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Understanding NFPA Codes and Standards: Why They Should Matter to You

Firefighter standing in front of Striker ARFF vehicle at sunrise.

If you are well accustomed to the firefighting industry, then the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is nothing new. For decades, the NFPA has set codes and standards for all aspects of safety regarding the firefighting community. No matter what line of fire duty you are in, these guidelines have impacted you in some way.

Here, Oshkosh Airport Products explains why these NFPA guidelines matter and how you can contribute to improving the safety of the fire industry.

NFPA Standards in the ARFF Industry

The NFPA codes and standards have become widely adopted around the world and play a large role in the aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) industry. When an airport is getting ready to build a new vehicle, manufacturers who are bidding for their business typically follow the NFPA standards in the specifications presented to them. This ensures the ARFF vehicles designed and built for critical airport rescue and firefighting operations meet the highest safety and performance standards.

As a manufacturer of ARFF vehicles, Oshkosh Airport Products is required to follow standards set forth by NFPA 1900. These standards apply to all fire apparatus, ARFF and otherwise. Previously, standards for ARFF vehicles and other firefighting vehicles were defined separately in NFPA 414 and NFPA 1901but those standards have since been consolidated into the updated NFPA 1900. Read more information on the NFPA’s Emergency Response and Responder Safety Consolidation Project here.

Understanding NFPA Standards

Did you know the NFPA has created a set of over 300 standards published in different categorical guidebooks? They cover topics ranging from how to set up an airport response plan to personal protection equipment recommendations.

Striker Volterra electric ARFF at Birmingham AirportEach standard or guidebook has its own committee, which consists of a diversified group of experts on the topic. Overall, there are 260 technical committees with approximately 10,000 volunteers. The committees meet frequently to review proposed revisions, which can be submitted electronically on the NFPA website.

These standards and guidebooks follow a regular revision cycle to ensure they remain up-to-date and offer the most current guidance to the user community. For instance, as electric vehicle technology continues to advance, and with the introduction of innovative vehicles like the Striker® Volterra™ EV, terminology within the ARFF vehicle standard was updated to accommodate these advancements in NFPA 1900.

NFPA Submission Process

Once an NFPA code and standard revision request is submitted, it is put in line to be reviewed by the committees during the revision cycle. The topic-specific committee sits down and discusses the suggestion for change, which can be taken as-is, revised or rejected. The review process, or revision cycle, has several stages, allowing multiple comment periods to fully vet each submission. This ensures both the user and the committee members are both heard. 

The NFPA tries to cultivate a two-way conversation. All of the meetings are open to the public, and attendance is encouraged. Due to the collaborative process, the standard revision cycle takes about two years to complete.

Shaping NFPA Standards

The NFPA strives to be all-encompassing and values opinions. It has a specific process to ensure every submission is revised by the appropriate committee and discussed.

Not everyone has the opportunity to easily recommend and implement change to their industry. If you’re involved in the ARFF industry, take advantage of the opportunity! If something should be changed, submit a revision.

You have the power to help shape the fire industry. It’s important to take ownership of your career and help shape it to be safer, more cutting-edge and as flawless as possible.

Learn more about the NFPA’s online submission process.

Topics: ARFF, Airport, NFPA, Oshkosh, Products, Standards

View the ARFF Vehicle Reference Guide

About Oshkosh Airport Products

Oshkosh Airport Products, a division of Pierce Manufacturing Inc., a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), is a designer and builder of industry-leading airport firefighting vehicles. Its flagship Striker® Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicles are known for their durability and superior performance and sold throughout the world. For more information, visit

About Oshkosh Corporation

At Oshkosh (NYSE: OSK), we make innovative, mission-critical equipment to help everyday heroes advance communities around the world. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Oshkosh Corporation employs approximately 17,000 team members worldwide, all united behind a common purpose: to make a difference in people’s lives. Oshkosh products can be found in more than 150 countries under the brands of JLG®, Hinowa, Power Towers, Pierce®, MAXIMETAL, Oshkosh® Defense, McNeilus®, IMT®, Jerr-Dan®, Frontline™ Communications, Oshkosh® Airport Products, Oshkosh AeroTech™ and Pratt Miller. For more information, visit

®, ™ All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains statements that the Company believes to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s future financial position, business strategy, targets, projected sales, costs, earnings, capital expenditures, debt levels and cash flows, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this news release, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “should,” “project” or “plan” or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include the Company's ability to successfully integrate the AeroTech acquisition and to realize the anticipated benefits associated with the same; the risks associated with international operations and sales, including compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;  the Company’s ability to comply with complex laws and regulations applicable to U.S. government contractors; cybersecurity risks and costs of defending against, mitigating and responding to data security threats and breaches impacting the Company; the Company’s ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate other acquisitions and to realize the anticipated benefits associated with the same; and risks related to the Company’s ability to successfully execute on its strategic road map and meet its long-term financial goals. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release. The Company assumes no obligation, and disclaims any obligation, to update information contained in this news release. Investors should be aware that the Company may not update such information until the Company’s next quarterly earnings conference call, if at all.

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