By Bill Van Lent
A significant benefit that FEMSA and all of our members enjoy is representation on NFPA’s Fire and Emergency Services Protective Clothing and Equipment (FAE-AAC) Correlating Committee. This Correlating Committee (CC) oversees coordination of over 25 NFPA standards associated with fire and emergency services. The NFPA standards included are: 1801, 1802, 1851, 1852, 1855, 1858, 1877, 1891, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1971, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2112, and 2113.
NFPA Technical Committees and Panels serve as the principal consensus bodies responsible for developing and updating all NFPA codes and standards. Committees and Panels are appointed by the Standards Council and typically consist of no more than 30 voting members representing a balance of interests. NFPA membership is not required in order to participate on an NFPA Technical Committee. Appointment to a Technical Committee is based on such factors as technical expertise, professional standing, commitment to public safety, and the ability to bring to the table the point of view of a category of interested people or groups. For this reason, FEMSA has been granted a “seat at the table”. Each Technical Committee is constituted so as to contain a balance of affected interests, with no more than one-third of the Committee from the same interest category. The Committee must reach a consensus in order to take action on an item.
One of the most notable features about NFPA’s standards development process is that it is a full, open, consensus-based process. The NFPA standards development process encourages public participation in the development of its standards. All NFPA standards are revised and updated every three to five years, in revision cycles that begin twice each year. Normally a standard’s cycle takes approximately two years to complete. Each revision cycle proceeds according to a published schedule, which includes final dates for each stage in the standards development process.
The four fundamental steps in the NFPA standards development process are:
- Public Input
- Public Comment
- NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session)
- Standards Council Action (Appeals and Issuance of Standard)
As a member of FEMSA, you have a represented voice at the Correlating Committee level in the standards development process. Since 03/02/2010, the FEMSA Board has appointed me as the CC member. This appointment is reviewed every two years. If you have questions or are seeking additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The following table provides a snapshot of the current status of the various NFPA standards within the NFPA Protective Clothing and Equipment Project. The standards development process is always in-motion, so the attached table depicts a current representation.
Hopefully you will agree, representation on the NFPA Correlating Committee is yet another valuable benefit of your FEMSA membership!
Standards in the NFPA Protective Clothing and Equipment Project and their current status
First Public Input Closing: FPIC
First Draft Report Posting: FDRP
Public Comments Closing: PCC
Second Draft Report Posting: SDRP
Note 1: NFPA 1951, has been sent back to the committee. Currently completed 2nd draft TC. 2nd Draft CC scheduled for June, 2019.
**Special thanks to Diane Hess from PBI for her contributions to this article.