Truman Fire Forum report released
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, in conjunction with the National Advisory Committee of the Congressional Fire Services Institute, released the Truman Fire Forum Report on Dec. 9, 2019, in Washington, D.C., during the Truman Fire Forum Working Group Steering Committee Meeting. The report provides an overview of the guiding messages presented by speakers and panelists at the 17th Annual Harry S. Truman Legacy Symposium and the recommendations from the President Truman Fire Forum.
Sara Yerkes, senior vice president of Government Relations for the International Code Council, represented the Code Council at the forum held in May in Key West, Fla., and participated in the development of the report along with its key findings. The forum brought together fire service leaders to strategize how to continue President Truman’s legacy of adapting the fire service to new challenges that are guaranteed to come with the passage of time, along with the nation’s increased dependency on new technologies and push towards urbanization.
In early December, Karl Fippinger, CEM, PMP, vice president of Fire and Disaster Mitigation for the Code Council, attended the follow-on working group meeting to further the goals of the forum and set the national fire service agenda for 2020 relative to the recommendations of the report.
The report’s executive summary outlines the key three objectives of the Truman Legacy Symposium: Promote universal acceptance by the highest officials of the United States and municipalities of their direct responsibility for fire safety; gain public support from all possible sources behind the highest officials of the United States and municipalities to enact and enforce adequate laws and ordinances for fire prevention and fire protection; and revisit recommendations made by the 1947 President’s Conference on Fire Prevention report.
During the panel on Laws and Law Enforcement (Codes and Standards), South Carolina State Fire Marshal Jonathan Jones stated, “…fire prevention laws, codes and standards have created a safer environment in most commercial and public buildings by requiring fire-resistive construction, compartmentalization, fire detection and alarm systems, and automatic fire-suppression systems. These advancements, combined, have reduced fire fatalities in these occupancies to three percent of the fire deaths and seven percent of fire injuries, in 2015.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is a nonprofit organization that remembers and honors America’s fallen firefighters by providing their survivors with a place to turn for help rebuilding their lives. Spouses and children of fallen firefighters are eligible, through the Foundation, for education, scholarship assistance as well as job training.
The Harry S. Truman Legacy Symposium — an annual educational event hosted by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the Harry S. Truman Little White House and the Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation — brought together more than 80 fire service experts and professionals from across the nation, to share insights and brainstorm strategies to quell fire-related deaths and improve firefighter safety on a national level.
The Code Council is a long-time supporter of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and its mission. The Code Council regularly participates in the Foundation’s national fire service programs and activities. In 2007, the Code Council worked with the Foundation to provide support to the Charleston, South Carolina, Fire Department following the loss of nine firefighters in the Charleston Sofa Super Store fire.