During Fire-Rescue International in 2002, members of the Fire Code Task Force undertook an effort to create a new IAFC section to focus on fire and life safety issues. The effort was successful, and the section was formalized in early 2003 under the name Fire & Life Safety Section. The first section chair was Chief Jackie Gibbs of the Marietta (GA) Fire Department; Chief Wayne Senter of Kitsap County (WA) Fire Department was the first vice chair.
In 2004 the section board petitioned the IAFC board to gain a seat on the IAFC board of directors. The first international director was Chief Jackie Gibbs.
The Fire and Life Safety Section of the IAFC aims to reduce injury, life loss and property loss by advancing the field of fire prevention and life safety with leadership and vision for fire safety professionals. The Fire and Life Safety Section vision is to promote innovation, education, and code development to create safe communities through the following priorities:
- To LEAD by being the preeminent global advocate for fire and life safety service, code development, and legislative advocacy and advancement.
- To EDUCATE current and future fire and life safety leaders by providing training, education, and professional development opportunities to meet the diverse needs of our membership and communities.
- To SERVE through active participation in providing relevant and timely services, products, and resources to our diverse membership, affiliates, and partners.
- Advocate for the installation of cost-effective building systems, processes and maintenance strategies in new and existing buildings that will reduce firefighter risk exposure during emergency operations.
- Create an environment where the public is aware of the fire problem and its role in fire prevention.
The Fire and Life Section comprises 17 board members representing Canada and the US Fire Service. We have members representing all areas of the country and all areas of the fire service, from public education, community risk reduction, code development, code enforcement, private industry, non-profit, and ranks from fire marshals to fire chiefs.
The FLSS launched a Community Risk Reduction Leadership conference in 2019. The Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Leadership Conference is geared specifically to the education and training needs of chief officers and fire service managers seeking to create, execute and evaluate measurably successful CRR platforms and programs. Participants benefit from the real-world wisdom of CRR trailblazers and innovative rising stars, all working together to pioneer the future of CRR in North America.