NFPA attends OBA’s annual meeting and summit
On July 5, 2013 Panama City was host to both the Annual Assembly and Academic Council Meeting of the Organización de Bomberos Americanos (OBA), which were held in conjunction with their American Firefighters Summit in the ATLAPA Convention Center, from July 3-5, with delegations from 11 countries participating (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay & the US). NFPA was represented by Olga Caledonia, Executive Director of International Operations, and Phil Stittleburg, NFPA Chairman of the Board.
In addition to the Annual Assembly, the event included education sessions that emphasized firefighting tactics and strategies as well as training and evaluation, workshops on firefighting operations, and an exhibition area with the latest products and services for the fire service industry. As part of the educational program, Chief Stittleburg, introduced the guide developed by the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and NFPA "Understanding & Implementing Standards NFPA 1500, 1720, and 1851", which assist departments in understanding and implementing NFPA standards. It examines the three standards and offers clarification, identifies manageable steps, highlights available resources to help departments reach their safety goals and provides information regarding the standards making process. The guide is currently being translated into both Spanish and Portuguese.
OBA, founded in 2006 by representatives of the National Federation of Fire Volunteers of Argentina, the Fire Department of Santiago de Chile, the Volunteer Fire Department Paraguay, the National Fire Uruguay and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Caracas, Venezuela, continues to address international concerns regarding firefighter training, safety, equipment, and fire prevention, including the use of codes and standards.
The U.S. hosted the OBA annual assembly in 2012 in conjunction with NFPA's Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Together with the NFPA, NVFC is the U.S. representative in OBA, although the NFPA is a non-voting member as we are not a fire service organization.
OBA's objectives of providing first quality education/training and tools which are uniform and consistent throughout the fire service in the Americas, is aligned with NFPA's international strategy of partnering with the fire service across the globe.