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NFPA 1710/1720 Standard

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  • NFPA 1710/1720 Standard

    What will happen to combination departments if this new standards are adopted, It is a sad day in the fire service when we cannot work together.

    It seems funny when neither side wants us?

    [This message has been edited by rwise (edited 03-04-2001).]

  • #2
    The language of 1710/1720 allows for the Authority Having Jurisdiction to choose which is the appropriate one for their combination department...I guess based on whether it's more a career department supplemented by on-call forces...or a on-call department supplemented by a career core.


    • #3
      Dalmation - What is your opinion of the 1710 and 1720 standards? Is this not a standard that would be best set by the locals? Really would like to hear your thoughts on this.


      • #4
        Can someone please elaborate on the 1710/1720 Standards.



        • #5
          1710 is a proposed standard for minimum organization & staffing for career departments.

          1720 is a proposed standard for minimum organization & staffing of volunteer departments.

          Combination departments can choose which they would like to adopt, if they choose to adopt one.

          This has been in the work for many years, with initial efforts at a single standard broke down over essentially "irreconiable differences" between the career and volunteer services.

          The following is what I wrote in another forum (http://www.firehouse.com/forums/Forum58/HTML/000195.html)

          "Eliminate "career" and "volunteer" because they don't matter. More pertinent is defining stations as fully-staffed, partially-staffed, or entirely on-call. Define standards of equipment and training for whether the department seeks to be merely a conflagaration-preventer, moderately interior, or aggressive interior operations. For a given community and it's population density, building construction & density, other hazards (structural-wildland interface), mitigation (mandatory sprinkler ordinances), and goals of the community (do you expect heroic life saving, or simply confining fire to building of origin) you can have a matrix of what is generally seen as the most efficient staffing/training/equiping model."

          Having such a matrix local fire chiefs can use to show local officials the levels of manning & equipment needed to safely achieve different goals would be helpful.


          • #6
            That makes too much sense Dalmation. The powers-that-be at NFPA and elsewhere would never allow anything with that much thought succeed.


            • #7
              I feel the standard benefical to the fire service and to the citizens. I disagree that any "matrix" as you have proposed would be of more benefit exept under a few isolated circumstances of density.

              The Standard is based off of a 2 story 2000sq ft. single family detached residence. I think we had this discusion before Dal90; I am curious does your city have mandatory or retro sprinkler ordinaces for all houses like this? The vast majority don not. Therefore that is why such considerations were deemed irrelevant by the tech. committee.

              Futhermore it was noted by them in many of committee's replys to such sugestions that having such goals as "seeks to be merely a conflagaration-preventer" or anything less than providing an agressive interior attack so as to effect a rescue would be taking a step back and irresponsible considering the technological advancements in equipment and gear over the past 50 years, allowing such interior attacks.

              Two cents from a fireman.


              • #8
                No, my town doesn't have a sprinkler ordinance. Such a requirement should be implemented on a state-wide basis in the northeastern states to be effective, otherwise it simply shift development to a neighboring community with marginally lower building costs.

                There are huge differences in population density, building quality/age/style, and even current codes (sprinklers) between say, Scottsdale, AZ (http://www.ci.scottsdale.az.us/dspm/Chapter8.pdf) and an old Northeastern U.S. city.

                To discount engineered solutions and differences in population density & building styles really raises a red flag that the standard is specifically aimed to hire more firefighters.

                Add residential sprinklers to that 2000 square foot house 1710 was based on, and your minimum safe staffing drops dramatically because the typical fire is either a non-event or is confined to the partitions.

                Why not have a standard that gives the community leaders the choice to make "People can pay for proactive fire suppression via sprinklers in the building cost, and a small tax for reactive fire suppression by a small fire department; or they pay less to build and have to pay more in taxes to support a larger fire department." then one that says if you have a career department, you must hire this amount of firefighters regardless of any hazard mitigation you do.

                It is irresponsible to continue to advocate for larger fire department staffing on the basis that advances in technology over the last 50 years make heroic rescues possible, when indeed advances in technology of sprinklers and fire alarms over the last 50 years exist that would substanially ELIMINATE THE NEED to make such rescues. Not all communities would be able to reach that level for many, many years and they will need to staff heavily. But many can, and to not at least offer them the trade-off of smaller Fire Department costs in exchange for much stricter Building Codes is morally wrong.


                • #9
                  does anyone know where I can get my hands on a copy of 1710/1720. I'd like to read them for myself.


                  • #10
                    Dal 90

                    I don't disagree with you that having provisions for mandatory residential sprinkler ordninances in 1710/1720 would definately encourage that practice.

                    However we must deal with the reality that such requirements for all houses are not going to happen overnight. This standard is to take care of a problem that is present today...too many FD's are running with too few firemen. You might be realizing that sprinklers would make an impact but you would then be inoring the vast amount of property and people who live in structures with out them today. That is the problem, we need solutions to the problems today. Perhaps in the future if residential sprinklers become mandatory everywhere we could change the standards to reflect the enviroment then at that time...until then this standard (if passed & followed) sets out to make our jobs safer and increases the odds that someone trapped in a building will be rescued.

                    I agree with you some standard would have to be state or nation wide...our Fire Marshal is tough on codes and we require much more protection than neighboring cities do...I have talked to guys in some local firms who state that (all else being equal) they are more likely to develop in the other cities because it is cheaper per Sq ft.
                    I say if cities are serious about fire sprinklers give tax breaks to those who have them because technically they will require less municipal fire protection. However I don't think you'll see too many politicans giving $$$ back across the board like that!

                    In the name of safety they have set out to create standards backed by scientific anaylsis. (there is a long list of studies on the NFPA site) This will for now benefit the vast majority of Cities in the nation with paid depts.

                    No standard is perfect(even with your proposed "matrix") there are some cities that will have problems with it. This however is the USA and it is a Democracy, the vast majority will benefit from this new standard. The few that have problems providing adequate protection to their families, citizens and firemen will just have to grin and bear it. (or ignore it and wait for the lawsuits to roll on in)

                    What I think it really comes down to is politics...this nation isn't Driven by Fire Depts wishes...it is driven by the almighty dollar. And until it is in the builders financial interest to put them in they wont do it.

                    Just two cents from a fireman.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pyroknight:
                      That makes too much sense Dalmation. The powers-that-be at NFPA and elsewhere would never allow anything with that much thought succeed.
                      Boy isn't that the Truth


                      • #12
                        Have any of you figured out how much it will cost to bring your Department up to the NFPA standard? Do any of you believe that your Department currently meets the standard? Do you really think that by passing a standard, that Cities and Districts that have been cutting manning are going to realize their error and start building up the fire service to some level set by a standard? Is there any valid evidence that suggest that the taxpayer will get a savings in fire loss statistics if their community pays the large amount of financial resources to meet the standard. In my community it will cost about $8,000,000 to meet the standard at a minimum. We only have a $3,000,000 fire loss per year. Will the taxpayers in your community, support this expenditure for this type of fireloss? Just some questions that I have.


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