Last week ISHN reported on a new National Fire Protection Association standard (NFPA 1710) that sets staffing, response time and operational requirements for professional or "career" fire service and rescue departments. NFPA has also approved a companion operational standard (NFPA 1720) covering volunteer fire departments.

Key provisions for volunteer firefighting activity: At least four personnel must be assembled at the site of a structural fire before interior fire suppression operations can begin; and when assembled, volunteers must be able to safely begin firefighting within two minutes 90 percent of the time.

Both NFPA 1710 and 1720 have been appealed by groups questioning where the money will come from to staff departments and provide resources to meet the new requirements. NFPA's 25-member board of directors is expected to rule on the appeals this fall.