NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE FIRE MARSHALS
A Strong United Voice for Fire Prevention
Major Fire Service Organizations Call for
Priority Access to COVID-19 Vaccines
The International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Association of State Fire Marshals, and National Volunteer Fire Council urge governors and state health officials to make career and volunteer fire fighters, EMTs and paramedics a top priority level for COVID-19 vaccines. We are vital parts of the national public health system and should be treated at the same priority as other front-line healthcare workers, and hospital staff.
The nation’s fire fighters, EMTs, and paramedics serve as the first link in the COVID-19 response. These environments are unstructured, unprotected and place public safety personnel in close quarters with COVID-19 patients, causing increased exposure for the responder. Many COVID- 19 patients are treated by a fire fighter, EMT, or paramedic before they are transported to a medical facility for further care. In addition, fire fighters, EMTs, and paramedics often respond to emergencies unrelated to whether a caller has COVID-19 only to later learn that the individual exposed them to the virus.
A COVID-19 vaccine is one of the best ways to protect fire and EMS personnel from this pandemic. Along with ensuring that the proper PPE is available, priority access to a vaccine allows emergency responders to have another tool to protect themselves and the community as a whole. Scientific reports have indicated that fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs are proportionately far more likely to contract COVID-19 than the general public due to their on-the-job exposures.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommended that fire and EMS personnel be listed as Priority Tier 1A for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. We are concerned that states and local government may not adopt the recommendations of this esteemed panel, and instead relegate fire and EMS personnel to a lower priority tier.
For any questions please contact Jim Narva, NASFM Executive Director at jnarva@NarvaAssociates.com.
NASFM ANNUAL CONFERENCE CANCELED & RESCHEDULED FOR 2021
NASFM has made the difficult decision to reschedule the 2020 Annual Conference in Stowe, Vermont due to restrictions and safety concerns related to COVID-19. We have rescheduled the Annual Conference for 2021; the dates are July 19-22, 2021 and the event will be held at the same location, The Stoweflake Resort & Conference Center.
The NASFM Annual Conference is an important event for our attendees. NASFM and its members greatly value this event as it gives us time to gather, network, share ideas and programs as well as interact and work cooperatively with our sponsors and exhibitors to make our nation safer from fire. We will miss this interaction, learning and networking in 2020, but being a safety focused organization in support of our nations state fire marshals, it was just not feasible to hold the event. Even if the COVID-19 risks and limitations improved significantly, many of our state fire marshals will still be consumed within their states with the fallout, and highly unlikely to be able to travel out of state.
Your safety, and the safety of all attendees, members, partners and staff is paramount to NASFM. To say we are disappointed to cancel our Annual Conference is an understatement; we all have come to value this event and the benefits it provides. For those of you who have already registered, or signed up to be a sponsor or exhibitor, we will be in touch separately from this message with guidance and information for you.
I know we are all disappointed in having to cancel, but we look forward to continuing to work with you throughout the year. We certainly hope to see you next year in Stowe at the 2021 NASFM Annual Conference.
NASFM Executive Director
Claiming 400 Lives Annually, the NASFM is Leading Efforts to Raise Awareness of the “Invisible Killer”: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a proven dangerous threat, claiming approximately 450 lives annually, with another 21,000 Americans sent to emergency rooms due to unintentional poisonings, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), along with Safe Kids, has established the Awareness Week and is leading the charge to bring increased awareness to this “Invisible Killer.” Per the CDC, CO poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America, and because CO is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas, many people are initially unaware they are even being poisoned.
“It’s important we all pay close attention to the potentially fatal effects of CO poisoning,” said NASFM President and Florida Director of the Division of State Fire Marshals, Julius Halas. “especially as we all begin to use home heating devices as colder weather approaches.”
CO is produced anytime a fuel is burned. Potential sources of CO include gas or oil furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ovens, generators, and car exhaust fumes. CO bonds to hemoglobin in red blood cells and prevents oxygen from reaching vital organs, such as the brain and heart, causing dizziness, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. At high concentration levels, CO can cause loss of consciousness and even death, and people who are sleeping or intoxicated are more susceptible to succumbing to CO poisoning.
“Winter can be a deadly time when it comes to CO poisoning, so it’s important to take steps now to protect your family,” Browning said. “During the winter months, we are all more likely to use fireplaces, propane heaters and furnaces to help heat our homes.”
If not properly ventilated and maintained, NASFM reminds you fuel-burning appliances can emit deadly levels of CO. Additionally, idling your vehicle or running a gas-powered generator in an attached garage can also lead to increased levels of CO, which allow fumes to seep into your home through doors or floorboards. “The only safe way to detect CO is with a properly functioning and maintained CO alarm,” added Browning.
Distinguished fire safety experts, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommend installing a CO alarm on every level of the home and near sleeping areas. Other safety tips include:
For more information about National CO Awareness Week, including tips and best practices on how to protect you and your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, visit www.carbonmonoxidefacts.com.
Please note our new mailing address and forward all future correspondence to this address. Thank you!
National Association of State Fire Marshals
P.O. Box 948238
Maitland, FL 32794
News from NASFM
Unlisted Smoke and CO Alarms 08.14.19.xlsx
December 14, 2016 Press Release: NASFM Supports DSSF Video Stressing Importance of Securing Classrooms without Compromising Life Safety
NASFM Classroom Door Security and Locking Hardware
NASFM Foundation Issues Report on Addressing Lack of Fire Causes in NFIRS
NASFM Smoke Alarm Guidance
NDRN invites P&A agencies and fire service representatives to collaborate on effective strategies that protect the lives and rights of people with disabilities.
Developed in conjunction with the National Association of State Fire Marshals, this initiative has offered 8 out of 10 regional workshops in person throughout the US with the last 2 sessions now slated to take place virtually.
Each interactive session has successfully brought together first responders and P&A representatives to collectively pursue pathways for protecting the rights and lives of people with disabilities. Our theme is Facing Flames: Reimagining How We Prepare for, Respond to and Recover from Fires, Disasters and other Emergencies.
Click here to register today for the final 2 sessions of this remarkable series!
Region 5: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota & Ohio
Dates: January 13-14, 2021
July 19-22 - 2021 NASFM Annual Conference; Stowe, Vermont