1. #1
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    Default Good News/Bad News: ICC's Appeals Board rejects the NAHB's claims of wrong doing.

    The good news is that the ICC's appeals board has rejected the NAHB's attempt at appealing the Sept. 21 vote for including sprinklers in all residential construction after Jan 1, 2011. I guess it's ok to stack the meeting with votes, as long as the NAHB's is the one who gets to do it (hint hint 2006 vote for residential sprinklers.....NAHB's stacked THAT one in THEIR favor......)

    The bad news, is that in a feeble attempt at negating votes, the NAHB's has apparently taken the position that Volunteer Firefighters are not as good as Career Firefighters. Read the following and note the bold print:

    ICC's Sprinkler Vote Found to be Fair
    Homebuilders said vote was stacked aginst them
    Posted: 12-11-2008

    PAUL PELUSO
    Firehouse.Com News

    The International Code Council's Appeals Board unanimously found no wrong doing in the Sept. 21 vote on IRC Proposal RB64-07/08 mandating fire sprinklers in new single-family homes, according to Firehouse.com Contributor Michael O'Brian, who attended the meeting today (Dec. 11).

    The board's decision will be forwarded to ICC CEO Rick Weiland and voted on by its board of directors at a meeting scheduled for next Friday in Las Vegas.

    If the denial of the appeal is upheld by ICC's Board of Directors, the International Residential Code will required the installation of fire sprinklers in single family homes beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

    The IRC is the model code governing residential construction in 46 states plus the District of Columbia.

    Following the resolution's passing in September, the National Association of Homebuilders filed an appeal on Oct. 30, contending that the ICC failed to provide a balance of interest in voting.

    The letter of appeal stated the ICC did not "prevent a single interest group, specifically the fire service, from unfairly dominating the voting at the final action hearings."

    One argument made by the NAHB during the appeal hearing at the appeal hearing was that they didn't believe volunteer members of the fire service should have been allowed to vote, according to O'Brian.

    He said many career members of the fire service in attendance at the appeal hearing spoke out in support of the right of volunteer firefighters to vote during the final action hearing.

    While close to two thousand people were on hand for hearing held on Sept. 21 in Minneapolis, only approximately 50 people attended the appeal hearing, which took place at the Wyndam O'Hare in Rosemont, Ill. and lasted close to six hours.

    I encourage all volunteers to go to the NAHB's "contact us" section on their website

    http://www.nahb.org/contact_us_form.aspx?sectionID=178

    and let your feelings be known. I demanded to know why they felt this way, and stated that in any case, volunteers deserved an immediate retraction and apology.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  2. #2
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    Received in my email this morning:

    "Thank you for your inquiry. There seem to be a misunderstanding and miscommunication as to the point NAHAB raised at the appeal hearing. NAHB supports the efforts of all fire fighters in the performance of their duties. The situation arises in respect to what ICC deems qualifies an entity as a Governmental Voting Member.

    The ICC Bylaws Clause 2.1.1 state in part that Governmental Voting Members shall meet the following requirements: "A Governmental Member shall be a governmental unit, department or agency engaged in the administration, formulation or enforcement of laws, ordinances, rules or regulations relating to the public health, safety and welfare.

    Further, Clause 2.1.3 of the ICC Bylaws state in part that: Non-voting categories: Non-voting categories shall provide for membership of individuals and corporate entities and shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, employees of governmental units, design professionals, corporations, educational institutions, not-for-profit associations, and other individuals interested in the purposes and objectives of the Council.

    In almost all cases, a volunteer fire department, by law, is a corporation, not a governmental entity as outlined in Clause 2.1.1. This being the case, the volunteer fire department as a corporation does not qualify to be certified as a Governmental Voting Member.

    I hope this helps clears up the misunderstanding as to the point NAHB raised. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at any of the numbers shown below.

    Lawrence Brown, CBO
    Director, Codes & Standards
    Advocacy Group
    National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
    1201 15th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20005

    And my reply to his reply:

    "Thank you for your reply. I have to take the position that as an organization charged with providing fire protection for a municipality, whether a government entity or a private corporation, that we should have the right to vote on the protection levels of the buildings in which we are charged with protecting. Furthermore, it would be in your best interests to educate yourself in the administrative organization of most VFD's; the "corporation" per say is established in order to allow the administrative side (as opposed to the operations side) of the VFD to properly and legally operate. In addition, most "incorporated" volunteer fire departments receive operating funding through the respective municipality that they protect, making them a government agency and/or department as outlined in ICC Bylaw clause 2.1.1

    Perhaps yourself and other executive members of the NAHB's would like to visit my volunteer organization some time, put on some firefighters protective gear including SCBA, and make an entry into a non-sprinklered home constructed of unprotected lightweight construction, with heavy fire conditions on the first floor, to effect a simulated rescue of an occupant trapped on the second floor?

    Respectfully submitted,
    ****************
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Very nice Buff! I might add that quite often "volunteer FD" is a misnomer, whereas a large part are actually paid on call FD's that receive their funding directly from the tax base. In either case, as you noted, we operate under the obligation to provide safety from fire to those we protect regardless of pay.

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    Hey Buff, any reply back from the NAHB with your reply?
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    They should do more research. I know of perhaps two, maybe three, volunteer fire departments in my region (out of hundreds) that are not government bodies, i.e. city chartered fire departments, fire protection districts, etc.

    Nice tap dancing...
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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