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Thread: NFPA 1710

  1. #21
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Didn't read all the fine print Fred

    Under Section 3, Definitions:
    5) The term "employer" means a person engaged in a business affecting commerce who has employees, but does not include the United States (not including the United States Postal Service) or any State or political subdivision of a State.

    OSHA regs only apply to state or municipal employees in States which choose to adopt a State OSHA plan, which must be at least as tough as Fed OSHA regs. It's a trade-off...in exchange for Federal money to regulate workplace safety yourself, the State has to place itself under OSHA jurisdiction. However, Fed OSHA doesn't have any authority over State & Local workplaces.

  2. #22
    Firehouse.com Guest


    //You claim no studies support increasing staffing men per company...

    I said the studies don't support 4 FOUR as the magic number. So I'm reluctant to give up the 5 and 6 number.

    //either concluded that safety, rate and severity of injuries decreased; increased staffing created greater efficencies and that "the efficiency and effectiveness of fire control and rescue activities is greatly enhanced by four person (on-duty) staffing."

    So the mayor say run an extra 3 man engine or two on first alarm, now you got more guys than when you ran crews of 4.

    //So your concern about 5&6 man companies being legislated out of existence is unfounded.

    You'll see. It has already happened via 2 in 2 out elsewhere.

    //BTW OSHA does apply in all states./

    They have the power to put your butt into a sling if you screw up...you can find your self in a lot of hot water with fines not to mention liability...

    I'll take this one, Firefighter doesn't wear belt on back of tailboard, gets dead, FD doesn't provide one, paperwork shows officers knew about it. OSHA fines them 6 figures. End result fines set aside if a plan of action is in place within 30 days. No officers demoted, no firings. Same exact thing occurred with the first two LODD violations of 2 in 2 out in the US. If within 30 days you have a plan to stop it from happening again they set aside everything.

    So what they could do and what they do are two different things. Think about your ten favorite recent LODD's all were accountability violations. All the chiefs still got jobs? Any fines paid?

    Did the FD's conduct their first PARS 1 hour and 10 minutes into the events per NIOSH? Any fines? Firings? Lawsuits?

    Look at some solo FF and chief deaths recently. Did they have health screening per osha? NO. Were they alone? Yes Is that allowed per 2 in 2 out in a non-rescue situation? No? Aren't they suppose to be in voice contact/visul contact? Anyone go to jail? No. Any fines paid? NO.

    Government lives on case law. The reality is you'll always get off. Even when the US government screws up big time at a fire, they pass over it.

  3. #23
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Dalmation 90-
    I'll concede that one. I reviewed that document for a while and missed that definition. It was my understanding there are NFPA and Non-NFPA states but all fell under OSHA as a minimum. I have a question for you then. Do all NFPA standards meet OSHA CFR's(that relate to firefighting) as a minimum? I thought they did. With government ,however, any thing is possible.

    Did you not read what you quoted me on? You said "None of the tests say 4 FOUR on a crew is best."

    >"the efficiency and effectiveness of fire control and rescue activities is greatly enhanced by FOUR PERSON (on-duty) staffing."<

    Right there it is. I beginning to think you really don't read the responses LHS. If you can show me any studies that show that anything less on a company is as safe or even remotely as efficient as 4 or more on a company I would appreciate it.

    Those studies also say that 5 and 6 men on a company would also increase the efficiency however as stated in numerous areas of this standard it is a MINIMUM. It is there in black and white, 4 is a start if there are "Target hazards" as they are termed 5 or 6 is a better number.

    I'm curious LHS why has 2in/2out caused 5-6 man companies to be eliminated? If it is because you count the driver as part of the two out it can easily be interpreted as a violation as part of 1910.134(g)(4)(iii)
    [Note 1 to paragraph (g): One of the two individuals located outside the IDLH atmosphere may be assigned to an additional role, such as incident commander in charge of the emergency or safety officer, so long as this individual is able to perform assistance or rescue activities without jeopardizing the safety or health of any firefighter working at the incident.]

    A driver really can't really assist by going inside when he is tasked with a very important job...ensuring adequate water supply. So if a community gets rid of a 5 man Co. and makes it a 4 thinking they are within the law. Then it is the Depts. own fault for allowing this to happen.

    Your arguments were echoed many times by others in the ROP section of 1710. Do you know why they were rejected? Because there ARE studies that show that 4 is the bare minimum that one should have. The ones I mentioned in name and the ones I told you should go look up for yourself do exist. That's why the committee threw those comments out.

    2 in 2 out does not have any provisions that refer to 5 or 6 man companies. 1710 does.

    I don't disagree with you that there are rarely any fines and even less-frequent job loss associated with injuries and accidents. I was saying that the power is there.
    I should have been clearer...The liability is more on a civil court level. In that there have been cases and settlements paid to the surviving families of LODD cases. One that comes to mind was in NYC before Bunkers there(1994), three guys got burned and killed. The families suit was based on the fact that the 3/4s and long coats were not up to snuff on NFPA standards. They won even though NY is a OSHA state.(and FDNY now has Bunkers) And another case in which a FDNY Fireman was burned on his knees in 1985. This was the first one out of 50 cases pending that NYC had to settle and that was in 1996. He won $400,000.

    In the WSJ article the city manager, auditor and legal staffer are all quoted referring to greater liability and insurance rates ect. as a result of 1710 if it is enacted. If NFPA is not a law then why would they care about it? Because it provides a (for lack of a better term)"standard care" if a city fails to maintain at least the minimums set forth by the "experts"(NFPA) then when a fireman or civilian gets hurt or killed and they failed to meet those "standards" The cities are right to assume that they are setting themselves up for big $$$

    It is funny that you should use the "unfunded mandate" as an excuse for not wanting to go along with the standard. I don't disagree with you that it is...but this is the same argument that Developers, builders, and companies used nationwide to argue against fire sprinklers in apartments and their buildings. Ironic isn't it?

    I'll agree with your final statement that Gov't gets away with anything they want but that's only because "We the People" let them.

    Observations from a fireman.

    [This message has been edited by FRED (edited 02-13-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by FRED (edited 02-13-2001).]

  4. #24
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The relation of OSHA and NFPA:

    OSHA, like other federal regulatory agencies, have been directed by Congress to look to industry standards groups to model federal regulations on. This should be a good thing, as it allows the industry being regulated more input into crafting standards that OSHA then puts regulatory bite into. And when someone complains OSHA is too strict, they can turn around and say, "Hey, your the ones who wrote the standards!"

    As a general rule, OSHA follows NFPA pretty closely, but might impose less stringent requirements.

    This doesn't mean OSHA has to follow NFPA to the letter. A good example is leather helmets. The Cairns N5A New Yorker is "OSHA" compliant -- since OSHA adopted a standard slightly less stringent than NFPA, mainly in regards to eye protection. The Cairns Sam Houston is NFPA compliant because it has a 4" face shield, and it is also OSHA compliant because it meets or excedes all the OSHA requirements.

    So I *think* the best answer to your question is: All NFPA standards meet or excede OSHA Regulations, but not all OSHA regulations meet the NFPA standards.

    OSHA is the "law of the land" for public fire departments in states listed here: http://www.osha-slc.gov/fso/osp/

    In the non-state plan OSHA states, OSHA doesn't cover the state & local fire departments for regulatory purposes. But you can be sure trial attornies will bring up OSHA regulations and NFPA standards as nationally accepted practices to try and show liability in a civil court.


  5. #25
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Thanks Matt,

    The info and the link were very helpful in clearing up some questions of mine. The link was right in front of my face and I didn't see it!

    Thanks again.

  6. #26
    Jolly Roger
    Firehouse.com Guest



    Why is it then, if four is not the magic number, you won't concede 5 or 6? Didn't your CLASS 1 fd run 10 on a truck?

  7. #27
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here is a little more Research on the reponse time issue.
    The IAFC at the sent in a proposal that I am unable to find on the 1710 document on the nfpa site.

    However, It says that it was approved by the technical committee that an additional 60 seconds be added and seperated from response time. The Language is a bit vauge on the Chiefs site... http://www.ichiefs.org/media/nfpa1710.htm

    Either it means you have 5 minutes total from the time the bells hit to arrive on scene or 5 minutes from the time "units acknowledge notification of an emergency until they arrive at the scene." Which means you still have 4 minutes from quarters to arrive on scene but you get 60 seconds to get dressed, on the rig and out the door.

    This was a major gripe and was proposed a number of times by others but without the political pull was rejected.

    This seems to be a fair amount of time (5 minutes that is). But I haven't been able to find it in its final draft on-line yet. Who knows probably wont see it until May.

    Observations from a fireman.

  8. #28
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The extra minute "turnout" time before the 4 minute "response" time would certainly address my point on eliminating sleep time to help make the 4 minute mark!

  9. #29
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Fred, Here's NFPA 1710 in the draft form. I posted this earlier in this thread. Should download for you. http://roproc.nfpa.org/procom/pdfs/1710-p.pdf And if any one else is interested in NFPA 1720. http://roproc.nfpa.org/procom/pdfs/1720-p.pdf

    Being from a non-OSHA state. I'm concerned, that this will not help us with our one and two man engine and ladder companies.

    Be kind to fire fighters. Please don't let your dogs use fire hydrants.

  10. #30
    Firehouse.com Guest



    I apologize I wasn't clear in my posting. I read the 107 page document...however I found that the change that is mentioned on the IAFC web site isn't found on the PDF file.
    The dates mentioned on the ICHIEFS site were last minute changes so it might not have been posted to the form.

    I'm don't know much about Pen., but being or not being an OSHA state shouldn't have an effect on you.

    I'm no expert but affter reading the proposed standard, studies and related documents this is what I have determined.

    As I wrote in a previous post just because a state isn't covered under NFPA or OSHA for that matter, doesn't mean that they will not be exposing themselves to liablity...(I cited cases in NY which is not an NFPA state but NYC lost BIG $$$ because the men weren't equipped to the so called "National Standard")

    Whether or not your Chief agrees with it should be irrelevant. If the City managers/lawyers ect, are knowledgeable they will see they are opening themselves up to liability. As per the WSJ the city manager in Kansas City realized it.

    Is Penn. a NFPA state? I hope 1710 if passes helps you correct the low staffing up there.

    Two cents from a fireman.

    [This message has been edited by FRED (edited 02-15-2001).]

  11. #31
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Four minute bells to on scene time, leaves three minutes drive time. Avg speed of 25 mph (used by ISO) gives first due coverage of 1.25 road miles from station. Worst case for second and later units is for a fire next to the first due station. Then second, third, fourth, and fifth due are 2.5 miles away, or 6 driving minutes + 1 turnout = 7 minutes away. Plus these companies are traveling further, usually on more primary roads, and should be travelling faster than 25mph over most of their trip.

    So five stations worth of apparatus within 7 minutes of alert is pretty good, especially if you have at least two trucks in those five stations, or all quints.

    On a completely gridded street stystem, a 1.25 mile road mile coverage equates to 3.125 square miles (think of a diamond). Most places have diagonal streets, curvy streets, etc. so actual coverage may be more (think of a circle 4.9 square miles ideal).

    Most fully staffed fire departments average 2-3 ffs on duty per 10,000 population. To support 4 ffs / station you'd need a population density anywhere from 13,333 / 4.9 = 2721 to 20,000 / 3.125 = 6400 people per square miles, depending on the layout of your roads and your communitiy's willingness to retain firefighters.

    To get a 4 man truck company in 2 of 5 stations you'd need density running from 3809 to 8960 people per square mile.

    This is supposed to happen on 90% of calls...so even with perfect geographical coverage and never being out of service, a company would have to be availiable for service 90% of the time, or be on runs less than 2.4 hours average per day. If the average of fire calls takes 20-30 minutes that comes to a maximum of 1752 to 2628 runs a year.

    This standard is likely to be easily met in in high density areas (4000 people per square miles) with few calls...with mosts departments using EMS to justify their presence, not many places with that density are going to run fewer than 1728 runs a year.

    Another type of place that would work is one that has a larger area per firehouse, but a very concentrated population near their stations.

    Prince George's County MD, where i live, has roughly 800,000 people over 488 sq miles, or a density of 1639 people per sq mile, though the density inside the beltway is significantly higher than that, and outside the beltway there are local population centers. There are 44 fire stations in the county so the average size is 11 square miles, though again, the stations are closer together inside the beltway. From my firehouse to the next it is 3/4 of a mile one way and 1 1/4 the other.

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