News in Washington and served many years as a volunteer firefighter.