Amanda Kimball, an eight-year veteran of the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Research Foundation), was named Executive Director of the independent, non-profit research affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association. She replaces Casey Grant who is retiring in December after 16 years with NFPA, followed by 15 years directing Research Foundation efforts that support the NFPA mission of eliminating loss from fire, electrical and related hazards. Kimball is well-known in research circles given her role as research director since 2016, and the five years she spent prior to that overseeing Research Foundation projects ranging from literature reviews to large experimental testing endeavors involving suppression, fire alarm, and building life safety. fire protection systems As the Executive Director, Kimball will now provide leadership on research initiatives that pertain to fire protection, emergency response, and virtually everything that challenges safety in the built environment. In addition to managing a half dozen staff members, Kimball will work with the Research Foundation’s board of trustees and collaborate with project sponsors, project contractors, and advisory panel members who provide peer oversight and guidance. Kimball holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and is a registered professional fire protection engineer in the state of Massachusetts. Prior to her arrival at the Research Foundation in 2011, she worked for seven years in a consultant capacity for Arup providing insights on fire protection engineering, building code life safety, the design of fire protection systems, and the egress modeling of buildings and subway stations. building and life safety Research Foundation has facilitated major domestic and international research programs that address industry challenges “Amanda Kimball is well-suited to lead the Research Foundation into the future,” NFPA President and Research Foundation Chairman of the Board Jim Pauley said. “Her ability to collaborate with different entities and generate research that addresses safety gaps, informs audiences, and tackles emerging issues has been consistently demonstrated over the years. The board of directors is confident that she will build on the Research Foundation’s solid legacy by proactively addressing issues that threaten building and life safety.” “It is an honor to be the new executive director of the Research Foundation,” Kimball said. “So often we hear incoming leaders state that they have big shoes to fill. I know exactly why they say as much, given Casey Grant’s accomplishments, his far-reaching influence, and the undisputable impact that he has had on reducing risk in our world,” Kimball said. firefighter protective clothing “I applaud Casey’s extensive contributions and thank him for the incredible mentorship that he has offered our team members along the way” The Research Foundation was established in 1982 in response to a growing need for research that better informed NFPA’s expanding body of codes and standards. Since then, the Research Foundation has facilitated major domestic and international research programs that address industry challenges in detection and signaling, hazardous materials, electrical safety, fire suppression, storage of commodities, firefighter protective clothing, equipment, public education, and public policy.
The Fire Protection Research Foundation (Research Foundation), the research affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), has received nearly $200,000 in Fire Prevention and Safety Grant money from FEMA to study the Economic and Emotional Impact of an Active Shooter/Hostile Event. The Research Foundation will oversee the two-year project working closely with NFPA and, in particular, the technical committee for NFPA 3000, Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program. NFPA 3000 is the world’s first standard to help communities holistically plan for, respond to, and recover from mass casualty events. Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Program Emergency responders, directly involved with active shooter/hostile event tragedies, can suffer life-long impact Emergency responders, who are directly involved with horrific active shooter/hostile event tragedies can suffer life-long impact. This toll is felt acutely by the individual sufferer, but it is also affects the 29,819 fire departments in the U.S; 18,000 law enforcement agencies (according to the latest information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics); and 51,808 local government units (per data from the 2012 Census of Governments), most of which bear the costs associated with expanded mental health resources, staff turnovers, early retirements, and staff reassignments. Additionally, victims and community members experience ongoing trauma, and yet, there is little information available on the cost of these impacts to inform resource allocation and public policy. The research goal is to establish a sustainable, quantified approach to measure the impact of active shooter and hostile events by: Establishing valid economic measures for the fire service and others; Quantifying the short-and-long-term emotional impact on emergency responders; Justifying resources needed for preparedness, training, equipment, and other critical needs; Supporting the unified approach outlined in NFPA 3000 Improving mental health of emergency responders The impetus behind the project dates back to May 2018, when the Research Foundation received a request from Chief Otto Drozd of Orange County, Florida asking for research that looks at how a first responder’s psyche and physical well-being are affected, and departmental budgets are impacted by active shooter and hostile events. Drozd’s request stemmed from what he witnessed from his own department’s experiences after the Pulse Night Club shooting incident in Orlando. Next, the Metro Chiefs, a group of fire chiefs from cities or jurisdictions with a minimum of 350 fully paid career firefighters, discussed the topic at the Urban Fire Forum in September 2018 and generated a position paper that touched on the impact to the fire service. NFPA 3000 Technical Committee The Research Foundation convened a sub-group of the full NFPA 3000 Technical Committee in November 2018 The Research Foundation then convened a sub-group of the full NFPA 3000 Technical Committee in November 2018 to ask attendees what they considered to be a research priority related to active shooter and hostile events. Representatives from the fire service (International Association of Fire Fighters, Metro Chiefs, NFPA, Orange County Fire/Response Department); emergency medical services (American Ambulance Association), and law enforcement (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, Department of Justice, Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Police Foundation) supported the proposed economic and emotional impact research effort and the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) proposal was submitted, on their behalf. Tackling hostile events/active shooter incidents The deliverables from this project will be used to quantify the toll on public safety departments, including the long-term emotional impact on personnel. Highlighting these costs can help justify the necessary resources to plan and train for all phases of active shooter and hostile event incidents, including the highly-complex recovery phase. The project will: Identify the relevant impacts on public safety departments, as well as available data and methodologies to estimate their costs in dollars; Develop a framework to benchmark costs, and identify gaps in data; Use the framework to complete three case studies utilizing communities of different sizes and demographic compositions; Establish recommendations for planning, training, and recovery for active shooter and hostile event response that could help reduce or avoid costs; Disseminate methodology/framework, case studies, and recommendations to appropriate audiences. This research project will have a long-term, positive impact on improving first responder safety, health and wellness" First responders’ safety and health “This research project will have a significant long-term, positive impact on improving first responder safety, health and wellness, as well as civilian well-being, “Research Foundation Executive Director Casey Grant said. He adds, “With a rigorous estimation of costs, public safety leaders will be better equipped to advocate for the resources needed to implement best practices for planning, training, and event recovery. Currently, the cost of these efforts is being undervalued because we lack quantification or informed motivation to invest in improved practices.” The research project will begin in Fall 2019 and the final report and other deliverables are expected to be completed by September 2021.
Fire chiefs endorse position papers on hot work safety, the economic impact of firefighter injuries, suicide prevention, the National Firefighter Registry, data analyst/chief information officer, and the Centre for Homeland Defence and Security Fire chiefs from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) last week at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts. NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley welcomed the chiefs and provided an overview of the association’s mission, reinforcing the critical role urban fire service leaders play in reaching the Association’s goals and initiatives. Special guests at the Forum included Chief G. Keith Bryant, Administrator of the United States Fire Administration (USFA); Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) President, and Chief of the Edmonton, Alberta Fire Department Ken Block; United Kingdom Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety CFO Peter Holland; Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council of the United Kingdom (NFCC), CFO Roy Wilsher; and, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) acting Executive Director Chief Rob Brown. Six papers The group endorsed six important documents as official UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers: Hot Work Safety The Economic Impact of Fire Fighter Injuries Suicide Prevention Support for the National Firefighter Registry Data Analyst/Chief Information Officer (NFPA Standard) Support for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Beyond the immediate hazards at the incident scenes, these exposures can cause physical and mental health concerns" “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. Beyond the immediate hazards encountered at the incident scenes, these exposures can cause physical and mental health concerns that can surface long after the actual incidents. To adequately manage these situations fire chiefs must understand, track and document risk exposures and be prepared to identify and address issues in the early stages,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders and coordinator of the event. “The position papers endorsed by the Urban Fire Forum Chiefs provide the information and resources needed to effectively address the ever-changing challenges facing today’s fire service.” UFF Core Group The above listed position papers and supporting documentation are available on the Urban Fire Forum website. Sanders points to the particular timeliness of the Post Traumatic Stress and Suicide Prevention presentations, as well as other important topics discussed, such as the Fire Fighter Cancer Registry, the NFORS Exposure App, Staffing Safety, the latest research reports from FM Global and UL Fire Service Research Institute, and how to effectively use Social Media. The following officers of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) Executive Board make up the core group of the UFF: Chief Mike Duyck - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Tigard, Oregon, President Chief John Lane - Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Vice President Chief Don Lombardi - West Metro Fire Protection District, Lakewood, Colorado, Secretary Chief Robert Rocha - Corpus Christi Fire Department, Corpus Christi, Texas, Treasurer Chief (Ret.) William “Shorty” Bryson - Miami and Miami-Dade (Florida) Fire Rescue, Senior Board Member Participating chiefs The officers and Senior Board Member of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) Executive Board make up the core group of the UFF. These chiefs are joined by a select group of at-large Metro Chiefs. This year’s participating chiefs were: Chief Ken Block - Edmonton Fire & Rescue services, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Chief Rob Brown - Interim Executive Director, International Association of Fire Chiefs Chief Keith Bryant - Administrator, United States Fire Administration Chief John Butler - Fairfax County Fire Rescue, Fairfax, Virginia Chief Mary Cameli - Mesa Fire Department, Mesa, Arizona Commissioner Joe Finn - Boston Fire Department, Boston, Massachusetts Commissioner Richard Ford - Chicago Fire Department, Chicago, Ill. Chief Reginald Freeman - Hartford Fire Department, Hartford, Connecticut Chief Peter Holland - Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety, London, England Chief Kara Kalkbrenner - Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, Arizona Chief Ernest Malone - Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis, Indiana Chief Daryl Osby - Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles, California Director Gina Sweat - Memphis Fire Department, Memphis, Tennessee Chief Roy Wilsher - Chair, National Fire Chiefs Council, Hertfordshire, England Lauren Depew - Social Media Manager, NFPA Casey Grant - Executive Director, Fire Protection Research Foundation, NFPA Kenny Fent, PhD - Head, National Fire Fighter Registry, NIOSH Meghan Housewright - Director, Fire and Life Safety Institute, NFPA Heather Issvoran - Director, Strategic Communications, Center for Homeland Defense & Security Daniel Madrzykowski, PhD - Senior Research Engineer, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Birgitte Messerschmidt - Director, Applied Research, NFPA Lori Moore-Merrell, DrPh, MPH - President and CEO, International Public Safety Data Institute Laura Moreno - Senior Engineer, NFPA Abby Morris, MD - Medical Director, IAFF Behavioral Health Center Erin Oehler, JD - Associate Project Director, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention David O’Keeffe - Senior Consultant, Center for Homeland Defense and Security Jim Pauley - President and CEO, NFPA Michael Spaziani - Manager, Fire Service Programs, FM Global Urban Fire Forum 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 deliverables and related information with fire officers from all over the world. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully-paid career firefighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Russ Sanders.