The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) is commending the inclusion of provisions benefiting IAFF members in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021.
“In a year when COVID-19 has been the primary focus of Congress, I am proud of yet another successful effort by our Governmental Affairs team,” General President Harold Schaitberger said. “These are hard-won legislative victories. In these trying times, the IAFF will always remain focused on serving the needs of its members.”
The NDAA includes provisions reducing firefighters’ exposure to the toxic chemical PFAS, which is known to be present in firefighting foam and turnout gear – directing the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) to quantify the exact amount of PFAS present in turnout gear while determining the health dangers associated with the chemical’s use in such gear.
Other beneficial outcomes include directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to initiate the preparation of fixed fire suppression systems to transition to safer non-fluorinated foams; authorizing $27.8 million for the DoD to purchase new fire apparatus; language enabling federal firefighters employed at a military installation to purchase food and hygiene items at commissaries and exchanges; language allowing all emergency responders, including state and municipal employees, deployed according to a presidentially declared disaster to shop at mobile commissary and exchange services deployed to a disaster zone; and language directing the DoD to conduct live emergency response training with civilian agencies likely to respond to incidents on military installations.