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NFPA Seeks Public Comments on New Overdose Response Standard


Deadline: December 31, 2019

Submit public comments here

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent a New Project Initiation Request to the NFPA Standards Council asking for the development of an ANSI-accredited standard for community-based response to drug overdoses (CReDO). This new standard would address the necessary functions and actions related to the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery to drug overdoses by any community, AHJ, facility, and/or organization that handles these types of incidents.

When the NFPA Standards Council receives requests to develop a new standard, comments are solicited from as many groups and individuals as possible. This effort helps gauge levels of support or opposition to the development of a code or standard, and ultimately enables the Council to determine whether or not to begin standards development. 

The DHS request to the NFPA Standards Council explains why NFPA is the agency’s choice to develop a CReDO standard. “To address this national public health emergency, we need a multi-level community response to prevention, identification, response and recovery to these overdose events. Communities need to recognize and share best practices and tools to tackle the issues within their respective jurisdictions. It requires consistent training, terminology, tools, systems, frequent updates of current information, and overall coordinated management of response actions.

A national voluntary consensus standard would bring together all vested stakeholders to tackle this problem together. It would include participation by federal, state and local government, law enforcement, EMS, fire, hospitals, poison centers, professional organizations, laboratories, addiction treatment programs, drug prevention experts and private sector partners. This issue is far-reaching and impacting every state in America—in urban, suburban and rural communities. The challenge is, in fact, spreading around the world.”  

If the development of a CReDO standard is approved by the NFPA Standards Council, the responsible technical committee (TC) would likely be tasked with addressing, at a minimum, the following:

  • Guidance and procedures to determine if:
    • An overdose involves current or new substances or mixtures of substances
    • An overdose case is part of a cluster
  • Detailing a coordinated process to:
    • Mobilize a local response to overdoses
    • Collect, leverage and share data in order to proactively address the threats to a community and identify trends for the purpose of preparedness and response
    • Coordinate across disciplines in order to provide services, including access to rehabilitation and recovery in a streamlined manner
    • Establish the appropriate level of response and resources needed to manage the incident
  • Developing training requirements or knowledge competencies for responders, public health, outreach, medical staff, laboratory, and other participants in the program

As first responders have become increasingly relied upon to provide emergency response to a growing range of incidents, NFPA has worked to support their roles and responsibilities by developing standards, trainings, resources and initiatives that help them perform their work as effectively and safely as possible, wherever they’re required to go.

Development of our ambulance, active shooter and drone standards are a few examples of first responder issues we’ve addressed in recent years. The full list of NFPA’s codes and standards can be viewed on our website. 

NFPA is soliciting comments through December 31, 2019 to determine levels of support and/or opposition to the development of an NFPA standard that addresses CReDO.

We’re fully committed to seeking feedback from vested groups and individuals, recognizing that there will be many points of view and perspectives to be carefully considered. As a result, NFPA is looking for feedback on the following questions:

  • Are you or your organization in favor of the development of an NFPA standard addressing CReDO?
  • What are your reasons for supporting or opposing this proposed standard?
  • If you are in support of NFPA standards developments of CReDO, would you or your organization be interested in dedicating time to committee work toward its development?

Providing your comments to the Standards Council is the only way for everyone’s perspectives to be officially heard. 

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the press release above belong solely to the company/vendor/author and do not necessarily reflect those of EMS World or HMP.

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