Fire chiefs endorse documents on active shooter response, community risk assessment

NFPA hosts Urban Fire Forum

September 16, 2013 – 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 12-14. Also in attendance was United States Fire Administrator Chief Ernest Mitchell.

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

"Today’s fire service faces greater challenges than ever before and responds to a broader spectrum of emergency and catastrophic events," said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders who coordinates the event. These papers are critical resources for departments to assess community risk and establish best practices for usual and extraordinary circumstances."

In addition to these topics, there was extensive discussion about the need for more effective behavioral health programs for firefighters and fire officers, including presentations on the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Wellness Fitness Initiative (WFI), the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Initiative #13 program and the Phoenix Fire Department Taking Care of Fire Fighters: A Positive Approach to Optimum Mental Health Program. The chiefs will work with the IAFC, IAFF, NFFF, and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) to identify and make available current best practices and identify possible gaps in existing programs. Chief Bob Khan, Phoenix, was appointed by Metro Chiefs President G. Keith Bryant, Oklahoma City as the Metro liaison to the IAFC/IAFF committee to update the WFI to the 4th edition.

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 objectives of the program 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 were:

  • Commissioner Donald Austin – Detroit Fire Department, Mich.
  • Chief Ken Block – Edmonton Fire and Rescue Services, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Chief Louie Bright – Dallas Fire and Rescue, Tex.
  • Chief Ivor Brooks – Birmingham Fire and Rescue, Ala.
  • Chief G. Keith Bryant – Oklahoma City Fire Department, Okla.
  • Chief Brian Cummings – Los Angeles Fire Department, Calif.
  • Chief Stephen Dean – Mobile Fire and Rescue, Ala.
  • Chief Larry Few – Fulton County Fire and Rescue, Ga.
  • Chief Luther Fincher – Charlotte Fire Department (retired), N.C.
  • Chief Michael Grant – New Haven Fire Department, Conn.
  • Chief Fire Officer Peter Holland, Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor Communities and Local Government, London, England
  • Chief Darryl Jones – Pittsburgh Fire Bureau, Pa.
  • Chief Maurice Kemp – Miami Fire Rescue, Fla.
  • Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr – Austin Fire Department, Tex.
  • Chief Bob Khan – Phoenix Fire Department, Ariz.
  • Chief Leeanna Mims – Seminole County EMS/Fire/Rescue, Fla.
  • Commissioner Jose Santiago – Chicago Fire Department, Ill.

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

  • Assistant Chief Todd Harms – Phoenix Fire Department
  • Chief Mark Light – International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell – International Association of Fire Fighters
  • Mr. Patrick Morrison – International Association of Fire Fighters
  • Chief Jim Schwartz – Arlington County, Va. Fire Department
  • Chief Ron Siarnicki – National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation

About the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association
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. 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

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