The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed significant changes to the OSHA Fire Brigade Standard (1910.156). If approved in its current form, the rule will impact all fire departments (volunteer, combination, and paid) across New York and the country.

The 608 page document released by OSHA outlining the proposed changes would incorporate costly health and safety standard mandates and expose municipal fire departments to litigation and costly settlements. This one size fits all approach could cripple already fiscally strapped departments and further negatively impact the recruitment and retention efforts of struggling volunteer fire departments. NYCOM fully supports measures that will protect responder safety. However, there needs to be a balanced approach that takes into consideration the realities of each department.

OSHA’s proposed changes has been published in the Federal Register and has a 90-day comment period that closes on May 6, 2024. The time to act is now. NYCOM is currently working with the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (, the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York ( and other fire service organizations in a united effort to get the comment period extended to allow for additional time to fully digest and appropriately respond to the proposed rule changes. For more information on this issue, please contact John Mancini, NYCOM Counsel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The OSHA Emergency Response Standard Proposed Rule Can Be Found Here: Emergency Response Standard; Proposed Rule | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (
U.S. Department of Labor Information: Emergency Response Rulemaking | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (
Information Webinar By OSHA Training Institute: Webinar: Emergency Response Rule
Federal Register – Submit A Comment: Federal Register :: Emergency Response Standard