Fire Chief Authority Under NFPA Standards
Many small-town fire chiefs of volunteer and combination fire departments often find it challenging to implement NFPA standards in their department. What you may not realize is that fire chiefs have the power to decide which NFPA standards to use and how to use them (except when local, state or federal law requires otherwise). Topics discussed include the fire chief's power as the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), how to modify an NFPA standard, how to adopt an NFPA standard, and best practices.
Joe Maruca was appointed chief of the West Barnstable (MA) Fire Department in 2005. Prior to 2005 he served as a volunteer firefighter/EMT, lieutenant and captain for the West Barnstable Fire Department for 10 years, and had 18 years of prior service as a volunteer firefighter with the Sandwich Fire Department and Longmeadow Fire Department. Chief Maruca is an attorney. He has his BA in Business Administration from Boston University’s Questrom School of Management and a BS in Fire Department Administration from SUNY Empire State College. He is a member of the NVFC Board of Directors, serves as chair of the FCAM Call/Volunteer Chief Committee, and is chair of the NFPA 1917 Technical Committee on Ambulances.
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