NVFC provides resources for public participation in OSHA’s proposed emergency response standard

May 9, 2024

On February 5, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) aimed at updating the current “Fire Brigades” standard to a new “Emergency Response Standard.”

The notice began a public comment period, which will remain open until June 21, 2024.

The proposed changes are designed to enhance the safety protocols for emergency responders, although some requirements could pose significant challenges for volunteer fire departments.

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is encouraging stakeholders to submit their feedback on the proposed modifications.

The NVFC emphasizes that none of the proposed standards are finalized, providing a critical window for public input.

“This is your opportunity to explain to OSHA what you believe should be changed in the proposed standard and why,” the NVFC stated in a recent announcement.

Available resources and upcoming events to guide public comments

To aid volunteers in navigating the comment process, the NVFC has developed several resources.

These include a detailed comment guide, an outline of the proposed standard, and access to a Roundtable Talk focused on the implications of the new rules.

Additionally, the NVFC has organized a live webinar scheduled for May 9 at 2 PM ET, featuring OSHA representatives who will discuss the rule in detail.

During the webinar, OSHA officials will clarify the potential impacts of the new standard on volunteer emergency responders and outline the key areas where feedback is most needed.

Registration for the webinar is currently open, and interested parties can sign up to gain deeper insights and guidance on how to effectively communicate their concerns or support for the proposed changes.

FSJA comment

The initiative taken by NVFC to engage volunteers in the regulatory process is crucial, especially when proposed changes could directly affect their operational capacities.

Through educational webinars and comprehensive guides, NVFC enhances the community’s understanding of the proposed standards and strengthens the overall response by ensuring that volunteers’ perspectives and practical challenges are considered in the rule-making process.

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