The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has announced a short-term plan to self-fund keeping the National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System servers up and running so that the fire and emergency service community doesn’t lose access to this life-saving resource when government funds expire on Friday. The move, supported by funding from the IAFC; its Safety, Health and Survival Section; and its EMS Section, will allow the program to remain operational through the end of October.
“We’ve been very pleased that a number of private funders have come forward to express interest in preserving this program,” said Mark Light, IAFC CEO and executive director. “We’ve been actively exploring alternatives to grant funding for many years with little opportunity to move the concept forward, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see folks interested in stepping up now.”
While no firm funding commitments have been made at this time and few have the resources to fund the program in its entirety, the IAFC is currently working with a number of stakeholders and interested parties to develop some long-term funding options. Chief Hank Clemmensen, IAFC president and chairman of the board, announced his intention to develop a task force to assist in the effort.
While Light hopes to see the process move quickly, he emphasized the need to also move thoughtfully. “This is not unlike responding to an incident scene; we need to get beyond the emotions and the chaotic environment and focus on a quick and successful resolution,” continued Light. “We need to be sure we’re not grasping at straws; we need to be sure we’re making sound decisions that will sustain the integrity–not just the longevity–of the program.”
The IAFC funding will mitigate some of the urgency, so any future funding options can be thoroughly considered.
The program website, FireFighterNearMiss.com, may experience sporadic outages on Friday for routine maintenance.