How NFPA 1710 And 1720 Affect Fire Service EMS

At the beginning of the Civil War, the average time a wounded soldier lay on a battlefield was three days after the battle. Just in time for the battle of Antietam, the bloodiest battle of the war, the Army of the Potomac, under its medical director...


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It is estimated that it will take years to implement many of these standards. Opposition to the standards is found mainly in municipal government groups and associations like the International City/County Manage-ment Association (ICMA), which see increased costs because of the standards.

The ICMA spoke at the conference in Anaheim and urged rejection of NFPA 1710 in its entirety, citing six different reasons. The ICMA, among other organizations representing government bodies, is still looking to defeat the 1710 standard this month, when the final determination is made by the NFPA Standards Council.

Sources close to the issue say lawsuits can be expected if the NFPA Standards Council adopts the 1710 standard. Just like the Civil War, which was mainly fought on ideology, future fire service battles will center on the NFPA 1710 standard and its ideology. Hopefully, the patient will be the winner.


Gary Ludwig, MS, EMT-P, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is the chief paramedic for the St. Louis Fire Department and is the vice chairman of the EMS Executive Board for the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He has lectured nationally and internationally on fire-based EMS topics and operates The Ludwig Group, a consulting firm specializing in EMS and fire issues. He can be reached at 314-752-1240 or via www.garyludwig.com.