Fire Prevention & Protection

TIME TO CHANGE OR NOT?

Issue 2 and Volume 159.

This month, the question of what needs to be interoperable and interchangeable came rushing headlong. The buzzwords “interoperable” and “interchangeable” have been thrown around for a long time. Now we have a decision to make regarding the need for interchangeability. The backdrop for the story is the change proposed to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 1981, Standard on Open Circuit Breathing Apparatus for Fire and Emergency Services, which sets the design and performance guidelines for self-contained breathing apparatus. The manufacturers of SCBAs conform to these guidelines and build our equipment to meet the requirements and specifications identified in these standards. The courts use the NFPA standards to evaluate what is considered the minimum levels of performance or reasonable man rule when deciding civil and criminal cases. Fire service organizations almost exclusively buy NFPA-compliant equipment. This month, the NFPA 1981 technical review committee placed for public comment a proposal to…

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