NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) has been in existence since 1896, as an agency to handle issues concerning fire safety and protection. The agency acts as a data collection reserve for various fire-related issues. In addition, NFPA provides learning materials, training services, and analytical support. NFPA is usually guided by standards in its domestic, as well as international operations. NFPA has developed a multitude of standards meant to enhance performance in fire fighting, as well as offering safety to fire fighter while in training and in fire operations. This study will discuss some of the NFPA standards, their aims, as well as weaknesses in their implementation.
NFPA standards are perceived as common practices, or principles of care when focusing on legal applications. NFPA standards are used in defining what is acceptable in handling fire, which include fire service equipment, procedures, as well as professional qualifications (Dodson, 2007). Some of the standards that NFPA utilizes were formulated back in 1904 when science was used to enhance fire safety.
NFPA 1401 expounds on Recommended Practice for Fire Service Training Reports and Records, where recommended practices offers a systematic approach towards getting relevant information about training records, in addition to managing the training utility of the fire service firm (NFPA 1401, 2012). Computerization of records has revolutionized this standard for easier record keeping and retrieval. Fire chiefs are utilizing this standard in directing the training functions, which include scheduling, reports, legal features, and evaluation of recording system. This has ensured that training are carried out according to the drafted schedules. However, computerization of records in this standard is yet to enhance confidentiality in storing personal information.
NFPA 1403 covers on Standards on Live Fire Training Evolutions, which offers a process for carrying out live fire training evolutions to minimize health and safety hazards (Live Fire Training, 2012). This standard summarizes the procedures for training all fire fighters to undertake both interior and exterior operations. Safety of the trainees is quite important, especially when the agency is fighting to gain popularity among its stakeholders. Strict adherence to this standard is vital for both the trainees and the environment of training. NFPA 1403 is limited by lack of realistic and applicable methods of training evolutions. Lack of enough trainers can inhibit the success of this standard
NFPA 1584 focuses on the Standard on the Rehabilitation Process for Members during Emergency Operations and Training Exercise where rehabilitation is emphasized whenever training workouts present health risk to members who are undertaking the training (Live Fire Training, 2012). The guidelines in this standard are essential in enhancing fire fighter performance, in addition to reduce injuries or casualties during live fire training. One of the weaknesses of this standard is that individuals undertaking live fire training should maintain a proper hydration, and should always take 500 ml of fluid before training. Trainees are likely to suffer heat rush, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke, among other ailments.
NFPA’s principal mission is to reduce problems associated with fire through education, research and training. NFPA standards are fundamental in minimizing the risk, as well as effects caused by fire during fire safety operations. NFPA 1401 is fundamental in keeping of records, as well as training operations schedules. NFPA 1403 facilitates procedures for live training in an attempt to minimize health and safety hazards. NFPA 1584 is vital in ensuring that participants in the training are handled effectively in case of injuries to enhance their performance. Despite numerous precautions underlined by the NFPA standards, accidents are likely to occur if individuals fail to honor their roles in the agency. If the standards were observed, case of fire and injuries among fire fighter would be reduced tremendously.
NFPA 1401: Recommended Practice for Fire Service Training Reports and Records (2012). National Fire Protection Association, Codes and Standards. Retrieved on 7 October 2014 from http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=1401
Dodson, D. W. (2007). Incident Safety Officer. S.l.: Delmar.
Live Fire Training: Principles and Practice (2012). Sudbury, Mass: Jones & Bartlett.