I was wondering if anyone had any information on the upcoming/in the works NFPA 1710 that concerns minimum staffing for fire departments.
My questions are what kind of numbers are they looking at for staffing? How does it effect volunteer/combination departments? Most importantly, what will happen if a department cannot comply?
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Thread: NFPA 1710
01-04-2001, 03:36 PM #1FireheartFirehouse.com Guest
01-04-2001, 04:56 PM #2WRFD818Firehouse.com Guest
My understanding of NFPA 1710 is that it applies to career fire departments. There is another standard NFPA 1720 for volunteer departments. Four on apparatus is the suggested number. Neither standard address combination departments.
01-29-2001, 07:03 PM #3firehat87Firehouse.com Guest
If I recall, 1710 specifies four members on all pumpers and ladder trucks, with five required in some districts.
01-30-2001, 10:40 AM #4GreenCapFirehouse.com Guest
Does anybody know the current status of NFPA 1710? Or when and how it will be in effect? And most importantly, will it have any teeth?
01-30-2001, 04:24 PM #5WRENCHFirehouse.com Guest
GC, NFPA 1710 is supposed to be introduced and voted on at the May meeting.
It does have the support of the ichiefs, with some changes in how it willbe implemented.
The changes will water it down a lttle but the basis is still there to do good if it is adopted by the states and used correctly.
For us in NJ Peosha would have adopt it and cite the reference to it in the Peosha standards as the did with turnouts etc.
02-02-2001, 09:29 PM #614Rescue1Firehouse.com Guest
I'm new to this forum thing.
NFPA 1710 relates only to Career departments, NFPA 1720 affects volunteers. I've just got done reding the draft copy I received last night. The manning called for per apparatus is 4 and in some cases 5. They are going to recommend a minimum of 14 personnel on first due assignment. With a response time for first due engines of 4 minutes to scene and a total of 8 minutes for all other apparatus to be on scene. Hope this helps.
02-03-2001, 11:11 AM #7LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
///With a response time for first due engines of 4 minutes to scene
Hmmm, dispatch and handling time is 90 seconds according to NFPA. So the first rig needs to arrive in 2.5 minutes??? Oh, I see they will say call handling time doesn't count so the first in response time will really be 5.5 minutes. Sets the stage to send a cop to see if there is a real fire.
Say it takes 30 seconds to clear the house day and 45 to 60 night time. So fire houses will need to be spaced at 3/4 mile intervals.
//All units on scene in 8 minutes, 14 guys, 4 per rig//
Need 4 rigs current recommended spacing is an engine within 1.5 miles of all properties. So a station every 3 miles. To drive 3 miles (the worse case 2nd in engine time) takes 5.75 minutes, plus 90 second call handling time, plus get to the rig time 30 to 60 seconds EQUALS 7.75 to 8.25 minutes.
Oh, let me guess, this is a fair weather standard that won't apply on bad weather days, heavy traffic times, out of district responses when your rig is committed, etc.
Like all NFPA standards they are not law, have no teeth, etc. No one will make you hire ff's. We'll go on doing what we really want.
02-03-2001, 12:07 PM #8BikefireFirehouse.com Guest
I hope this helps, http://roproc.nfpa.org/procom/pdfs/1710-p.pdf click on this and hopefully you will be able to download the PDF file of NFPA 1710 from NFPAs web site. There's alot of info before the the document its self.
Be kind to fire fighters. Please don't let your dogs use fire hydrants.
02-03-2001, 02:20 PM #9MPreb362Firehouse.com Guest
i just started checking this issue out myself. coming from a small town career dept. who has a min manning of 3 per eng. 3 stations and a distressed city status. How would we ever find the funding to implement such a thing. it sounds like one of those too good to be true deals to me. just got the latest issue of IAFF Fire Fighter in the mail yesterday. It has very limited info in it but I'm sure the web site will have more info on it. any of you who have more info on it, keep the post coming. I'm interested in it myself. see ya and stay safe.
02-10-2001, 07:06 PM #10FREDFirehouse.com Guest
Apparently some of you (LHS) failed to read the draft document of 1710.
Under the defintions it states the following:
22.214.171.124* Dispatch time. The point of receipt of the emergency alarm at the public safety answering point to the point where sufficent information is known to the dispatcher and applicable units are notified of the emergency.
126.96.36.199* Response time. The time that begins when units are notified and ends with the arrival at the scene of an emergency incident.
The 4 minutes is from time the bells in the firehouse ring. Remeber this only will apply to Career Depts. not Volly's, That Standard is 1720.
And as it is with all NFPA standards they are NOT laws like OSHA CFRs so you really don't need to follow it.
For those of you who would like to be educated instead of being fed rummors and falsehoods there is a link to the particular site on www.NFPA.org above on a previous post
There you can read the whole thing including submittions from others and commitee actions.
02-11-2001, 10:58 AM #11LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
//Apparently some of you (FRED) failed to read whay I said:
//188.8.131.52* Dispatch time. The point of receipt of the emergency alarm at the public safety answering point to the point where sufficent information is known to the dispatcher and applicable units are notified of the emergency.//
"dispatch and handling time is 90 seconds according to NFPA....call handling time doesn't count so the first in response time will really be 5.5 minutes. Sets the stage to send a cop to see if there is a real fire. "
//184.108.40.206* Response time. The time that begins when units are notified and ends with the arrival at the scene of an emergency incident.
"To drive 3 miles (the worse case 2nd in engine time) takes 5.75 minutes, plus 90 second call handling time, plus get to the rig time 30 to 60 seconds EQUALS IN REALITY A 7.75 to 8.25 minute RESPONSE TIME."
How can we say dispatch handling time doesn't matter? The 3ed largest FD in the country spends 2 minutes 10 seconds on average hitting the tones. 60% of the FD's in the US don't meet NFPA's handling times now. 4 minute response? What a joke.
//The 4 minutes is from time the bells in the firehouse ring. //
Say it takes 30 seconds to clear the house day and 45 to 60 night time. So fire houses will need to be spaced at 1.5 mile intervals. You got that kinda spacing?
02-11-2001, 05:27 PM #12FREDFirehouse.com Guest
Read the proposed standard again in chapters 4 and 5.
There is nothing regarding this "reality dispatch time" you speak of.
The standard would require this 4 minute response time which is already defined as the time from notification from dispatch. The Handling time you speak of is covered in "Dispatch time" irregardless of the time to process the information this doesn't effect the response time.
The response time as outlined in 220.127.116.11.1 ---states that this time of 4 minutes for the arrival of the first Engine Company should be met 90% of the time. This allows room for error; for runs to the edge of districts and when out of the station, ect.
You could define response time as the time the truck leaves the station. It is just how the committee decided to define it.
You are right in that many Depts will have a hard time in meeting this standard...however there are reports to be filed by the Dept. annually and every 4 years that will explain to the taxpayers the consequesnces of the deficencies in their Fire Protection.
So if this should become a standard in Oct of 2001 the benefits won't nessesarily materialize overnight. But overtime it might convince communties to strengthen their fire protection.
Which is the ultimate goal right? Wouldn't you agree?
I don't know why a member of a Vol. dept would be so concerned about a standard for career depts. The one that applies to you LHS is 1720.
02-11-2001, 06:17 PM #13LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
//The Handling time you speak of is covered in "Dispatch time" irregardless of the time to process the information this doesn't effect the response time.
Kewl, send a cop check it out then dispatch fire, maintain the 4 minute average.
Just another case of the fire service selling out. NFPA already calls for 5 and 6 guys per rig and ISO 6 per company. We watered down ISO so a city like Houston used to be required to have 180 engines versus todays 87 engines.
//I don't know why a member of a Vol. dept would be so concerned about a standard for career depts.
Lots of career departments hire me to help them increase funding and staffing.
02-11-2001, 09:55 PM #14Dalmatian90Firehouse.com Guest
Why would a volunteer be concerned about 1710?
Because we care about the fire service perhaps?
The 1710/1720 issue is dangerous to the fire service in general. The fact that 1710/1720 had to be split into career and volunteer parts is the first sign of serious problems.
1710 further demonstrates a schizophrenic mentality at NFPA that makes people (city managers, perhaps) question their validity in general. They can justify roof-mounted propane tanks based on "performance" (and their desire to sell codes to Mexico). Then turn around and create at the same time a new "prescriptive" code for fire department staffing (to sell codes to the IAFF and IAFC to try and get more staffing).
It is such an impractical standard for so much of the nation, the decision most communities will be forced to make to ignore 1710 will make it easier to question adopting other NFPA standards.
If it comes to have "teeth" that communities feel they would have to meet 1710 to have paid fire service, you may see them choose to support an entirely on-call department that no longer meets the town's needs rather than risk the financial impact of a fully staffed 1710 compliant department.
It gives to penny-pinchers in small cities more ammuntion to try and replace small career departments with on-call systems that could choose 1720. The nearest paid department to my home has a total of 26 members working four shifts -- say 6 members/shift. For them to meet 1710 staffing and response times would require hiring at least 40 more firefighters. Or they could look at it and say if we have to meet 1710, why not abolish the paid department and use volunteers like the surrounding districts who can meet 1720? Considering the community came very close in the past to contracting out fire protection to Wackenhut, that isn't that far-fetched of a scenario.
1710 could very well be a double-edged sword. Like 2in/2out where that could be interpreted to require a minimum of 5 people (the pump operator not being able to leave the pump) so why bother going from 3 man to 4 man engines when you'd still need two engine? So with 1710 if you can't meet the 14 men in 8 minutes because stations are too far apart, or simply don't exist, what incentive is there to go from 3 men to 4 men on an engine when it gets you no closer to meeting 1710? Why for that matter fund a properly staffed fire department when there is alternate prescriptive standard we could adopt by eliminating the paid department, and there's no performance standards for what staffing level is appropriate for a community's profile or hazards?
02-11-2001, 11:17 PM #15FREDFirehouse.com Guest
>LHS-Just asking a valid question. Relax.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding you but how do you plan on sending a cop to investigate if a fire is real or not and affecting response time? As the proposed standard is written: Once the Company is notified they have 4 min to arrive on scene(90% of time). If they are farther away than that, there is no way to manipulate it. Other than quickening turnout time which is contained within the Response time as outlined in 1710 as written.
>I agree with you Dalmation90 there are many issues that will be complicated if 1710/1720 are enacted.
Why do you feel these standards are so impractical. Studies have been conducted, tests on efficiency, and examinations of figures regarding safety. NIOSH has recomended staffing increases in numerous cases of LODD's that have been reviewed. For many depts large and small.
A possible reason for the need for such a standard is that to many "penny-pinchers" as you call them have already decimated career depts. to the point that they are practically ineffective. And sell-out Chiefs stood by and watched it happen.
(Keokuk, Iowa comes to mind when I think of a dept that is obscenely undermanned.)
Yes there might be some communities that switch to a combo-dept. or even vol. instead of sticking with a career dept.
But I'll ask you this question if NFPA, ISO already "requires or recommends" 5 or 6 on a rig and very few maintain that level. (Even FDNY and Chicago have companies staffed below the "ISO suggested 6")
What makes you believe that they will follow this standard?
Even if every city on the fence came out and said "We will refuse to follow this, in fact we are going to have to get rid of the paid dept. and go with a combo, Vol or whatever" Do you think that they should just say forget it all.
Suppose when standards were enacted for breathing equipment or PPE or what have you...do you not think that people called them impractical...too costly...ridiculous?
Perhaps it isn't just our(FDs) faults...so called "cities" nowadays have been designed and planned with such a low density that they can barely support their basic infrastructure. That infrastructure includes Fire Depts.
Perhaps the Annual and quadrennial reports that are also part of 1710 will further educate the public on what tier tax dollars really can purchase in terms of fire protection.
Public education on smoke detectors, ect. is good but also we must take it upon ourselves to communicate to them how over the past 30 years "fiscal sense" has eroded the insurance policy they count on every day...the fire department.
Observations from a fireman.
[This message has been edited by FRED (edited 02-12-2001).]
02-11-2001, 11:54 PM #16Jolly RogerFirehouse.com Guest
I have a thought on this: one camp says that 1710 will give the budget axemen the right to eliminate a paid FD and replace it with a volunteer outfit. The other camp says 1710 will justify increased manning on career departments, to have a 4 member company as a minimum manning level, which will increase overall efficiency.
I agree with both points.
Yes, there are some political subdivisions that will close the fire the paid crews and replace them with volunteers. They would eventually do it anyway, unfortunately. On the flip side, there are some paid departments that will actually get the proposed increased staffing.
Ok, now for my proposal: How about NFPA 1715: Standard for Combination Paid/Volunteer Fire Departments
Huh? Good idea, ya think?
02-12-2001, 11:37 AM #17Dalmatian90Firehouse.com Guest
I *think* Larry's (LHS) point on dispatching a cop is this:
Manipulate the "4 minute/90%" rule by dispatching the 1st due engine to all calls within 4 minutes of the station. For calls more than 4 minutes away, send a cop first. If they see a need, only then send an engine. This reduces the number of responses to the greater than 4 minute area, and improves the statistics by giving you a lot of under 4 minute responses in comparison.
Another way to work the statistics, if not outright "manipulating" them, is to simply eliminate sleep time. After all, that would save another 30 to 60 seconds off of calls for a third of the day...that would certainly make it easier to achieve the 4min/90% standard. (Kansas City, MO (?) meets American Heart Association standards of arriving at Cardiac Calls within 4 minutes 70% of the time. At night, that drops to 60%. Hmmm, sleeping costs us 10%...)
One statistic I've seen is 1710 would require the hiring of about 11% more career firefighters (about 30,000) natiowide. Unfortunately, that would fall disproportionately on smaller cities and low-density cities.
Keokuk is a perfect example. The same city councilors that weren't supportive of the fire department after the tragedy where the same who had already wanted to abolish the career force and replace them with volunteers several years ago simply to save money. That City Council isn't going to spend the money to triple the size of their department to meet 1710.
The fundemental flaw with 1710 is that it mandates a certain level of staffing SIMPLY because you're a career organization. There is no consideration for population or building density; building construction or occupancy; or level of service provided.
Eliminate "career" and "volunteer" because they don't matter. More pertinent is defining stations as fully-staffed, partially-staffed, or entirely on-call. Define standards of equipment and training for whether the department seeks to be merely a conflagaration-preventer, moderately interior, or aggressive interior operations. For a given community and it's population density, building construction & density, other hazards (structural-wildland interface), mitigation (mandatory sprinkler ordinances), and goals of the community (do you expect heroic life saving, or simply confining fire to building of origin) you can have a matrix of what is generally seen as the most efficient staffing/training/equiping model.
02-12-2001, 01:50 PM #18FREDFirehouse.com Guest
I now see how one might be able to manipulate the runs by sending an officer 1st, however when there is a response to that area they will still fail. I even worked for a dept that did(still does to this very day) that very thing to cut down on runs to a local University. They send one University cop to check all fire alarms in buildings except for dorms.
I see you also read the same article in the Wall Street Journal that I did.
Interesting that you mentioned elimination of sleep time. The KCFD tried that very thing in the Late 70s early 80s.(a few others as well) They switched to 8 hour days like cops. Problem Fire Depts are not police Depts. What works for them does not work for us. KC blew the entire years budgeted amount for OT in something like 2 months!
They even have a few firehouses that were built without bunk rooms!
What I think the article and most politicians fail to realize Fire Companies are required for the potential for fire not the actuall need. If that were the case inner-city areas would have firehouses every 20 blocks and out-lying areas would have few if any.
Just because right now fires are down does not change the fact that there is still a certain fireload out there. And to properly respond and extinguish the fire with minimal loss of life requires certain time constraints. Ones that we as the fire service have failed to accurately communicate to city planners and mayors.
As I mentioned in a previous post, if a city wants to build low density suburban type sprawl they should be informed of the cost of maintaining a fire department response and infrastructure (ie men, trucks and firehouses) for such a low density.
I agree with you that this standard is not perfect. However virtually every law standard, policy ever enacted is flawed in some way or another. You can't possibly legislate for every conceivable event and occasion. A law that attempts to do so will become burdensome in execution of itself. Most "bad" legislation is eventually modified or removed all together. (although NFPA does not make laws it is comparable)
Perhaps as you suggest it should be more of an open ended design in that communities can decide whether or not that the FD will basically confine fires or will they aggressively attack so as to preserve life and property.
However I think that would fly in the face of all the progress that the fire service has worked for over all these years. The methods of just preventing fire spread to nearby buildings were used in the 1700s & early 1800s. With the equipment and knowledge provided to todays fire depts. such a goal is well below capabilities.
As noted in the comments section of 1710 it is noted by the committee, in so many words, that in line with the mission of fire departments and the NFPA they are there to prevent the loss of life and property. To deliver a standard that does not meet that criteria would be irresponsible.
As for Sprinklers,ect. Ref: A.18.104.22.168.1 The standard based on the response to a 2 story 2000 sq ft detached single family residence. I don't know of many communities that are a majority of single family homes that are fully sprinklered. Failure of the systems, construction and renovation also leaves a posibility for fire.
Perhaps we should base it on density or some other stat. Who knows?
Just my thoughts and observations.
[This message has been edited by FRED (edited 02-12-2001).]
02-12-2001, 03:21 PM #19LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
///Perhaps I am misunderstanding you but how do you plan on sending a cop to investigate if a fire is real or not and affecting response time? As the proposed standard is written: Once the Company is notified they have 4 min to arrive on scene(90% of time).
OK, dispatch has a list of when and when not to send a full fd response, smoke in area, alarms, etc are not on the list. So SOP becomes send a cop to see if there is really a fire, 4 minutes later the cop says there is or is not a fire. So the 4 minute response time works fine. Not counting handling time will get you.
Is it possible those runing 5 and 6 man crews are about to be legislated out of existance with this standard?
//Why do you feel these standards are so impractical. Studies have been conducted, tests on efficiency, and examinations of figures regarding safety. NIOSH has recomended staffing increases in numerous cases of LODD's that have been reviewed. For many depts large and small.
None of the tests say for on a crew is best.
//And sell-out Chiefs stood by and watched it happen.
(Keokuk, Iowa comes to mind when I think of a dept that is obscenely undermanned.)
"No I won't allow 3 man companies!!!!!" Ok, you're fired, next chief please.
//Yes there might be some communities that switch to a combo-dept. or even vol. instead of sticking with a career dept.
That is exactly what will ghappen, read the Wall Street Journal on 2 in 2 out?
//Suppose when standards were enacted for breathing equipment or PPE or what have you...do you not think that people called them impractical...too costly...ridiculous?
No they say the gear we have met the code in effect at the time we bought it, we don't need to change.
//Public education on smoke detectors, ect. is good but
Say you don't buy a pumper this year and put a detector on every stoop in town? IN houston TX the last two years every fire death occured in homes without detectors or working detectors. 60% of all death nationaly occur with similar detector issues.
//The other camp says 1710 will justify increased manning on career departments,
Same thiong was said about 2 in and 2 out. Nut Osha does nt apply in 24 states.
//to have a 4 member company as a minimum manning level, which will increase overall efficiency.
The 3rd largest FD in the country went from 4 to 3 this year. Measure the differnce in efficiency. Is it worth a 25% increase in budget? Was staffing even recognizable?
//Keokuk is a perfect example. The same city councilors that weren't supportive of the fire department after the tragedy where the same who had already wanted to abolish the career force and replace them with volunteers several years ago simply to save money.
Would they been better off with a dozen volunteers on scene or a mixed bag of both?
Do you take the $50K per member and divide it up so you get $50bucks per fire cal to be a parttime firefighter?? Will it work? Sure most volunteers work for nothin.
I was at a meeting recently where the USFA was handing out 4.9 BIllion dollars to improve wildland firefighting. That same amount will be passed out every year.
They listed a whole host of things they were going to do with the money but couldn't define the outcome of the spending. One young man said wouldn't we be better off handing $50K to anyone who wants it to go down and buy a new pickup truck, 10 cases of flares and a droo in skid unit? He said 98,000 brush trucks in the hands of off duty or volunteer firefighters in exchange for a nice pickup would make a huge differnce in response and ability.
Sounds the same here. We get a 100 mil fire bill that wil buy 50 pumpers, while forestry gets 4.9 billion. If there isn't funding don't expect a rule to change a thing. The term is unfunded mandate.
02-12-2001, 08:18 PM #20FREDFirehouse.com Guest
I see your concerns, however if a company is farther away from a location than 4 min. Then there is nothing short of placing another company closer that will alleviate this problem.
You claim no studies support increasing staffing men per company...hmmm that's funny. I'll invite you to look at a few interesting items then.
This is a link to a report from a Blue ribbon committee formed in 1991-92 to study the San Antonio fire dept and its delivery of services. There are many interesting findings but the one I would like you to look at is the category titled Manning and staffing.
In there you will read about a number of different studies which 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."
Also I would like you to put down your ISO books for a minute and pick up "Firefighting Principals and Practices" by the late William E. Clark. On pages 54-60 he outlines two Staffing trials conducted in Wisconsin. Although both looked at a limited factor in efficiency, time, I think it shows that increased staffing is of great benefit to Fire Departments.
There are many other studies which have similar results...however I'm not going to do all the work for you. As my teachers in Grade school always told me "Look it up yourself, you'll learn more that way."
Furthermore, Specifically noted in 1710 is the following "1.2.2 Nothing herein is intended to restrict any jurisdiction from exceeding these minimum requirements."
So your concern about 5&6 man companies being legislated out of existence is unfounded.
BTW OSHA does apply in all states. They are a Federal regulatory agency within the Department of labor. Look it up again who their rules apply to under the OSHA ACT of 1970. Here is a link to help. http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshAct_data/OSHACT.html#4
look at section (a) in the first sentance who their rules apply to.
They have the power to put your butt into a sling if you screw up...example...you fail to properly follow 29CFR 1910.120 at a Haz-Mat operation you can find your self in a lot of hot water with fines not to mention liability for anyone who wants to take you to court for damages. The results are similar if you have an airport in your jurisdiction and the FAA slams you with fines for inadequate protection.
As for smoke detectors...I agree they are great. I'm not advocating elimination of all fire prevention...however I think that perhaps depts. should also direct funds to help educate the ones who provide the funds for Fire protection and prevention.
Two cents from a fireman.
[This message has been edited by FRED (edited 02-12-2001).]
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