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USFA to Host Fire Administrator's Summit on Fire Prevention and Control

Posted: Oct. 13, 2022

Media Release
3 min read
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    U.S. Fire Administration
    National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

    The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), will host the U.S. Fire Administrator's Summit on Fire Prevention and Control: State of Science on Oct. 11, 2022, from 1 to 6 p.m. EDT.

    The summit marks the 75th anniversary of the 1947 President Truman Conference on Fire Prevention and Control that launched the America Burning PDF report and established the USFA. Many of the outcomes from the original Truman Conference hold true today. For example, as outlined in the original Truman Conference Proceedings Report:

    The nation's fire problem is exacerbated by (A) the indifference with which some Americans confront the subject; (B) the nation's failure to undertake enough research and development into fire and fire-related problems; (C) the scarcity of reliable data and information; (D) the fact that designers and purchasers of buildings and products generally give insufficient attention to fire safety; (E) the fact that many communities lack adequate building and fire prevention codes.

    “In 2022, the climate crisis fuels more frequent, destructive and deadly wildfire. In addition to the growing burdens of wildfire, the demands on our nation's local fire departments continue to increase, further exacerbating daily fire impacts on all our communities. Thus far in 2022, fires have killed more than 1,600 people nationwide. Additionally, firefighters pay a high price with 73 firefighters killed on duty so far this year,” said USFA Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell.

    “The NFFF is proud to work with the USFA in providing an opportunity for the fire service—and more importantly, the public—to understand the impact of fire on communities across the country,” said NFFF Executive Director Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki.

    A first-of-its-kind livestreaming event from the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland, the Fire Administrator's Summit on Fire Prevention and Control: State of Science features presentations from the country's most prominent fire service leaders and researchers. The livestream event is for reporters, the public, the fire service, and local, state and national policy makers who want a better understanding of the challenges and recommended solutions to the critical fire problem in America. The summit kicks off the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week.

    The first 2 speakers for the State of Science are Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Adam Thiel and the City of New York Fire Department's Acting Chief of Training Frank Leeb. Both cities began 2022 with structure fires that killed 17 and 12 people, respectively. They will discuss the impact of those fires on their communities and fire departments.

    Viewers of the livestream will then be introduced to topics such as the risks associated with the evolution of high-risk structures like lithium-ion energy storage facilities and massive shipping warehouses with robotic technology. The livestream event will also cover the training that structural firefighters need to respond to the new hazards associated with wildfires in the urban interface. It will highlight the recruitment and retention challenges faced by fire departments across the nation. Nationally renowned researchers will discuss the impact of the growing number and intensity of fires on the physical and mental health of firefighters, including the prevalence of cancer and suicide among the ranks.

    Confirmed State of Science speakers

    • Dr. Jeff Burgess, University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
    • Chief John S. Butler, Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue Department
    • Dr. Kenneth Fent, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
    • Karl Fippinger, International Code Council
    • Chief Brita Horn, Rock Creek (CO) Volunteer Fire Department
    • Dr. Sara Jahnke, Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research
    • Dr. Steve Kerber, Fire Safety Research Institute
    • Deputy Assistant Chief Frank Leeb, City of New York Fire Department
    • Dr. Susan M. Moore, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
    • Patrick Morrison, International Association of Fire Fighters
    • Chief John H. Oates, International Public Safety Data Institute
    • Chief Shane Ray, National Fire Sprinkler Association
    • Dr. Denise L. Smith, Health and Human Physiological Sciences, Skidmore College
    • Rick Swan, International Association of Fire Fighters
    • Michele Steinberg, National Fire Protection Association
    • Commissioner Adam K. Thiel, City of Philadelphia Fire Department

    About the U.S. Fire Administration

    The USFA was established by Public Law 93-498, the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974. The act called for the establishment of the National Fire Academy to advance the professional development of fire service personnel and others engaged in fire prevention and control activities. The act also called for a national system for the collection, analysis and dissemination of fire data necessary to assist local fire departments to establish research and action priorities. The USFA, as a component of FEMA, has a mission is to support and strengthen fire and emergency medical services and stakeholders to prepare for, prevent, mitigate and respond to all hazards.

    About the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

    Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to honor America's fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the non-profit Foundation has developed and expanded programs that fulfill that mandate. Our mission is to honor America's fallen fire heroes; support their families, colleagues, and organizations; and work to reduce preventable firefighter death and injury.

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