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  1. #1
    jmk271
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question NFPA 1710 & 1720

    This is something that I really haven't been following. But, could someone try to explain to me what 1710 & 1720 are, "in a nutshell"?? It's my own fault for not paying any attention to it, and now I can't seem to find a whole lot of info on the subject. Thanks.

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    JMK271
    ***Stay safe out there***
    ***These opinion(s) are my own, and not that of the department in which I serve***


  2. #2
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    1710 & 1720 are an attempt to create a consensus standard where no consensus exists.

    Their creation was directed after the NFPA 1200 effort of the early 90s fell apart since creating a uniform standard of staffing & response covering all areas of the country is very difficult. So to make it easier, the NFPA Standards Council insisted on breaking it into to standards, one for predominantly career departments and one for predominantly volunteer departments.

    NFPA 1710 is "Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments"

    Three key parts of 1710 are:
    --5.2.3.1.1 The Fire Department's fire supression resources shall be deployed to provide for the arrival of an engine company within a four minute response time and/or the initial full alarm assignment within an 8-minute response time to 90% of the incidents...

    --It goes on to define the "initial full alarm" is at least 13 people, 14 if an aerial is in use.

    --5.2.2.1.1 and 5.2.2.2.1 further define minimum staffing of 4 on both Engines and Ladder companies. That means the "initial full alarm" is a minimum of 1 Chief & 3 Engine and/or Ladder companies.

    If you try to meet both the 4 minute & 8 minute marks, that means Engine Companies need to have maximum 1st due response runs of about 2.5 miles and the furthest out 1st alarm companies max runs of about 5 miles.

    For departments that almost meet or with cuts would fall below 1710, I can see it being helpful in making the budget arguement. Other times, I see it at best neutral. "Ok Chief, we have the money for four man engine companies that don't make the response time, or three man engine companies that can make the response time. Since we can't afford both, which will it be?"

    NFPA 1720 "Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Volunteer Fire Departments"

    Is a weird standard since, in a nutshell, it says "Write your own plans for what's best for your area, and once you have enough properly trained people assembled be able to start doing something within 2 minutes."

    =============
    Problem #1 with these standards, IMHO: They used the terms "career" and "volunteer" instead of "staffed" and "on-call" which are better terms since there are volunteer systems that staff their stations, and there's career stations that depend on call-backs if someone sneezes.

    Problem #2 is they seek to address deployment of resources on whether you're career or volunteer. There are volunteer departments protecting distinctly urban areas, and career stations where 3 men protect several hundred square miles. In developing deployment, you have to look at what your protecting. Is your area Urban, Suburban, Rural, or Remote? Do you have mitigating regulations like mandatory sprinklers? Or do you have economically depressed areas in woodframe buildings that need higher FD densities?

    The members of 1710 and 1720 committees do hope to eventually merge them but I do think it's a poor precedent to have to make a "consensus" standard by dividing standards into two. All animals are equal. Some are more equal than others.

    Matt

  3. #3
    jmk271
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Thanks for your help Dalmation90....

    ------------------
    JMK271
    ***Stay safe out there***
    ***These opinion(s) are my own, and not that of the department in which I serve***

  4. #4
    Bishop10
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Greetings,

    I think this is a good standard and the wording does not need to be changed. Alot of the 1710 standard for "career" FD's pertains to staffing and reponse times. It calls for staffing of at least 4 per piece, 5 or 6 if the area that a particular piece covers is large or very populated. As for the response times, it states that "career FD's" have to respond to the furthest area of their district, I believe, in 8 minutes or less. This will help create additional engine or ladder companies where there weren't any before. Thus giving the taxpayers better coverage. This is for career FD's only. The volunteers have their own standards to follow.

    As for 1720, it dictates policy for the volunteer companies. Basically you guys can do whatever you want and respond how ever you want. The only ones you can blame for this is your Chiefs. The reason being: They divided the fire service because they didn't want to follow the rules of a career FD (i.e. 4 FF's on a piece before responding, run times, etc...) Which is too bad because I believe that 1710 could have benefited the vollie companies. This could have forced towns to come up with better incentives for the vollies to stay volunteering. Seeing that the average time a person spends volunteering is 10 years.

  5. #5
    Chiefkeo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I'm a little unclear Bishop as to why you say blame the Chiefs and that the 1710 standard would have been good for us too. First off parts of our district are 10 miles from our station. How are we to repsond to those areas in 4-8 minutes? As for having 13 FFs for a full response. With 23 member, many of whom work out of town, daytime calls are lucky to see 13 guys respond by the end of the incident. I don't see many rural departments out here convincing their city councils and rural trustees to build fire stations every 5 miles and staff them with trained personel. When they are spending only $30,000/ year for fire protection now do you really think we can get them to spend the funds to operated 4-5 stations to meet these requiremnts? So please don't ask everyone to start blaming us Chiefs. Hell I would love a full time paid job running 5 stations and 40-50 FFs. But it just isn't gonna happeb out here in the real world. Sure we can say they just need to spend the money to get it done. But how often do you see bond issues for schools and other services defeated because people are tired of the level of taxation they already endure. Sometimes I think the "big city" boys need to spend some time out here in the boonies to understand why things work the way they do.

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    I shall fear no evil, for I am a Firefighter

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