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Fire staffing standards may be 'on again' soon.

In yet another installment of the "on again-off again" saga of national minimum fire staffing standards, the standard is "off again" but expected to be "on again" at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Convention, May 18-21, 1992 in New Orleans.

As reported last Monday in The Weekly, a revised staffing standard was initially approved by the NFPA committee charged with this work. The standard called for four firefighters to be on-site before interior structural firefighting operations can begin--a staffing mandate.

However, under NFPA procedures a two-thirds vote is required and any negative votes cast in a first round are circulated to committee members along with a written explanation. Whne this process was completed on the minimum staffing proposal, two affirmative votes were changed thereby losing the proposal its two-thirds majority necessary. Thus, while the proposal will not come forward as a committee action, it is expected that a minimum staffing proposal will be made on the floor at the NFPA Convention.

City officials should determine if their city holds NFPA membership and thus has a vote in this process. City Council should request an analysis by their staffs (fire, personnel, budget) of the potential cost, staffing and management implications for their community of the various proposals on minimum staffing hat may come forward at the NFPA convention including: (1) four people for each piece of apparatus (2) four people for each company and (4) four personnel on-site before commencing interior fire-fighting operations.

For further information on the possible minimum staffing alternatives which could be considered in order at the convention and therefore should be evaluated, contact Bruce Teele or Martin Henry of NFPA at (617) 770-3000.
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Title Annotation:fire department staffing standards recommended by the National Fire Protection Association
Author:Peterson, Doug
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Feb 24, 1992
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