NFPA hosts Urban Fire Forum

Twenty-one fire chiefs from around the world participated in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum in Quincy, Massachusetts, from October 21-24. Also in attendance was Glenn Gaines, Acting Administrator of the United States Fire Administration who was formerly the chief of Fairfax County (Va.) Fire Department.

The forum, which opened with a keynote address from NFPA President Jim Shannon, focused on a wide range of topics including a half-day session on firefighter health, safety and wellness; case studies on terrorism, high-rise risks and fire prevention strategies, risk and performance measurements, GIS applications, environmental issues, and much more. The forum is sponsored each year by NFPA.
“Today’s fire chiefs lead sophisticated organizations that provide fire, rescue, EMS, hazardous materials and environmental services, as well as a wide array of public education, code enforcement and community health programs,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders who coordinates the event. “The Urban Fire Forum brings together the chiefs who are responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world – the objective of the program is straightforward:  to provide the chiefs an opportunity to learn from their peers and for NFPA to stay abreast of current trends and needs in the of fire service.”
This year’s participants were:
  • Director Alvin Benson, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Chief Ken Block, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Chief G. Keith Bryant, Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, New York, N.Y.
  • Chief John Caufield, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Chief Kelvin Cochran, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Chief Stephen Dean, Mobile, Ala.
  • Chief Otto Drozd, El Paso, Tex.
  • Chief Larry Few, Fulton County, Ga.
  • Chief Luther Fincher, Jr, (Retired), Charlotte, N.C.
  • Chief Greg Frederick, Louisville, Ky.
  • Chief Bob Hendricks, Lexington, Ky.
  • CFO Peter Holland, Lancashire, United Kingdom
  • Chief Alex Jackson, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, Austin, Tex.
  • Chief Bob Khan, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Chief Millage Peaks, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Chief Ned Pettus, Jr, Columbus, Ohio
  • Chief Keith Richter, Orange County, Calif.
  • Chief Bill Stewart, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The facilitators for this year’s forum were Russ Sanders, Metro Chiefs executive secretary and Ken Willette, NFPA’s director of Public Fire Protection.

The core group of the Urban Fire Forum is the Metro Chiefs Executive Board. In addition, 15 additional chiefs are invited each year on a rotating basis.

The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Section 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. The Metro is a Section of both the NFPA and the IAFC and its members are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 400 fully paid career firefighters.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at

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