September 3, 2008 -- The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has adopted two additional NFPA standards for first responders: NFPA 472, Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents; and NFPA 473, Standard for Competencies for EMS Personnel Responding to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents.
"As the dedicated men and women of the fire service and other emergency responders are faced with new challenges in dangerous situations, often involving unexpected hazards, it is vital that they are well prepared to deal with them," said James M. Shannon, NFPA's president. "DHS's recent adoptions support responders and improve their safety by establishing important guidelines."
These two standards set minimum requirements for personnel responding to incidents involving hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. NFPA 472 sets minimum competency levels for personnel responding to such incidents, and NFPA 473 covers the requirements for basic life support and advanced life support personnel in the pre-hospital setting.
All NFPA safety codes and standards are developed through a process accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The more than 250 technical committees responsible for developing and updating all 300 codes and standards include approximately 4,000 volunteers, representing enforcing authorities, installers and maintainers, labor, research and testing laboratories, insurers, special experts, consumers and other users.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate serves as the primary research and development arm of the Department, utilizing our nation's scientific and technological resources to provide federal, state, tribal and local officials with the technology and capabilities to protect the homeland.
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA's Web site at www.nfpa.org.