Fire Administration Funded; Clothing Test to Be Completed
THE EDITOR S OPINION
The fire service has raised its voice enough to make itself heard in Washington during the last few months and the result is two decisions that will benefit all fire fighters.
The United States Fire Administration has emerged from the budget battle leaner by about $2 million, but it remains alive. From the threat of elimination by the Office of Management and Budget, the USFA has emerged with an appropriation of $4.1 million. The board of visitors of the National Fire Academy recently voted to support the transfer of the USFA to the academy campus at Emmitsburg, and this move will translate into considerable savings in the Washington, D. C., office rental and the cost of administrative services, which will be borne by the NFA.
It will be a leaner USFA, but it will still have about $3.3 million in its budget for fire service programs. Carefully and selectively used, these funds can help the fire service design its future instead of stumbling into it.
Of vital interest to every fire fighter is the decision to complete the winter testing of the project FIRES turnout gear that was designed to provide greatly improved protection. After a little more than $1 million had been spent on developing the protective clothing, the USFA project was slated to end with an abbreviated test ending before winter.
FHowever, Louis O. Giuffrida, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, ordered the winter tests to be completed, and joseph Donovan, National Academy superintendent, reports that money will be available to determine how the new garments stand up under winter operating conditions. It makes sense to spend a few dollars to get the results after spending over a million on the preparations.