NFPA to Consolidate Emergency Responder Standards

The National Fire Protection Association Standards Council has approved a plan to consolidate and merge the information currently available in 114 NFPA Emergency Response and Responder Safety standards, guides, and recommended practices into 38 overarching standards.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards Council has approved a plan to consolidate and merge the information currently available in 114 NFPA Emergency Response and Responder Safety (ERRS) standards, guides, and recommended practices into 38 overarching standards.

The consolidation of the 114 ERRS standards into 38 overarching standards will provide emergency responders with easier access to safety information as well as improve the standards development process for more than 2,000 principle and alternative NFPA Technical Committee Members, NFPA said.

The NFPA ERRS standards consolidation project, which will span five years, will begin in January 2020. Each year, 20-25 standards will be combined in their proper cycle. According to NFPA, related standards will be merged into all-inclusive standards, with existing documents becoming separate chapters.

Responders and the Technical Committee members that volunteer to develop NFPA standards have expressed concern in recent years about conflicts within emergency services standards, a lack of knowledge about what different Technical Committees are working on, and the inability to have representation on some committees because of the sheer number of standards. Merging applicable information into one-third of the current standards will help emergency responders access critical information such as professional qualifications benchmarks and PPE manufacturing guidance, selection, care, and maintenance tips in order to do their jobs more effectively.

“Over the last century, NFPA has produced more than 100 codes and standards for the benefit of the responder community. As new threats and hazards presented, our Standards Committees came together to address different challenges and opportunities,” NFPA’s Vice President and Chief Engineer Chris Dubay said. “Now is the time to take that wealth of knowledge and combine it in a way that is relevant and accessible for responders today. This undertaking blends the critical information that responders need to know to keep safe; and delivers it in a format that is more complete and convenient.”

Technical Committee members have applauded the consolidation announcement, as they will not be able to gather in one location, which will allow for more committee interaction, fewer document conflicts, and more efficiency in travel.

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