Fire chiefs from the United States, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom participated in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) last week at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts. NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley welcomed the chiefs and provided an overview of the association’s strategic plans, reinforcing the critical role urban fire service leaders play in reaching those goals and initiatives.
Special guests at the Forum included Germany’s Technisches Hilswerk Federal Agency for Technical Relief President and CFO Albrecht Broemme; United Kingdom Fire & Rescue Advisor CFO Peter Holland; Chief Fire Officers Association of the UK (CFOA) President CFO Dave Etheridge; and International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) CEO and Executive Director Chief Mark Light.
The group endorsed three important documents as official UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers:
- Civil Unrest White Paper and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
- Behavioral Health Programs and Policies
- Fire Service Application for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
“Today’s firefighters respond to a broad range of emergencies and catastrophic events that have become commonplace in the United States and throughout the world. To adequately handle these crises, fire chiefs must understand and embrace the latest research, and have access to quality and timely data,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders, who coordinated the event. “The position papers endorsed by the Forum provide the information and resources needed to effectively address the challenges facing today’s fire service.”
Sanders points to the timeliness of the Civil Unrest White Paper and SOP in particular, which can be used as a comprehensive resource for responding to incidents like the civil unrest that has occurred in cities across the U.S. over the past several months.
The officers of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) Executive Board make up the core group of the UFF. These chiefs are joined by a select group of at-large Metro Chiefs.
This year’s participating chiefs and guests were:
- Chief Ken Block – Edmonton Fire & Rescue services, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Chief Keith Bryant – Oklahoma City Fire Department, Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Chief Otto Drozd – Orange County Fire Rescue Department, Orlando, Fla.
- Chief Michael DuRee – City of Long Beach Fire Department, Long Beach, Calif.
- Chief (Ret.) Luther L. Fincher – Charlotte Fire Department, Charlotte, N.C.
- Commissioner Joe Finn – Boston Fire Department, Boston, Mass.
- Chief Jon Hannan – Charlotte Fire Department, Charlotte, N.C.
- Chief Charles Hood – San Antonio Fire Department, San Antonio, Tex.
- Chief Kara Kalkbrenner – Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Chief Maurice Kemp – Miami Fire Rescue, Miami, Fla.
- Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr – Austin Fire Department, Austin, Tex.
- Chief Daryl Osby – Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles, Calif.
Event presentations were made by NFPA staff members, UFF Chiefs and others, as follows:
- Casey Grant – Fire Protection Research Foundation, NFPA
- Hylton Hanes – Fire Analysis & Research, NFPA
- Dr. Christina Holcroft – Fire Analysis & Research, NFPA
- Gary Keith – Engineering Standards, FM Global
- Daniel Madrzykowski, P.E. – UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute
- Tony McGuirk – Jetpack
- Pat Morrison – International Association of Fire Fighters
- Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell – International Association of Fire Fighters
- Jim Pauley – President, NFPA
- David Swanson – FAA Eastern Region Flight Standards
The Urban Fire Forum brings together fire chiefs who are responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world. The program objectives are to provide the chiefs an opportunity to learn from their peers and expert speakers, and for NFPA to stay abreast of current trends and needs in the fire service. As part of the overall mission of the UFF, chief officers share UFF position papers and associated information with fire officers from all over the world.
The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career firefighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Russ Sanders