Fire chiefs endorse position papers on fire as a weapon, fire behavior, fire-based community healthcare

September 8, 2014 – Fire chiefs from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom participated in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) in Quincy, Mass. September 4-7, 2014. United States Fire Administrator Chief Ernest Mitchell, IAFC CEO and Executive Director Mark Light, United Kingdom Chief Fire & Rescue Advisor Peter Holland and Chief Fire Officers Association of the United Kingdom incoming President Peter Dartford were also in attendance.

The group endorsed the following three important documents as official UFF-Metro Chief position papers:

  • Fire and Smoke as a Weapon
  • Fire Behavior and Tactical Considerations
  • Fire-Based Community Healthcare Provider Programs

“The fire service today faces greater challenges than ever before and responds to a broader range of emergency and catastrophic events,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders who coordinates the event. “These position papers are critical resources for departments to use to apply the latest fire research and implement best practices for usual and extraordinary circumstances.”

According to Sanders, the Urban Fire Forum brings together the fire chiefs who are responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world. The program objectives are to provide the chiefs an opportunity to learn from their peers and expert speakers, and for NFPA to stay abreast of current trends and needs in the fire service. 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.

This year’s participating chiefs and guests were:

  • Chief Ken Block – Edmonton Fire and Rescue Services, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Chief G. Keith Bryant – Oklahoma City Fire Department, Okla.

  • Chief William “Shorty” Bryson  – Miami Fire Rescue (retired), Fla.

  • Commissioner Salvatore Cassano – Fire Department New York (retired

  • Chief Kelvin Cochran – Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, Ga

  • Chief Otto Drozd – Orange County Fire Rescue Department, Fla

  • Chief Larry Few – Fulton County Fire and Rescue, Ga

  • Chief Luther Fincher – Charlotte Fire Department (retired), N.C.

  • Commissioner Joe Finn – Boston Fire Department, Mass.

  • Chief Terry Garrison – Houston Fire Department, Texas

  • Chief Jon Hannan – Charlotte Fire Department, N.C.

  • Commissioner Edsel Jenkins – Detroit Fire Department, Mich.

  • Chief Kara Kalkbrenner – Phoenix Fire Department, Ariz.

  • Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr – Austin Fire Department, Texas

  • Chief Maurice Kemp – Miami Fire Rescue, Fla.

  • Chief Daryl Osby – Los Angeles County Fire Department, Calif.  

In addition to several UFF Chiefs and NFPA staff members who served as speakers, other speakers included:

  • Chief Tom Currao – Fire Department New York
  • Casey Grant – Fire Protection Research Foundation, NFPA

  • Stephen Kerber – UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute

  • Daniel Madrzykowski – National Institute of Standards and Technology

  • Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell – International Association of Fire Fighters

  • Chief Joseph W. Pfeifer – Fire Department New York

  • Dr. Rita Fahy – NFPA

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. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and 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. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at

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