Metropolitan Fire Chiefs from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom participated in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Mass. NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley welcomed the chiefs and provided an overview of the association’s Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem, reinforcing the critical role urban fire chiefs play in ensuring safe communities.

Special guests at the Forum included the President of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) Chief Ken Block. Also at the Forum were National Fire Chiefs Council of the United Kingdom (NFCC) Chairman CFO Roy Wilsher, CEO and Executive Director of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Chief Mark Light, United Kingdom Crown Premises Fire Safety Chief Inspector CFO Peter Holland; and Administrator of the United States Fire Administration (USFA) Chief Keith Bryant.

UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers

The group adopted five important documents as official UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers:

  • Safety Investigation Reports: Addressing Line of Duty Deaths and Injuries Post Incident (AKA After Action Reports).
  • Telling the Story: Fire Department Operational Performance Measures.
  • Community Risk Assessment/Threat Assessment Checklist.
  • Smart Cities.
  • Active Shooter/Mass Casualty Terrorist Events.

Forum presentations

  • Update on Fire Dynamics
    Findings on Basement Fires, Fire Attack, Fire Exposure/ Decontamination and Training Fires by Dr. Daniel Madrzykowski, PE, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute.
  • Hostile Threat Assessment/Complex Coordinated Attacks and Fire Department Response Capability, Performance and System Resilience
    Presented by Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, Assistant to the General President and Head of Research at the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).
  • NFPA 3000, Active Shooter Hostile Events Responder Program (ASHER) and Counting Responses
    Presented by Orange County (Fla.) Chief Otto Drozd, III.

Smart Cities, School Safety and EFFECT

  • Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby
    Presented on his department’s decontamination policy.
  • NFPA staff members Robert Solomon, PE
    Presented on Smart Cities.
  • Birgitte Messerschmidt, PE
    Presented on the External Façade Fire Evaluation and Comparison Tool (EFFECT).
  • Meghan Housewright and Amanda Kimball, PE
    Jointly discussed a Fire Protection Research Foundation study addressing the Economic Impact of Fire.
  • IAFC CEO Mark Light and Robert Solomon
    Jointly presented on Maintaining School Safety during ASHER events.

Maintaining Building and Fire Safety

Today it is more important than ever for chiefs to understand and embrace the latest research”

Following their presentation, the chiefs endorsed an IAFC position paper titled Maintaining Building and Fire Safety During Active Assailant and other Terrorist Events.

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 think differently today, as the first responder landscape has dramatically changed over the past decade. Today it is more important than ever for chiefs to understand and embrace the latest research, and have access to quality and timely data,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders and coordinator of 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.”

Core group of UFF

The following officers of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) Executive Board make up the core group of the UFF:

  • Chief Otto Drozd – Orange County Fire Rescue Department, Orlando, Fla., President
  • Chief Mike Duyck – Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Tigard, Ore., Vice President
  • Chief John Lane – Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service, Winnipeg, Man., Canada, Secretary
  • Chief Don Lombardi – West Metro Fire Protection District, Lakewood, Colo., Treasurer
  • Chief (Ret.) William “Shorty” Bryson – Miami and Miami-Dade (Fla.) Fire Rescue, Senior Board Member

Metro Chiefs

The Chiefs/Metro Board Members listed above were joined by a select group of at-large Metro Chiefs. The participating at-large chiefs were:

  • Chief Ken Block – Edmonton Fire & Rescue services, Edmonton, Alb., Canada.
  • Chief Kristin Chilton – Lexington Fire Department, Lexington, Ky.
  • Chief David Downey – Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami, Fla.
  • Chief Joanne Hayes-White – San Francisco Fire Department, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Chief Kara Kalkbrenner – Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Chief Daryl Osby – Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Chief Samuel Pena – Houston Fire Department, Houston, Tex.
  • Commissioner Jose Santiago – Chicago Fire Department, Chicago, Ill.
  • Commissioner Adam Thiel – Philadelphia, Pa.

Urban Fire Forum Mission

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.

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