11. Response Policies


National standards for emergency response policies and procedures should be developed and championed.

Many in the fire service have long argued the need for uniform response standards as a means to increase fire service operational effectiveness, and to give credibility to the observation that the fire service is a bona fide profession in the sense of education, credentialing, training, and execution. Success has been limited at best due to competing opinions from fire service organizations categorized as volunteer, combination, or career. Unification in the fire service has also been difficult due to geographic demands which drive local priorities and response policies. Unlike many other fire service systems internationally which are organized, trained, and funded at the national level, the U.S. fire service has developed into over 30,000 idiosyncratic and separate systems. Undoubtedly, this is the source of much pride, but it also has led to massive system inadequacies.

The 11th Initiative calls for a minimum set of activities that are universally recognized and understood to assure life safety at every fire—regardless of organizational composition, or geographic location. Common standards provide the added benefit of allowing multiple responding agencies to operate with similar strategic and tactical considerations, regardless of the complexity of the event.

Latest Initiative 11 News

  • Everyone Goes Home® Program Wants Your SOPs We’re collecting information about SOPs on cancer reduction, violent incidents, mental health, and response policies to highlight best practices.
  • Strategic Vision Helps Ensure Firefighter Safety and Enhance Service To help fire departments around the nation adopt the 16 initiatives, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has created a new handbook, The Strategic Vision Guide: An Action Plan Using the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.
  • Penn Forest Firefighters Know the Power of Personal Safety What started out as a routine response for a vehicle crash with possible entrapment on Sunday, January 18, 2015 quickly became an example of the critical role seatbelts play for everyone.
  • Roadway Incident Safety for Firefighters Firefighters regularly respond to various calls for service. Medical assist calls, building fires, motor vehicle crashes, brush fires, hazardous material incidents and technical rescues are our business. Almost every time we step out of our rig at the scene we step into harm’s way.
  • Resolve to reduce line of duty deaths for the New Year The most important element in firefighter safety is you, the firefighter. Join the NFFF in reducing firefighter injuries and lowering the number of LODDs each year to below 50.