The International Code Council (ICC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) will work together to improve firefighter safety through building and fire prevention codes, cooperative work on joint grant applications, federal legislation and other partnership opportunities.
The agreement will enhance the relationship between to the two Councils and is the result of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed during the Code Council’s Annual Conference and Code Hearings in November 2009 in Baltimore.
“I am pleased that the NVFC and the ICC have been working closely to encourage fire service participation in all stages of the model codes development and on a variety of public safety issues of particular interest to the fire service,” said ICC CEO Richard P. Weiland.
The NVFC and Code Council have collaborated and submitted a Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention and Safety Grant application for a program called “Sounding the Alarm,” aimed at reducing rural community fire hazards and other potential dangers in residential homes. This program will create volunteer teams of firefighters and building officials who visit homes to replace outdated smoke alarms and conduct a home safety inspection focused on building, fire and property maintenance code requirements, and occupant education.
“The two organizations have been working together to advance legislation such as the Community Building Code Administration Grant Act,” says Heather Shafer, Executive Director of the NVCF. “We believe that signing the MOU will allow us to better coordinate federal lobbying efforts on other issues of mutual interest.”
U.S. Fire Administration statistics show that approximately 72 percent of the nation’s 1.1 million firefighters are volunteers.
NVFC is a non-profit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the information source regarding legislation, standards and regulatory issues. The NVFC also provides vital resources and information to the volunteer fire and emergency services.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States.