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  1. #1
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    Default Stopping the NFPA from regulating us

    Has anyone read the article in a competing FD magazine regarding NFPA and how they shouldn't be regulating the fire department due to the fact that only 2% of firefighters are members? And how electricians and carpenters far outnumber Firefighters in membership, yet they make decisions for us and what GEAR we wear??
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    Yes, I did see that. I guess I just took it for granted that firefighters had more say in that organization. I wanted to join, until I saw how much a membership costs. Maybe that's why so few firefighters join.

    And speaking of NFPA, we are not required to wear helmets that meet NFPA standards, but we are required to wear helmets that meet OSHA standards. I found this interesting- anyone else in the same boat?

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    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Just thinking out loud, but if the NFPA had no clout, who would set fire service standards?
    ullrichk
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    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ullrichk
    Just thinking out loud, but if the NFPA had no clout, who would set fire service standards?
    Thats the question I have too. I would rather not think on how much more foolishness would become the "Norm", if there were no checks and balances by the NFPA.

    We have enough instances where *looking around in confusion* "Safety?? Who or what is Safety?.... Do we have such a person/thing?", has happened.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Since its not realy firefighters making NFPA recomendations...

    What would we change?

    If FFs DID make up the majority, would ther be anything different?
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES
    If FFs DID make up the majority, would ther be anything different?

    Lower dues!
    ullrichk
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    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  7. #7
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    There would be new standards on arson, cheating ISO, how to burn people during training fires, how to run 2 man engines, how many light bars on POV's, how a volunteer isn't a "real" ff, etc. All you have to do is look at these forums and quickly understand why FF's should NOT be making the standards.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    There would be new standards on arson, cheating ISO, how to burn people during training fires, how to run 2 man engines, how many light bars on POV's, how a volunteer isn't a "real" ff, etc. All you have to do is look at these forums and quickly understand why FF's should NOT be making the standards.
    Ahhh...it all makes sence now.

    Dont forget:

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    Scary thoughts.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    The standards that apply to fire departments are created by firefighters. Look at the makeup of the committees and you will recognize some of the most respected members of the fire service. I don't agree with all of the standards, but I do recognize that the fire services is much better off with NFPA standards that it would be without them.

  10. #10
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    Before you throw stones, maybe you should better understand how NFPA operates. I am not an apologist for the NFPA, but I am sad at the level of understanding of how NFPA operates and impacts the fire service.

    Start here: http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/home/AboutNFPA/index.asp

    The technical committees that develop the standards are not staffed to reflect the percentage of the total membership. They are selected based on the standard that is under development and review. Look up the membership of the technical committee that developed the firefighter professional qualifications or a fire service operating procedures. I do not see many plumbers or electricians on those committees.

    Don’t like the process?

    Don't whine.

    Get involved. Join NFPA (why yes, it costs $135/year), get into a special interest section and make a difference.

    Because few firefighters are active, your opportunity to make a difference is greater than a fire protection system specialist working for a multinational corporation.

    One obstacle to most firefighters is that those is who are involved in the NFPA technical committee process need to use their own leave and cash to travel to the committee meetings. Maybe that is what we should be concerned about!

    Or you can start a competing organization. I seem to remember an Alliance organization from the 1980s . . .

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeWard; 05-17-2004 at 03:03 PM.

  11. #11
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Question Well..........................

    I generally agree with Mike, and one thing that we've all missed on the "cost of dues" is that you get what you pay for. I am not a member, and at $135 I'm not joining anytime soon. I could use that money for a deposit on a tank of gas for my pickup. I think what some folks (including me) are concerned about is what we preceive as the creation of things that affect us, created by those who do not actively participate in what we do. In other words, the rules are being made by those who are not playing in the game. And, If you work at it, you can beat the NFPA at their own game. Sometime back, an item in one of the apparatus standards would automatically shut off certain warning lights when the parking brakes were applied. In Maryland, The state Fire Chiefs Association felt that only the Driver or Officer should make that determination, and were successfull in getting a state law passed, barring the use of that device in the state of Maryland. My major complaint with the NFPA remains that people who have not walked in our shoes are telling the shoemaker what to make, and what size. Stay Safe....
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  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber dwwm2c4's Avatar
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    i was under the impression that the NFPA had absolutly no "powers" to tell anyone what to do or buy??? i was under the impression that the NFPA had "ideas" and "thoughts" of how things should be and are basicly "suggestions" to help cover your azz in cituations...i didnt think they were the "police" of fire departments. unlike OSHA where they do have the "police type powers" to com in and say hey! your not following the rules and here's your fine...NFPA does not have this "police power". if your department wants to supply you with inadiquete equipment,a POS unit to run and dont set any rules then hey, more power to ya and i pray for you. Our department does follow the NFPA suggestions dang near to the T but, mainly its to protect us in the long run if something were to happen using their suggestions along with our companies SOG's. That and we like to buy top of the line equipment and buy the "whats new" stuff and those suggestions helps us convince the Body that we need it hehehe

  13. #13
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default a point to ponder

    How many more Bradley Goldens would there be if not for NFPA 1403?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  14. #14
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    They might as well regulate...seems like they set the "standard", amd if we don't follow them, then we are opening ourselves up to liablity.
    -------------------------------------
    "An aggressive interior attack does not mean just going inside to put out a fire. THAT'S just doing our job...."
    IAFF Local 55

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    NFPA Committees cover just about every fire protection issue known. If a new issue arises, a new committee is established. I suspect most of those participating in this forum are interested in the standards and recommended practices which affect fire fighters directly. Standards are written in mandatory language (i.e., “shall”). Recommended practices are written in permissive language (i.e., “should”). There are 300+ standards and recommended practices.

    States and local jurisdictions may adopt any or all of the NFPA standards and recommended practices. NFPA does not enforce the standards, the local or state authority does. The adopting authority may amend any of the standards. They serve as a starting point and many times they are adopted without amendment.

    Committees are made up of manufacturers, insurers, enforcers (fire departments), special experts, users (i.e., building owners), and another entity, I think (it’s getting very late). Committee membership is balanced between the above types - not too many of any one category. The fire service is typically outnumbered, but typically carry a lot of political weight (at least in my experience).

    Anyone can serve on a committee - NFPA membership is not required. You will have to travel as Committee meetings are held in virtually every part of the country. You have to foot the bill - not NFPA (however, they do provide refreshments ).

    If you cannot afford the $135 annual dues ($11.25 per month - probably less than many beer budgets), try to get your department to support you. If not your department, then try your county organization. The $135 goes to supporting the organization, although they get more from the sales of publications. You will probably save the $135 in the discounts on publications and meetings - if not, then at least a significant portion of the $135.

    There are 3 levels of participation:
    1) Membership only
    2) Committee Membership
    3) Attendance at NFPA meetings (currently there are 2 per year - May and Nov. In 2005 there will be just one meeting per year.)

    To vote on a standard or recommended practice you must be a member and attend the meeting. Keep in mind NFPA does not write the standards, the Committees do.

    I have been a member of NFPA for 28 years and I serve on two technical committees. It’s a good organization. I do not agree with everything NFPA publishes, but that’s life.

    I hope this helps.

  16. #16
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default Not a cure

    Gonzo,while ordinarily you and I are on the same page,I have an issue with your post."how many more Brad goldens were it not for 1403?".1403 was "the standard"PRIOR to the tragic death of Firefighter Golden.It did NOT save him nor has it protected countless others who have suffered injury/near misses from it's non use.So an NFPA standard is only of use to us WHEN IT'S FOLLOWED.To further this discussion,where I'm headed with this is that Depts. who follow NFPA would PROBABLY do things in a safe correct manner REGARDLESS if NFPA existed or no.The Dodos won't do it right,regulations or no.So the NFPA is only benefical if you follow the intent of the standards guidance.One thing I've found out in my career and that is:Morons are training/standards resistant.They are convinced that they are exempt from any and all of the above.And Grampa was right:We're surrounded by 'em.T.C.

  17. #17
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Tim...

    I see your point. Unfortunately, it took Brad's death to make a lot of fire department's aware that 1403 even existed!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  18. #18
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    And the SADDEST part of it is the Dept. that should have learned the MOST from the tragedy didn't learn a damn thing except for what a LODD investigation looks like.Where is the "mayor"of BAIRDSVILLE? Did he finally serve his time or are he and his moron lawyer down to the coke and spoon cookin' up another appeal.What a travesty!Thirty years of making big rocks into small rocks would have been a much more fitting sentence.Or maybe a trip to the top of the stairs.I'm happy to see there is a movement afoot who have FINALLY come to the conclusion that sacrificing a hundred or so brothers and sisters every year is UNACCEPTABLE odds.Perhaps there is YET light at the end of the tunnel.I've love to see it before I retire,it would make all the training and time commitments I've put in over the years meaningful.The lessons of Pittsburgh played out in one of our MA towns the other night in a lightning strike to a church with subsequent fire.And because of others who gave and contributed;everybody went home safe.Countless lives have been saved through the efforts of those who frequent and learn thru these forums but we cannot let up;there is still much work to do.You going to NE chief's Springfield?We'll be there Fri/Sat.T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 05-18-2004 at 10:33 AM.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber Firefighter430's Avatar
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    As stated before the NFPA has no power. The NFPA police will not come and pick you up when you don't wear a coat with their sticker on it but if you are smart you will have one on. That is if your county or whatever has it in the Rules&Regs that you will follow NFPA and something happens. The first thing they will ask is why you didn't follow orders. Face it folks NFPA is great for what it is. A set of standards to start with and build from. If not for NFPA the landscape of the fire service would look like an unkept weed patch with a few roses here and there. No its not the everywhere in the world bible of the fire service but it's a good start.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum."

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    (Lat., "Don't let the *~#%&S grind you down.")

  20. #20
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by MikeWard
    Don’t like the process?

    Don't whine.

    Get involved. Join NFPA (why yes, it costs $135/year), get into a special interest section and make a difference.
    Actually, membership is NOT required to serve on a committee. Committee members do, however, have to pay their own expenses or receive a letter from their employer indicating that the employer will pay the expenses.

    Most committees are LOOKING for more firefighters to serve. I am a member of the committee that handles 1403, 1404, etc. The chairman is a firefighter. There are 8 or 9 current or former firefighters. Any committee, regardless of topic, cannot be more than 30% from one "interest group."

    If you want to serve on a committee, APPLY.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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