Message From IFE-USA

In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, the USA Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers was honored and pleased to be able to bring together speakers from across the world to focus on issues and topics related to fire service management that has resulted in significant or measurable changes in our service and delivery capability.

Local government expenditures on fire services alone (not including related expenses such as water systems and code enforcement) exceed $17 Billion in the United States annually. [1]    Direct fire losses are estimated at over $8.6 Billion annually in addition to some 23,000 injuries and some 4,000 deaths. [2]

With a withdrawal of federal funding for fire service planning by sponsoring agencies, fire service station location planning has received very little organized attention since the late 1970s.  Despite the withdrawal of funding by agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Fire Prevention and Control Administration, important questions remained unanswered, and continuing fiscal pressures on fire services focused interest in this area among those most responsible to local residents for the level of fire service in their communities.

Among those expressing the greatest concern and sustaining greatest interest in the subject, were city and county managers.  Working with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) they created the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).  The CFAI accreditation program focuses on rigorous self-assessment and peer evaluation.  Rather than establishing standards per se, the accreditation program stresses local risk, hazard, and value assessment as the core strategy for dealing with questions of resource deployment.

The receipt creation and issuance of National Fire Protection Association 1710, covering the deployment of career fire departments, has thrust the deployment issue back into the national spotlight.  The need for a reasoned debate among city management officials, researchers, and the fire service community has never been greater.

This conference was organized to expose the “best practices” of firefighter safety, as well as provide some incisive analysis of the firefighter safety problem from several perspectives.  This would be achieved through presentations featuring implementation stories and end results of innovations in fire departments.  The emphasis would be on selecting those organizations that can document their results.  In addition, the conference exposed attendees to the theoretical and critical approaches to firefighter safety and organizational change from respected academics and practitioners internationally.

We have compiled this CD-ROM for your convenience in accessing the conference proceedings. We welcome your feedback related to the CD-ROM, the papers, and any other items related to the conference.

We would like to take this opportunity to again thank the United States Fire Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and PennWell, publishers of FIRE ENGINEERING, for their sponsorship and cooperation in developing this strategic partnership to make this conference both a possibility and a success.


William Peterson, MIFireE, President
USA Branch

[1] U.S. Census Bureau, Estimates of United States State & Local Government Finances by Level of Government, 1995-1996.  Online.  [] May 27, 1999.

[2] U.S. Fire Administration, National Fire Data Center, The National Fire Problem.  Online.  [] on August 2, 2000.