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Ann Davison, CAE
Strategic Information Manager
703–537-4829
adavison@iafc.org

Call to Action: Comments on NFPA 1001 TIA

Feedback on Important Firefighter Medical Exam Issue is Due by Feb. 13

February 6, 2013

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) is asking all members to provide public comment in support of a temporary interim amendment (TIA) currently under consideration by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001 Technical Committee on Firefighter Training. The proposed TIA seeks to ensure that candidates participating in an NFPA 1001-compliant training program are physically capable of doing so through the completion of an NFPA 1582 medical exam.

Public comment is being accepted by the NFPA through February 13.

Background

The 2008 edition of NFPA 1001 included the requirement that individuals meet NFPA 1582 prior to participating in an NFPA 1001 training program. In 2012, the NFPA 1001 Technical Committee voted through appropriate process to remove that requirement and inserted new language.

The new edition was intended to create greater flexibility to AHJs in addressing disabilities at the local level but created the consequence of substantially altering the requirements for candidates, and it places a significant burden on certifying health-care practitioners. The language in the new edition is confusing in that it requires job-specific evaluations without actually requiring a medical exam ever be performed.

The TIA, submitted by the chair of the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section, seeks to return the 1001 standard to its 2008 language.

The leading cause of death among firefighters is cardiac-related events, accounting for nearly 50% of all fatalities annually. On November 9, 2008, a volunteer firefighter who hadn't received an NFPA 1582 physical before participating in an NFPA 1001 training program died while participating in training. In its recommendations, the NIOSH report describing the event specifically cited the importance of an NFPA 1582 medical exam to reduce the incidence of similar events.

Requested Action

IAFC members are strongly encouraged to submit public comment supporting the language proposed in the TIA. Comments may be submitted by email to tias_errata_fis@nfpa.org; please identify the TIA number (#1087) in the subject line and the body of the email. Comments may also be sent by mail to NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471.

The closing date to submit comments is February 13, 2013. If you have any questions concerning the content of the proposed TIA, please email Battalion Chief Matt Tobia.

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.

About the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section
The SHS was established to provide a specific component within the IAFC to concentrate on policies and issues relating to the health and safety of firefighters.