Evaluation Compliance with NFPA 1710

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By Vincent J. Werner

This research project examined National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 1710, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments, as it pertained to the Garland Fire Department. The problem was that Garland had not determined if it met the assignment and staffing objectives of 1710. The purpose of this research was to determine Garland's degree of compliance with those objectives and address any shortfalls. Evaluative research was used to answer the following questions:

  1. Did the Garland Fire Department meet NFPA 1710 response time objectives for fire and emergency medical incidents?
  2. Did the Garland Fire Department meet NFPA 1710 assignment staffing objectives?
  3. What actions could the Garland Fire Department take if such compliance was lacking?

The procedures consisted of a literature review, three interviews, a survey of suburban fire departments in Dallas County, and a statistical analysis of department response times for fire and medical incidents.

The results established that Garland met 1710's response time objectives for advanced life support (ALS) incidents but did not for fire incidents and first responders in medical incidents. Garland met 1710 assignment staffing objectives for initial full alarm assignments and ALS incidents. It did not meet 1710's objective of four on-duty personnel staffing every engine and truck company. The results concluded that Garland should utilize a 1996 needs assessment, expand use of mutual aid, and seek federal financing in hiring firefighters.

Recommendations included implementation of an 11-station concept, a long-term commitment by Garland's City Council to hire additional firefighters, an upgrade of the computer dispatch system, and securing federal funding to hire more firefighters. The project also proposed that key department personnel improve their proficiency in statistical analysis.