Fire Chiefs endorse position papers on Data and the Modernization of the Fire Service, COVID Long Haulers, Domestic Terrorism, and the Effect of Crew Size on Fire Fighter Health and Safety

September 28, 2021 – Fire chiefs from Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) last week at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Mass. NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley welcomed the chiefs and provided an overview of the association’s mission, reinforcing the critical role urban fire service leaders play in reaching the Association’s goals and initiatives.

Special guests included Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council of the United Kingdom, CFO Mark Hardingham; United Kingdom Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety CFO Peter Holland; Chief Tonya Hoover, administrator of the United States Fire Administration (Acting); International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) CEO and Executive Director Chief Rob Brown; and Chief Stephan Wevers, president of the Netherlands Fire Service and Federation of the European Fire Officer Associations. Chiefs Hoover, Holland, Hardingham, and Wevers participated virtually.

The group endorsed four important documents as official UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers:

“Today’s firefighters respond to a broad range of emergencies and catastrophic events that have become commonplace in the United States and throughout the world. From natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, and ice storms, to domestic terrorism and beyond, chiefs must have data and up-to-date intelligence at their fingertips to make decisions that result in safe and effective outcomes for both their fire fighters and the public they serve. To adequately manage these situations fire chiefs must work with both their government and non-government partners. The position papers endorsed by the Urban Fire Forum Chiefs provide the information and resources needed to effectively address the everchanging challenges facing today’s fire service,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders and coordinator of the event.

Sanders points to the particular timeliness of the COVID Long Haulers and Effect of Crew Size on Fire Fighter Health and Safety, as well as other important topics discussed, such as the National Firefighter [Cancer] Registry, the Digitization of the Fire Service, Outthink Wildfire, Preparedness for Domestic Terrorism, and the latest research reports from the Fire Protection Research Foundation, FM Global, and UL Fire Safety Research Institute.

The presentations and deliverables for all Urban Fire Forum’s since 2013 can be viewed on the NFPA-Urban Fire Forum website.

The officers of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) Executive Board make up the core group of the UFF. These chiefs are joined by a select group of at-large Metro Chiefs. This year’s participating chiefs were:

  • Chief Rob Brown – CEO and Executive Director, International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Chief Mary Cameli – Mesa Fire Department, Mesa Ariz.
  • Commissioner Jack Dempsey – Boston Fire Department, Boston, Mass.
  • Chief John Donnelly, Sr., D.C. Fire & EMS Services Department, Washington, D.C.
  • Chief Tiffany Green – Prince George’s Co. Fire & EMS Department, Largo, Md.
  • Chief Mark Hardingham – Chair, National Fire Chiefs Council, Birmingham, England (Virtual)
  • Chief Peter Holland – Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety, London, England (Virtual)
  • Chief Tonya Hoover – Acting Administrator, United States Fire Administration (Virtual)
  • Chief Kara Kalkbrenner – Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Chief John Lane – Metro Immediate Past President, Winnipeg, MB
  • Chief Don Lombardi – Metro President, West Metro Fire Protection District, Lakewood, Colo.
  • Chief Ernest Malone – Metro Treasurer, Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Chief Samuel Pena – Houston Fire Department, Houston, Tex.
  • Chief Robert Rocha – Metro Vice President, Corpus Christi Fire Department, Corpus Christi, Tex.
  • Chief Edward “Loy” Senter – Metro Secretary, Chesterfield Co. Fire and EMS, Chesterfield, Va.
  • Chief Gina Sweat – Memphis Fire Department, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Commissioner Adam Thiel – Philadelphia Fire Department, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Chief Stephan Wevers – President of the Federation of European Union Fire Chiefs, Netherlands, (Virtual)

In addition to the Chiefs listed above, event presentations were made by NFPA staff members and others as follows:

  • Christopher Combs – Special Agent in Charge, FBI, San Antonio Division (Virtual)
  • Casey Grant – DSRAE, LLC
  • Dr. Stephen Kerber, Vice President, Research Director, UL Fire Safety Research Institute
  • Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell – President & CEO, International Public Safety Data Institute
  • Jim Pauley – President & CEO, National Fire Protection Association
  • Sreenivasan Ranganathan, Research Director, Fire Protection Research Foundation
  • Dr. Miriam Siegel – Lead Epidemiologist, National Fire Fighter Registry, NIOSH
  • Dr. Denise Smith – Director, First Responder Health and Safety Lab, Skidmore College
  • Michael Spaziani, Manager, Fire Service Programs, FM Global
  • Michele Steinberg – Director, Wildfire Division, National Fire Protection Association 

The Urban Fire Forum brings together fire chiefs who are responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world. The program objectives are to provide the chiefs an opportunity to learn from their peers and expert speakers, and for NFPA to stay abreast of current trends and needs in the fire service. As part of the overall mission of the UFF, chief officers share UFF deliverables and related information with fire officers from all over the world.

The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career firefighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Russ Sanders.

NFPA®: 125 Years of Protecting People and Property

The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. The association began its work to solve the fire problem in a young, industrialized nation in 1896 and is recognized around the globe as a leader in advocating for safety. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 325 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. In celebration of its 125th Anniversary, NFPA will be hosting a Conference Series and other initiatives that reflect the steadfast commitment to advancing fire and life safety by the association for the next 125 years and beyond. For more information or to view NFPA codes and standards for free, visit

Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275