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The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) announces the 2021 Spanish edition of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, is now available on NFPA LiNK™.

It is the first foreign language publication introduced on the platform, which provides instant, digital access to NFPA codes and standards, supplementary content, and visual aids for fire, electrical, building, and life safety professionals and practitioners around the world.

Spanish-Speaking audiences

Originally developed in the U.S. at OSHA’s request, NFPA 70E helps companies and employees avoid workplace injuries and fatalities due to shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blast. With the addition of the 2021 Spanish edition of NFPA 70E to NFPA LiNK, Spanish-speaking audiences now have access to requirements for safe work practices that reduce a worker’s exposure to major electrical hazards in their primary language.

NFPA 70E is used throughout Latin America by governments and the private sector as part of their national health and safety regulatory framework. Adding the Spanish version of NFPA 70E represents the first of many more translated codes and related documents to be featured on NFPA LiNK, expanding its digital delivery of content for Spanish-speaking audiences. Additional foreign language publications in Spanish, as well as Arabic and other languages, are scheduled for release on the platform in 2022.

Fire safety mission

NFPA LiNK can be accessed via mobile devices, tablets, laptops, or another preferred device

Around the world, NFPA has become synonymous with fire prevention and safety. As NFPA codes and standards are increasingly used in Latin America and by numerous Spanish-speaking stakeholders, we are meeting the need for more Spanish-translated documents on NFPA LiNK and on all our digital platforms,” said Olga Caledonia, NFPA Director, International Development. “Ensuring professionals have the information they need at their fingertips in their language of choice is key to furthering our fire safety mission across the globe.”

NFPA LiNK can be accessed via mobile devices, tablets, laptops, or another preferred device. With internet connectivity workers can access all content and tools through the platform. Users without internet access on a jobsite can also store frequently used publications, bookmarks, and notes for use when offline, and allows users to access stored content through certain web browsers or by installing the NFPA LiNK web app.

Advancing safety worldwide

As NFPA LiNK subscriber, users get access to continuous updates, features, and functions. For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research, and resources, please visit the NFPA press room. The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. The association began its work to solve the fire problem in a young, industrialized nation in 1896 and has since become a global force known for advancing safety worldwide. 

NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 325 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. In celebration of its 125th Anniversary, NFPA is hosting a Conference Series and other initiatives that reflect the association’s steadfast commitment to advancing fire and life safety for the next 125 years and beyond. 

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Our Top 10 Articles In 2021 Highlight New Technologies And Challenges
Our Top 10 Articles In 2021 Highlight New Technologies And Challenges

New technologies for the fire service were a predominant topic at TheBigRedGuide.com in 2021, based on the most-visited articles at the site during the past year. Looking back at the top articles of the year -- as measured by those that received the most "clicks" -- provides a decent summary of emerging technologies in the fire service. The list of articles also highlights some of the biggest challenges in the fire service, including wildfires and emerging fire risks. Timely and important issues in the fire marketplace dominated TheBigRedGuide.com’s list of most clicked-on articles in 2021. Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles posted at thebigredguide.com in 2021 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with a brief excerpt. What Impact Has COVID-19 Had on the Fire Industry? Firefighters have coped admirably against a backdrop of expanded roles and considerable staff absences As a front-line, critical service, the fire service felt a considerable impact from COVID-19. Firefighters have coped admirably against a backdrop of expanded roles and considerable staff absences. Some brigades have seen absence levels of up to 40%, forcing them to re-train some staff from non-operational roles as emergency responders. It has meant a broader range of service offerings, with brigades offering wider community support, from vaccinations to vital support elements such as delivering food and medicine and driving ambulances. What Fire Technologies Will Have the Greatest Impact In 2021? Exciting developments in firefighting equipment, media, and Information Technology (IT), centered on improving safety and protecting people and the environment, will be highlighted in 2021. Increasing use of electric and hybrid technologies in cars and trucks will continue to challenge Fire and Rescue Services, as they seek safer ways to effectively control fires in these vehicles. The refinement of ultra-high pressure (UHP) firefighting equipment will interest municipal and aviation fire services, as it allows effective firefighting to occur from outside a burning structure, protecting firefighters while using significantly less water volume, extinguishing the fire but minimizing water and environmental damage. A Look at Emerging Technologies in The Fire Protection Industry The ability to innovate in the fire industry can quite literally be a matter of life and death. Smart Connected Things (SCoT) within fire protection systems offer more accurate, efficient inspections and testing, which on its own can save lives. The systems are now being used by both building owners and service providers to determine fire protection system conditions as well as helping to perform some critical testing functions remotely. Fire protection brands have made huge leaps forward in their quest to develop smoke detectors that meet with the UL 268 Safety Standards for 2020. “TruSense Technology” is designed to differentiate between fast and smoldering flames and common false alarms. Water mist suppression systems can fight fires using significantly less water than a traditional system. How Drone Technology Helps London Fire Brigade with Incident Command Drones act as a loudspeaker to give instructions or reassurance and shine a bright spotlight in dark conditions The drones are permitted to fly up to 400 ft above ground level or higher in an emergency and can fly as fast as 50 mph. They also can act as a loudspeaker to give instructions or reassurance and shine a bright spotlight in dark or low-light conditions. The Brigade has eight pilots trained and operates a 24/7 service. The team is working closely with its blue light partners, including the Metropolitan Police Service, several search and rescue teams, and a host of fire services surrounding the capital, as well as advising other upcoming drone teams around the United Kingdom. Charging Of E-Bikes And E-Scooters Represents Residential Fire Hazard The fire hazards of e-bikes and e-scooters stem from their use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can erupt into flames. Complicating the problem is the use of unauthorized or third-party batteries that may not be safe. E-bike conversion kits are available to convert standard bikes into e-bikes, but they include only the motors and control gears. Batteries must be sourced separately, often over the internet and by cost-conscious buyers, who may not consider safety issues. Cheaper batteries may be faulty. Fire Protection for Paper and Pulp Plants Production of paper increased by more than 450% in the last decades and the demand for paperboard in the world is expected to grow significantly, driven by e-commerce and big retailers increasing their presence in the online sales universe. This sustained growth in production capacity and paper consumption presents several fire risks to companies and exposes communities that develop around paper mills to the impact of disasters caused by these fire risks. Cloud-based and communication force firefighter teams to have access to high-performing wireless connectivity What Are Emerging Technologies in Wildfire Prevention and Protection? Internet connectivity is not an obvious emerging technology in the wildfire prevention and protection industry; however, today’s cloud-based databases, applications, and communication infrastructure force firefighter teams to have access to fault-tolerant and high-performing wireless connectivity options. Broadband Bonding is the technology that combines 2 or more off-the-shelf cellular sim cards to create fast and reliable Internet connectivity on the go. Teledyne’s Handheld Laser Detects Explosive Methane From 100 Feet Away For firefighters, the tool provides situational awareness, saves time, and ensures safety from a distance. Knowing the presence of methane gas enables a firefighter to deal with an emergency gas leak and to avoid a deadly explosion. The Gas Laser from Teledyne Gas and Flame Detection can shoot a laser beam through a window, a gap in a door, or another common venting point to provide an instant reading of the amount of methane in an area up to 100 feet away. Thermal imaging cameras allow to locate and remove casualties faster and significantly improve survivability How Does Thermal Imaging Serve the Needs of Firefighters? For firefighters on the frontline, thermal imaging cameras allow them to locate and remove casualties faster and thus, significantly improve their survivability. The knock-on effect of this also removes firefighters from hazardous areas quicker. Finally, being able to “see” in dark smoke-filled environments allows firefighters to see hazards that they might previously discover only once in physical contact with the hazard. Modern Firefighting Calls for Modern Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) According to research at Underwriter Laboratories (UL), modern homes contain larger quantities of petroleum-based products and plastics that burn faster and hotter versus traditional and more natural materials. The result is more rapid and hotter fire growth with exponential increases in heat generation, smoke production, and toxicity. When a call comes in, firefighters rely on their turnout gear (TOG) for protection, but serious burn injury can occur right through the TOG. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) conducted a study that concluded station wear contributes to overall thermal protection. However, depending upon the station wear’s fiber content and material fabrication, it may also contribute to possible burn injuries.

Connecting Multiple Agencies In The Cloud
Connecting Multiple Agencies In The Cloud

When public safety agencies, including police, fire, and ambulance, work together to meet the needs of a region, citizens are better protected, and a better quality of life for all is promoted. However, today’s public expectation demands agencies embrace digital transformation, for those partnerships to be effective and efficient and vitally, connected with the public they serve. This can involve the integration of operational systems, such as computer-aided dispatch (CAD) in a public safety answering point (PSAP) and those used by other organizations, or the implementation of one system across multiple agencies. Public safety systems under pressure Public safety systems are under a lot of pressure, and digital transformation provides the foundation to handle the scale, complexity, and unpredictability that comes with rapidly changing, multi-dimensional incidents and legislative demands. This is especially true for those regions that rely on multiple-agency partnerships. For example, remote areas where agencies such as mountain rescue will be required to work seamlessly with the air ambulance. This is where cloud-based systems come in. Scalability and resilience are especially important, when you look at the responsibilities that fall under the remit of emergency services organisations. Whether it is, for example, police or fire, response calls can range from small day-to-day incidents to massive events, such as natural disasters or crowd disorder. Cloud-based systems can address this range, intuitively aiding the responders no matter the bespoke nature of the call. Complex emergency service structures In the United Kingdom, while the government has sought to improve emergency services integration and collaboration, the situation is complicated due to the many different authorities that control emergency response and because few of their boundaries are coterminous. However, in major cities, such as London, jurisdiction is more focused, led by a single Fire Authority or Commissioner For example, in non-metropolitan areas, fire and rescue falls under the jurisdiction of combined fire authorities involving many different local councils and other authorities in the region. However, in major cities, such as London, jurisdiction is more focused, led by a single Fire Authority or Commissioner, with the local Mayor accountable for setting the annual budget. Then, there are the, often county-based, police forces and regional ambulance services, who fall into different hierarchal structures, all with different boundaries. All of this complexity creates barriers, which can develop into rigid siloes. This is the landscape that these organisations hope to improve by using cloud-based systems. Ensuring citizen data privacy Across all these structures run competing political priorities, as well as distinct legacy IT systems that must be surpassed to achieve seamless integration. Lastly, the services must ensure the public that there will be no unnecessary government personal intrusion through the technology. Citizen data privacy must be a leading consideration, especially in light of the recent increase in cyber-attacks directed at the public sector. For example, the WannaCry ransomware attack on the National Health Service in 2017. Cloud-based systems There are multiple advantages to moving emergency services systems, such as CAD, to the cloud – greater access, flexible connectivity, and communication through a government accredited secure platform. Moving to the Cloud enables more informed and timely decisions from emergency services personnel, more effective use of resources, and increased understanding and engagement, the overall impact of this is greater resiliency and safety for the emergency services, and the public they serve. Vitally, when the Cloud is used effectively and services are subsequently improved, public trust in emergency service institutions is reinforced. Benefits of the Cloud The benefits of the Cloud are most evident in public safety, when it comes to cross agency collaboration The benefits of the Cloud are most evident in public safety, when it comes to cross agency collaboration. Cloud platforms create a shared point of access to data that is currently split between multiple siloed organisations. This means that every agency, responding to an incident, will have the same information in real-time, greatly improving their coordination. This allows personnel to react to events on the ground, as they happen with no delays or confusion arising from misrelated communication. In a potentially chaotic emergency environment, the value of immediately sharing information in secure, trusted partner relationships cannot be overstated, when it comes to saving lives or ensuring staff safety. Attributes of an efficient public safety cloud platform There are several consistent considerations for public safety agencies looking to choose a cloud solution, as the foundation for the digital transformation process. The leading factor is collaboration and working together to form a checklist that can be used to identify an effective next-generation public safety solution. First, public safety agencies need a cohesive user experience for advanced communications and insight. This a basic element of any unified system. It ensures interoperability across all solutions and platforms, and unites capabilities beyond dispatch, and call-taking to include analytics, planning, and reporting features. The benefits of systems integrations When systems are integrated across public safety agencies, any organization can ensure effective communications for smarter, faster decision-making, which is essential to public safety work. Another leading consideration is that of public trust. When public safety professionals can harness operational data, they have more tools to make better-informed and more-timely decisions, allowing them to demonstrate increased public understanding and engagement. This results in more transparency and better evidence-based communication to demonstrate to the community that these services are acting for the public good. Return on Investment (ROI) An option here is to use a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, as these are often implemented on a subscription-basis Return on Investment (ROI) must also be factored into every decision. Public safety agencies have finite budgets and therefore, it is crucial to pick a cloud-based service that is cost effective. An option here is to use a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, as these are often implemented on a subscription-basis. Therefore, there is a predetermined cost and billing process which makes it much easier to track expenses and only pay for additional capacity when it’s needed. Lastly, any solution chosen must be easily adaptable and future-proof. The UK Government has oversight over emergency service policy legislation and there is always the potential for updates or amendments, for example the temporary changes brought in during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the selected platform must have the capacity to evolve in line with legislation through easily configurable workflows and customer business rules. It is vital that the cloud platform does not become just another legacy system that agencies must navigate when improving their services. A clear need for cloud transformation The benefits of cloud systems to public safety services are myriad. Ultimately, they improve the pace and quality of the emergency services’ response, which can in turn lead to the saving of citizens’ lives. A fundamental element is that they allow multiple agencies to focus on what they do best, unencumbered by managing the technology, responding to incidents together, with all services acting as a unified force in confronting any crisis. However, for the full benefits of cloud to be realized, certain attributes must be embraced when selecting a system, such as user experience, public trust, ROI, and adaptability. Once these attributes are secured, the improvements cloud-based systems can bring are limitless.

Women In Fire Working To Make The Fire Service Better For Everyone
Women In Fire Working To Make The Fire Service Better For Everyone

Women in Fire was established in the early 1980s. The active organization hosts a yearly conference and provides best-practice resources on topics such as fire station design and maternity policies. A mentoring program includes an application process for those wishing to be a mentor or a mentee, and a matchmaking program enables mentoring participants to align their career paths and choose someone whom they can relate to. The organization’s latest international conference in Spokane, Wash., in September, provided hands-on training for women firefighters in addition to sessions on topics such as nutrition, fire practice and leadership. Making fire service better About 300 people attended the conference, which emphasizes an inclusive atmosphere with men and women. The next conference will be in Orlando, Sept. 21-24, 2022. Women in Fire will also offer a leadership conference April 25 in Indianapolis at the FDIC show. It’s important to have resources and give voice to groups who would not otherwise have them" “It’s important to have resources and give voice to groups who would not otherwise have them,” says Amy Hanifan, President of Women in Fire. She was introduced to the organization nine years ago through a fellow class member at the National Fire Academy in Evansburg, Md., who was an organization board member. Considering the low numbers of women in the fire services, the group seeks to “Do what we can as an organization to make the fire service better,” adds Hanifan, who is Operations Chief at the McMinnville Fire Department in Oregon. Becoming volunteer firefighter Fire departments often reach out to Women in Fire on topics such as recruiting and retention. “We encourage organizations and help them make their marketing appeal to the applicants they want to attract,” says Hanifan, who became a volunteer firefighter right out of high school and then went on to get an associate degree as a paramedic. “Young people start considering careers at middle-school age, so it is helpful to sew the seeds early. Some communities will do fire camps or career days, including a little bit of hands-on practice. Some students just need confidence that they can perform the task.” In 2015, women made up about 3.7 percent of career U.S. firefighters, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The percentage of women in the fire service had nearly doubled in the previous 15 years since an earlier study. Grass-Roots efforts Women in Fire seek to provide professional resources while paying attention to grass-roots efforts Women held 12,850 career firefighting roles and 72,250 volunteer roles nationally, averaging 7.3 percent of the U.S. fire service overall, according to the U.S. Fire Department Profile 2015 report. “We recognize a need to update our numbers, and we need more information on how many women are in leadership positions and about people of color in the fire service,” says Hanifan. Women in Fire seek to provide professional resources while paying attention to grass-roots efforts and working at the grassroots level, says Hanifan. “Overall, there is still a lot of work to be done, although progress has been made. We still hear from people who are just learning about the organization, so we are being intentional about our reach.” Improve recruitment practices “We are open to working with organizations seeking to improve their recruitment practices, and we have had training at our conferences,” says Hanifan. “We are making sure we provide good resources and promoting the best equity and inclusion practices.” For example, Women in Fire offers resources on bullying and harassment. We are making sure we provide good resources and promoting the best equity and inclusion practices" Women firefighters face reproductive health dangers on the job, including toxic combustion, chemicals that may be absorbed faster by pregnant women, and toxins that are more dangerous to a fetus than to the mother. (Firefighting conditions can impact male reproductive health, too, with a study in Denmark reporting around 50% higher risk of male-factor infertility compared to general workers.) Intense thermal environment Other dangers include an intense thermal environment, loud noises, psychological and physical strain, and the weight of full equipment (45 to 75 lbs.) Women firefighters who become pregnant should discuss health issues with their doctors and let them know what they are exposed to on the job, notes Hanifan. There is a wide variation among pregnancy policies at fire departments, and 30% of women report their department has no pregnancy/maternity leave policies, according to the Center for Fire Rescue and EMS Health Research. What about the challenges for a woman working in the largely all-male environment of a fire station, including long and overnight hours? “Some organizations have separate bunk rooms, while some have more open sleeping quarters,” says Hanifan. Discussing health issues When people reach out, we channel them to a resource that could be helpful” “It depends on the culture of the organization, and some of it is regional/cultural. Some departments don’t have unisex bathrooms, or adequate facilities for everyone.” “Unfortunately, we hear from women who have had bad experiences, but it’s not always the case,” she adds. “I have been the only female on shift, and I have never felt unsafe. We as an organization speak to the impact of those situations and provide training that addresses the topic. When people reach out, we channel them to a resource that could be helpful.” Good career path Ill-fitting protective equipment is another challenge for women in the fire service, and Women in Fire is in the final stages of instituting a grant project with Florida State University to review the gear kit for firefighters. Much of the equipment is made for a certain build of firefighter, and it’s not one-size-fits-all. Rather than focus on the challenges of being a woman firefighter, Hanifan says she prefers to focus on the positive. “I keep my perspective on what I can do to make it better,” she says. “We need to keep showing drive and change to conversation to how can we ensure we have a good career path, education, a mentor and the resources we need. Everyone has to make hard choices.” Women in Fire seeks to be a part of that new conversation.

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