NVFC addresses new OSHA standard and celebrates achievements at spring meeting

May 8, 2024

National Volunteer Fire Council convenes for annual board meeting

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) convened its annual board of directors meeting from April 25-27 in Arlington, VA, where 68 directors representing 43 states gathered.

The meeting was a comprehensive session that included conducting Council business, holding committee meetings, listening to guest speakers, and celebrating achievement award recipients.

A critical focus during the meeting was the discussion on the proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Response Standard, which aims to update the longstanding Fire Brigade Standard.

OSHA task force mobilized in response to new standards

The NVFC has set up a task force to tackle the proposed OSHA Emergency Response Standard, poised to significantly affect volunteer fire and emergency services.

The proposed changes are viewed as burdensome, potentially leaving many volunteer departments unable to comply, thus risking closure or substantial legal and financial penalties.

The board expressed severe concerns about the impact on local volunteer departments and has initiated a “call to action” to mobilize community response and engagement with the legislative process.

Recognition and awards highlight dedication and service

The NVFC’s annual awards banquet was a highlight of the meeting, recognizing outstanding service and dedication within the volunteer fire service community.

Awards were presented for various categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to Stephen Austin for his service in Delaware.

The awards night underscored the commitment and sacrifices of the volunteers and the supportive role of the NVFC in fostering recognition and appreciation for their contributions.

FSJA Comment

The NVFC’s annual meeting underscores the organization’s pivotal role in shaping policy and supporting volunteer fire services across the nation.

By addressing new regulatory challenges and recognizing exceptional service, the NVFC continues to advocate effectively for the needs and interests of its members.

The proactive creation of a task force in response to the OSHA proposal demonstrates the Council’s commitment to ensuring that volunteer fire departments have the necessary resources and guidance to navigate upcoming changes.

This approach not only helps in compliance but also strengthens the collective voice in discussions that affect their operational reality.

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