Fire chiefs endorse position papers that confront the dynamic challenges facing today's fire service

September 30, 2022– Fire chiefs from Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated in the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) last week at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Mass. NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley welcomed the chiefs and provided an overview of the association’s mission, reinforcing the critical role that urban fire service leaders play in reaching the association’s goals and initiatives.

Special guests included Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, administrator of the United States Fire Administration (USFA); Peter Holland, chief inspector, Crown Premises Fire Safety CFO, United Kingdom; Chief Rob Brown, CEO and Executive Director, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); and Chief Stephan Wevers, president of the Netherlands Fire Service and Federation of the European Fire Officer Associations.

The group endorsed five important documents as official UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Fire & Rescue Service: A Roadmap for Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (DEI FIRE)
  • Technological Advancements Push the Boundaries of All Hazards and the Fire Service Emergency Response System
  • Ambulance Patient Offload Time (APOT)
  • Support for the Firefighter Cancer Cohort Study
  • Support for the National Firefighter Registry

Download the 2022 Urban Fire Forum documents and presentations.

“In today’s increasingly complex fire and emergency services environment, fire service leaders are confronted with a host of issues that go well beyond traditional emergency response. They must be adept at building cultures that attract willing public servants, instill trust, create systemic equity, and foster a sense of belonging. These organizational strengths are paramount to confronting the rapidly changing response landscape brought on by emerging energy technologies and our changing climates. These changes have far-reaching global impacts manifested by increased frequency and intensity of wildfires, heat waves, flooding, hurricanes, and ice storms, not to mention the continued increase in domestic terrorism (active shooter) and beyond,” said Otto Drozd III, executive secretary of the NFPA Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro Chiefs), and coordinator of the event.

To be successful, continued Drozd, fire service leaders must have the latest research and intelligence to make decisions that result in safe and effective outcomes for both their firefighters and the public they serve. To adequately manage these situations, NFPA and the Metro Chiefs must work with both their government and non-government partners. The position papers endorsed by the Urban Fire Forum Chiefs provide the information and resources needed to effectively address the dynamic challenges facing today’s fire service.

Work being done by the Urban Fire Forum chiefs, speakers, and research partners address current and emerging issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusion; fire fighter health and safety; emerging energy technologies; the impact of changing climates of global fire operations, and emergency health care. The latest research is made possible through the work of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, FM Global, and UL Fire Safety Research Institute.

The officers of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association Executive Board make up the core group of the Urban Fire Forum. These chiefs are joined by a select group of at-large metro chiefs. This year’s participating chiefs were:

  • Chief Rob Brown – CEO and Executive Director, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
  • Chief William Bryson – Metro Senior Member, Miami, and Miami Dade Fire -Rescue (retired)
  • Commissioner Paul Burke – Boston Fire Department, Boston, MA
  • Chief John Butler – Metro Treasurer, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, Fairfax, VA
  • Chief Mary Cameli – Mesa Fire Department, Mesa AZ
  • Chief Kristin Crowley – Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles, CA
  • Chief John Donnelly, Sr. – DC Fire & EMS Services Department, Washington, DC
  • Chief Todd Harms – Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Mather, CA
  • Chief Peter Holland – Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety, London, England
  • Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt – Chicago Fire Department, Chicago, IL
  • Chief Ernest Malone – Metro Secretary, Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis, IN
  • Chief Samuel Pena – Houston Fire Department, Houston, TX
  • Chief Robert Rocha – Metro President, Corpus Christi Fire Department, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Chief Edward “Loy” Senter – Metro Vice President, Chesterfield Co. Fire and EMS, Chesterfield, VA
  • Chief Kenneth W. Stuebing – Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency, Halifax, NS, Canada
  • Commissioner Adam Thiel – Philadelphia Fire Department, Philadelphia, PA
  • Chief Stephan Wevers – President of the Federation of European Union Fire Chiefs, Enschede, Netherlands

In addition to the chiefs listed above, event presentations were made by the following NFPA staff members and others:

  • Dr. Jeff L. Burgess, MD, MS, MPH – Director, Firefighter Health Collaborative Research Program and Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona
  • Dr. Kenny Fent, Ph.D., CIH – Research Industrial Hygienist/Team Lead National Firefighter Registry CDC NIOSH
  • Casey Grant – DSRAE, LLC
  • Victoria Hutchison – Research Project Manager, Fire Protection Research Foundation
  • Dr. Stephen Kerber – Vice President, Research Director, UL Fire Safety Research Institute
  • Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell – Administrator, United States Fire Administration (USFA)
  • Dr. Jennifer A. Taylor, Ph.D., MPH, CPPS – Director, Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST)
  • Jim Pauley – President & CEO, NFPA
  • Sreenivasan Ranganathan – Research Director, Fire Protection Research Foundation
  • Michael Spaziani – Manager, Fire Service Programs, FM Global

The Urban Fire Forum brings together fire chiefs responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world, providing an important opportunity to learn from peers and expert speakers. It also allows NFPA to stay abreast of current trends and needs in the fire service. As part of the overall mission, chief officers share UFF deliverables and related information with fire officers from around the world.

The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association convenes fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues affecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career firefighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Otto Drozd III.

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research, and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

About the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, self-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at

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