NFSA Staff Visits NFPA Headquarters

On July 30, members of the NFSA Field Operations staff began a 2-day meeting with staff members from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFSA staff from around the country attended, and included Tim Butler, Tom Brace, and Joel Hewitt. The meeting took place at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, MA. The 2-day session gave us a chance to better understand the NFPA code development process, discuss public education efforts, and hear firsthand from NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley. Most importantly, the combined summit gave us a great opportunity to build closer relationships with our respective field staff from NFPA.
NFPA has adopted a comprehensive approach to protecting people from fire, describing what they call a “Life Safety Ecosystem” of many parts all working together for success; any missing or deficient part means the overall goal suffers.

The 8 pieces of the ecosystem NFPA has identified as critical to successful life safety protection are:
1. Government Responsibility

2. Development and Use of Current Codes

3. Referenced Standards

4. Investment in Safety

5. Skilled Workforce

6. Code Compliance

7. Preparedness and Emergency Response

8. Informed Public
Among the surprising things we learned was that – although NFPA and NFSA have both been in existence for more than 100 years – NFPA has a vastly larger staff and a bigger budget. However, NFSA has a more robust network of Field Operations staff dispersed throughout the United States. Both associations are working hard to protect lives and property, and NFPA public education efforts and code development have emphasized fire sprinklers initiatives.

The second day of our joint meetings involved a “Home Fire Sprinkler Summit.” NFSA and NFPA staff heard presentation from the Phoenix Society and The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, then discussed strategies for – and the associated challenges of – increasing the use of sprinklers in one- and two-family residences and in townhomes.

The meetings were a great opportunity to work together with NPFA partners and to know that much of what we do at NFSA is reflected in the work and efforts of the NFPA Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem.

L to R: Gary West, NFSA Director of Field Operations; Joel Hewitt, NFSA Minneapolis Local Coordinator; Tim Butler, NFSA North Central Regional Manager; Tom Brace, NFSA MN State Coordinator; Shane Ray, NFSA President. Outside the headquarters of the National Fire Protection Association.