QUINCY, Mass. — The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has launched a recruitment campaign to increase the number of code enforcers participating on its technical committees.
The association has more than 200 technical committees, which create and revise codes and standards that protect people and property. NFPA wants to have code enforcers represent at least 20% of the overall technical committee membership by 2013.
“One of the greatest strengths of the NFPA standards-development process is broad participation. We work extremely hard to ensure we have a balance of interests on these committees,” says James Shannon, president of NFPA. “We need code enforcers because they have particular knowledge and experience on how our codes and standards are applied in the field. We need them to provide their expertise to the important work that is being done by our technical committees in order to advance our safety mission.”
Recent cuts in municipal budgets, including elimination of travel expenses for public employees, have made it harder for code enforcers to participate in technical committee meetings. In response to this concern, NFPA created a special fund to subsidize 80% of travel and lodging expenses that may come when code enforcers participate in technical committee meetings. The assistance with these expenses is available to code enforcers who are public employees or part of the volunteer fire service.
“We created this special fund as part of our commitment to make NFPA technical committees as accessible as possible to code enforcers whose participation is needed to ensure that we have a balance of voices in the process,” says Shannon.
NFPA says it recently conducted a survey of current technical committee members and found a high level of satisfaction in participants. For code enforcers, participating in NFPA technical committees can provide an opportunity to help improve safety, a chance to network with other code professionals and a way to learn more from industry experts, NFPA says.
NFPA technical committee members are asked to participate in approximately 10 meeting days over a three- to five-year period sharing their expertise and individual perspective. Code enforcers can learn more about joining an NFPA technical committee or apply online at nfpa.org/enforcers.