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National Firefighter Registry Quarterly Newsletter (Fall 2022)

Fall 2022

A Message from the National Firefighter Registry Team Lead

closeup of a man in a suit (Kenny Fent, PhD, CIH)
Greetings from NIOSH,

The National Firefighter Registry (NFR) program has been busy over the last several months. We are in the process of finalizing the NFR enrollment web portal, including testing with firefighters. We also gave updates on the NFR to the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors and the NFR Subcommittee. We attended several conferences where we presented on the NFR, staffed NFR exhibit booths, and garnered additional support for the NFR. I had the privilege of presenting at the U.S. Fire Administration’s Summit on Fire Prevention & Control which was attended by numerous fire service and government leaders. President Biden even made a virtual appearance and spoke about cancer and other concerns in the fire service.

Please read below to learn more about our activities and accomplishments and important next steps. Stay connected with the NFR by visiting our updated website. We look forward to seeing or hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,
a signature

Kenny Fent, PhD, CIH
CDR, U.S. Public Health Service
Research Industrial Hygienist/Team Lead
National Firefighter Registry Program

NFR Website Portal Pilot-Testing
A group of four people posing in front of a fire truck.

From left to right: Alex Mayer, Kenny Fent, Miriam Siegel, Andrea Wilkinson
Photo by: Chief Bruce Hawk of the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department

August 2-4, the NFR team met with firefighters at the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in Ohio to pilot-test an in-development version of the NFR web portal. We received constructive feedback and are working diligently with our development team to implement solutions and improve the user experience. We will continue to work closely with firefighters to get their feedback and continuously improve the web portal.

Fire-Rescue International Conference

NIOSH NFR team members Andrea Wilkinson, Miriam Siegel, Alex Mayer, and Kenny Fent attended the Fire-Rescue International Conference in San Antonio, Texas from August 23-26. The team staffed a booth to connect with fire chiefs and other related groups from across the country.
Andrea Wilkinson attended the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Life Safety Summit, held September 19-21 in San Antonio, Texas, where she presented on the NFR and participated in a health and safety workgroup to identify priority issues for the foundation’s upcoming research agenda.

Urban Fire Forum

Kenny Fent attended the Urban Fire Forum (UFF) meeting, held September 20-22 in Boston, Mass.. The UFF is the steering committee for the Metropolitan Chiefs Association and represents leadership from the largest fire departments in the country. Kenny presented on the NFR to the UFF, and the UFF voted to continue to support the NFR through an updated position statement.

Firehouse Expo

The NFR team staffed an exhibit booth and presented at Firehouse Expo 2022, held September 26-30 in Columbus, Ohio. Valuable connections were made with a unique group of fire service leaders from state organizations and other personnel with whom the team had not yet connected. NFR spokespeople, Chief Craig Haigh and Rick Markley, also attended and met with industry leaders.

NFR Wikipedia Article

NIOSH staff published a Wikipedia article describing the purpose of the NFR. This article will serve as an additional source of easily accessible information to the public and will hopefully drive traffic to the NFR website and registration portal.

U.S. Fire Administration's Summit on Fire Prevention & Control

On October 11, Kenny Fent, along with Susan Moore and Emily Haas also from NIOSH attended the U.S. Fire Administration’s Summit on Fire Prevention & Control in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The invitation-only summit was attended by top leaders in the fire service and Federal government. Kenny Fent and Susan Moore presented at the State of Science portion of the meeting about the NFR and select NIOSH fire service research related to personal protective equipment and the relationship between community vulnerabilities and first responders. President Biden addressed the audience during this part of the meeting and specifically mentioned the importance of the research taking place across the Federal government, including work by NIOSH. The meeting was recorded and can be viewed online.

On October 12, Kenny Fent, Susan Moore, and Emily Haas participated in the invitation-only workgroup to develop a strategic plan for key actions identified in the summit for the future of the fire service. NIOSH was asked to facilitate this important discussion. This workgroup had representation from major impacted parties and beneficiaries in the structural fire service (i.e., academia, fire chiefs, State Designated Officials, lobbyists, federal agencies, and labor representation.

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To see more about the NFRS

Please visit the National Firefighter Registry Subcommittee (NFRS) website.

Upcoming Events and Next Steps

Upcoming events

What’s Next for the NFR?

  • Conduct a soft rollout of the NFR web portal with firefighters from select fire departments around the country
  • Continue to improve the web portal based on feedback from firefighters
  • Coordinate the official launch of the NFR with fire service partners
  • Disseminate promotional materials about the NFR throughout the fire service