IAFC Updates Their Support of NFPA 1710  
    By Chief William Goldfeder 

    Essentially, the current proposal for 1710 Standard (Career Firefighter Standard) is as follows:  
      

      • minimum engine and truck staffing of 4 (5 or 6 in jurisdictions w/ tactical & high hazard occupancies).
      • staffing for BLS response at two EMT-B's and staffing for ALS response at two EMT-P's.
      • Fire departments must be capable of establishing a RIT/FAST team at all incidents.
      • Fire department's must staff chiefs aide positions.
      • Response times of 4 minutes for the first arriving fire unit and/or the arrival of the full alarm assignment in 8 minutes.
      • Fire departments must be capable of establishing incident command, water supply, attacks line(s), backup line(s), search and rescue team(s), ventilation team(s) and RIT/FAST at all structural fires... these "benchmark" requirements are based upon a 2000 square foot detached single family dwelling. Urban FD's will have to increase the requirements according to the occupancies & hazards in their community.
      • minimum requirements for health and safety, incident management, training, communications and pre-incident planning.
      • Fire departments must inform the public about their response capabilities and the consequences of not meeting this specified deployment criteria.
    If this is the first opportunity you have had to learn about 1710, it seems like quite a change for some. It is! I have been a long time advocate regarding appropriate staffing and am glad to see 1710. Of course, most of  
    the "nay saying" is the cost of meeting the standard.  
     
    There are solutions, as they say "where there's a will, there's a way"... simply put, you CANNOT accomplish all the necessary tasks at a fire with 4-5 people so there needs to be a way and this is the way.  

    Remember... you need the staffing WHEN YOU ARRIVE, as a part of the first alarm dispatched assignment, not after you get there (with poor staffing) and determine you are going to lose-it's too late then. 

    If a community cannot afford this, (and you are told that's the bottom line) then automatic mutual aid is the solution. One way or the other, ya need to have the right amount of people to do "the job" and 1710 (and  
    1720-the Volunteer Standard) is a tool to help us get that.  

    Chief William Goldfeder is a Battalion Chief/Director of Planning and Development for the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in southwestern Ohio.  
     

     
 
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