NFPA hosts Urban Fire Forum

Published on October 10, 2012

October 10, 2012 – Sixteen fire chiefs from around the world participated in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum in Quincy, Mass. October 4-7. Also in attendance was United States Fire Administrator Chief Ernest Mitchell.

The forum, which opened with a keynote address from NFPA President and CEO Jim Shannon, focused on the following three topics:  presumptive cancer and related health issues; disaster planning; and fire-based EMS. Edmonton Chief Ken Block served as the discussion leader for the presumptive health issues, FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano led discussion on disaster planning and Los Angeles City Chief Brian Cummings led the fire-based EMS discussion. Each discussion leader was joined by a talented group of expert speakers. The forum is sponsored each year by the NFPA.

“At past forums our agendas included a wide range of topics. This year we restructured the forum to feature only three topics. This new format allowed the chiefs to dig deep into each subject and to develop specific action steps, such as identifying the need for and recommending future research, crafting position papers, suggesting partnerships and more,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders who coordinates the event. “The Urban Fire Forum brings together the chiefs who are responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world – the objectives of the program are straight forward:  to provide the chiefs an opportunity to learn from their peers and expert speakers, for NFPA to stay abreast of current trends and needs in the fire service and to initiate action on issues identified by the chiefs.”

This year’s participants were:

  • Commissioner Donald Austin, Detroit, Mich.
  • Chief Ken Block, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Chief William Bryson, Miami-Dade, Fla.
  • Chief G. Keith Bryant, Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, New York, N.Y.
  • Chief Brian Cummings, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Chief Stephen Dean, Mobile, Ala.
  • Chief Larry Few, Fulton County, Ga.
  • Chief Luther Fincher, Jr., Charlotte, N.C.
  • Chief Michael Grant, New Haven, Conn.
  • Chief Jon Hannan, Charlotte, N.C.
  • CFO Peter Holland, Lancashire, United Kingdom
  • Chief Ned Pettus, Jr., Columbus, Ohio
  • Chief Keith Richter, Orange County, Calif.
  • Chief Bill Stewart, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Chief Bertral Washington, Clark County, Nev.

The facilitators for this year’s forum were Russ Sanders, Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary and Ken Willette, NFPA’s Director of Public Fire Protection.

The core group of the Urban Fire Forum is the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) Executive Board. These chiefs are joined by a select group of at large Metro Chiefs.

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. The Metro is a Section of both the NFPA and the IAFC and its members are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career fire fighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Russ Sanders.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at for more information.


Media Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275