Your Rescue Gear Will Soon Have New NFPA Markings
NFPA has started a process of grouping related standards into one volume. For example, it has now grouped NFPA 1983, 1858, and 1670 into one volume, NFPA 2500, “Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents and Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services.”
So, NFPA 2500 will include all three of these standards. However, NPFA 1006 “Professional Qualifications for Technical Rescuers” still remains a separate document.
According to a blog post by CEO Loui McCurley of PMI, one of the most noticeable changes will probably be on equipment that will now be marked with NFPA 2500 instead of NFPA 1983. NFPA has decided to include the old standard numbers as a reference. For example, equipment previously would have been marked:
NFPA 1983 (2017 ED)
It will now look more like this…
NFPA 2500 (1983) 2022 ED
There will be a “G”, “T” or “E” to indicate General Use, Technical Use or Escape.
The big change is that as of Spring 2023, manufacturers must stop selling equipment marked to the 2017 edition of 1983. Retailers will still be able to sell the equipment until their stocks are depleted.
Your next question might be, “Will users be required to switch to the new NFPA 2500 marked equipment?” Or, “When must I stop using NFPA 1983 marked equipment?”
There is no NFPA requirement that says you have to use or buy equipment meeting the most current version of any standard. Ms. McCurley indicates that the good news is that there were not significant technical changes to the standard, so most all equipment properly certified to NFPA 1983 (2017) will also meet the NFPA 2500 (2022) standard.
Thank you to Loui McCurley, CEO of PMI, for providing the reference material here. Several videos about this topic are available at www.pmirope.com.