October 26, 2022 – The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro Chiefs), a section of the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) and International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), have signed a five-year cooperation agreement with the Organization of American Firefighters (OBA), the largest international firefighting organization in Central and South America. The signing, which took place this month at the Asociación Mexicana de Jefes de Bomberos Conference in Durango, Mexico, marks the first time in history that the leading fire service organizations of North, South, and Central America have formally united to promote best practices in fire prevention, high-risk response, community risk reduction, and other emerging issues that threaten global community safety.
The official signing, presided over by the President of the Asociación Mexicana de Jefes de Bomberos, President Commander Sergio Ramirez, was witnessed by Commander Gustavo Paredes Moreno, Durango Fire Chief. Signatories included Captain Roberto Duque Mora, president of the Organization of American Firefighters and Chief Robert Rocha, president of the Metropolitan Association of Fire Chiefs.
The agreement is part of a coordinated effort to expand the Metro Chiefs’ outreach to all Latin America countries beginning in 2019 and culminated this year with the signing of the agreement with the OBA. To advance their cooperative goals and objectives, each association will be required to participate in joint conferences and meetings that focus on the established programs and projects laid out by the agreement.
“This cooperation agreement underscores the power of collaboration and evolution of emergency response around the world,” said Metro Chiefs president Robert Rocha of the Corpus Christi Fire Department. “And we are pleased that the OBA and Metro Chiefs will be able to work alongside our Latin American counterparts as we confront some of today’s most pressing fire service issues such as the wildland/urban interface, emerging energy technologies, and the impacts of climate change in emergency response.”
“Today’s fire service is continuing to adapt to the rapidly changing response landscape that includes fire prevention and protection, firefighter training, disaster relief, and rescue,” said NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley. “This historic agreement provides an important and unique opportunity for international fire organizations to come together to share learnings and best practices that will result in more lives saved and more property protected worldwide.”
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research, and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
About the Organization of American Firefighters
The Organization of American Firefighters (OBA) is the largest international organization of firefighters in the region. Created by and for firefighters from the Americas, it is composed of 32 Active Members and 8 Adherent Members representing firefighting institutions from 13 countries. Its mission is to promote institutional cooperation between fire organizations throughout the Americas in order to professionalize the management of local fire departments and thus contribute to disaster risk reduction in their communities of incidence.
About the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association
The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association was founded in 1965, with the purpose of bringing together fire service professionals to address the challenges of large city departments that were becoming increasingly complex. Today the Metro convenes fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments from around the world including Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United Kingdom to share information and focus on major issues affecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to 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, Otto Drozd III.
About the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)
Founded in 1896, 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 delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
Contacts: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275