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NVFC in favour of qualification standards for emergency responders on roadways

NVFC Chairman Philip Stittleburg
The NVFC endorses proposed NFPA Standard on Professional Qualifications for Emergency Responders on Roadways

The creation of the proposed standard, and subsequent adoption of that standard by local fire and emergency services agencies, will lead to a reduction in injuries and deaths.

On May 17, National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg sent a letter to the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Codes and Standards Administration expressing support for a proposal to create a new NFPA Standard on Professional Qualifications for Emergency Responders on Roadways. NFPA is considering creating a standard to identify minimum job performance requirements necessary to perform temporary traffic control duties at emergency incidents and had specifically requested input from 14 national and international organizations, including the NVFC. The NVFC's Board voted at its recently held spring meeting in Alexandria, VA, to support the proposal to create the new standard.

"In thousands of communities across the country, volunteer emergency responders regularly direct traffic at the scene of roadside emergencies," said Stittleburg in his May 17 letter. "While training for this activity does exist, the NVFC believes that there is a need for a Professional Qualifications Standard that would give agencies additional guidance for training, as well as the ability to test and certify personnel."

"...reports show that hundreds of emergency responders are injured or killed every year in traffic accidents while responding to roadside emergency incidents," Stittleburg continued. "Creation of the proposed Standard, and subsequent adoption of that Standard by local fire and emergency services agencies, will lead to a reduction in injuries and deaths at roadside incidents by making emergency responders more effective in carrying out traffic control duties." NFPA is accepting comments online on the proposed standard until June 11, 2010. 

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