Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, October 29th, CFSI held it’s semi-annual meeting of the National Advisory Committee. The CFSI National Advisory Committee is made up of over 40 trade groups, issue organizations, and professional associations including the leading fire service organizations in the country.
The meeting included several presentations from committee members and special guests. United States Fire Administrator Dave Paulison reviewed several USFA initiatives, most notably the Residential Fire Sprinkler Initiative. USFA recently released a report that outlines an agreement between the administration and national fire protection professionals advocating the use of fire suppression and sprinkler systems. The report, titled National Residential Fire Sprinkler Initiative, available at www.usfa.fema.gov, outlines specific national strategies that might reduce the number of deaths due to home fires each year. In particular the report draws attention to the aspect of localized fire suppression in high-risk areas of the home and residential sprinklers in buildings supported by the federal government.
The specific national strategies contained in USFA’s initiative included:
- Develop an aggressive strategy for advocating sprinklers in residential buildings influenced or supported by the federal government,
- Advocate localized sprinkler systems as a means of fire suppression in high risk areas (e.g., kitchens) for retrofit applications,
- Provide advocacy and informational support to stakeholders including state and local decision makers, and
- Ensure that the USFA continues to support research and development in residential fire sprinkler technology.
Staff members from the House Select Committee on Homeland Security and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee also gave presentations on various pieces of legislation currently before their committees.
Two resolutions were passed by the NAC. The Society of Fire Protection Engineers offered a resolution to support a minimum of $15 million in funding to advance fire research through the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s initiative titled, “Standards, Technology and Practices for: Cost-Effective Safety and Security of Buildings and Critical Infrastructure. The National Volunteer Fire Council offered a resolution instructing CFSI and members of the National Advisory Council to work to ensure that ODP administers the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program in the same fashion as USFA has in previous years, in accordance with the language of the FY 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.