The NFPA is currently soliciting public input on the need for a new standard on high air flow powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) for emergency services operations at incidents involving chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals/toxic industrial materials, biological warfare agents, and radioactive particulates. It is important for IAFF members, local affiliates and their fire and emergency services departments to respond with their reasons as to why this standard is needed. We are well aware that respiratory protection of fire fighters and EMS personnel goes beyond using just SCBA. If we are using other respirators – which we are — including PAPRs as well as APRs and filtering facepiece respirators, these devices must meet performance requirements that reflect emergency services jobs and NOT be based on general industry needs. Accordingly, we need to also provide the NFPA with the background of your operations where such respirators are either currently used or needed.
The NFPA Standards Council will be reviewing the public input at their August 2010 meeting and then decide whether or not to “approve” the current NFPA Technical Committee on Respiratory Protection Equipment undertaking the development of this new standard. All public input must be sent to:
Codes and Standards Administration, NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471
If NFPA doesn’t hear from the fire service on this issue, they will not move forward on this important project!