OSHA has published a proposal to update an existing standard and expand safety and health protections for emergency responders, including firefighters, emergency medical service providers, and technical search and rescue workers. The proposed rulemaking is attempting to modernize the agency’s “Fire Brigades” standard — first published in 1980 — as its protections for a narrow set of industrial and private firefighters have become outdated. Click here to view the unofficial version of the proposed new Emergency Response rule.

Currently, OSHA regulations protect emergency responders’ safety and health in a patchwork of decades-old, hazard-specific standards. Not designed as comprehensive emergency response standards, they fail to address the full range of job hazards faced by today’s emergency responders. The newly named “Emergency Response” standard updates safety and health protections in line with national consensus standards for a broad range of workers exposed to hazards that arise during and after fires and other emergencies.

The proposal will include major changes in protective clothing and equipment and significant improvements in safety and health practices that the industry generally accepts as standard procedures.

About the Author


Pete Nemmers

Pete Nemmers serves as NASP’s Director of Training Development, bringing a wealth of expertise to the organization. With a background rooted in safety and training, Pete plays a pivotal role in shaping the training programs offered by NASP. Pete ensures that NASP remains at the forefront of safety education, equipping professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate and excel in the dynamic field of safety.
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