Emergency Action Plan Directors Overview
• Course Description
• EAP Application
Introduction to the EAP Director
For years the City of New York has provided its residents and visitors some of the safest and most comprehensive Fire Prevention and Building Codes. In the early 1970’s the Mayor, and the City Council addressed the need for additional fire safety measures in certain types of Class “E” office buildings. Leaders in their respected fields convened and with public debate and input introduced Local Law 5 of 1973, which was adopted into the Fire Prevention Code as RCNY Title 3 Rule 6-01. This particular law required certain buildings at certain times to have a Fire Safety Director on duty, as well as other safety requirements. This was an important step in considering the unique problems faced during fires in large, high rise office buildings.
As you well know the Fire Safety Director has many duties but one of the most important is controlling evacuation during a fire situation. And over the past 30 years Local Law 5 and the Fire Safety Directors have served the citizens of this city well, providing a measure of safety during fires that is unsurpassed.
“But it is a different world we live in now,” since the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the continuous threat posed to us by terrorism, the necessity to have greater safety measures incorporated into our buildings needed to be explored.
As New York City has always been at the fore front in providing its residents with a safe working and living environment, the World Trade Center Building Code Task Force was convened in 2002 “to review current building design, construction and operating requirements and determine if modifications for extreme events were needed to ensure public safety in new and existing buildings.” The mayor and the City Council agreed to some of the recommendations and introduced Local Law 26 of 2004, which was adopted into the Fire Prevention Code as RCNY Title 3 Rule 6-02. This particular law required certain buildings at certain times to now have a Fire Safety/ Emergency Evacuation Plan Director on duty, as well as other additional safety requirements. The new EAP requirement added training, drills, and evacuation procedures that would specifically address non-fire emergencies in certain Class “E” buildings, which would include acts of terrorism as well as natural disasters or other extreme events that would potentially harm the occupants.
Local Law 26 of 2004
Local Law 26 required that the FDNY create rules governing the duties, training, qualifications, and responsibilities of the FS / EAPD. In addition it required that owners of Class “E” buildings create an Emergency Action Plan that must be examined and approved by the Fire Department. However Local Law 26 required much more in respect to the Building Code and improving the safety in the event of an extreme emergency. What follows is the NYC Building Department’s summary of the relevant provisions of Local Law 26 of 2004 (Note: a copy of LL 26 can be viewed at the NYC Building Department’s web site.)
An Emergency Action Plan Director is an employee of the building designated to implement the Emergency Action Plan during non-fire emergencies. The EAP Director must first be an active certified Fire Safety Director in their building, in order to qualify for the position. You will see the designation referred to as the Fire Safety / Emergency Action Plan Director (FS/ EAPD), or just EAP Director.
What are the qualifications of the EAP Director?
In order to get a Certificate of Fitness for EAP Director the applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Hold a valid C of F for FSD
- Attend and pass an approved training course
- Submit an affidavit from their employer or building owner stating that the applicant is designated in the Emergency Action Plan
- Take and pass both a written and on-site test
Why is an EAP Director necessary?
The position of Fire Safety Director and all of it’s required responsibilities, has improved safety and subsequently has saved lives, reduced injuries, and lessoned the damage during fire situations. However, in the world we now live in the citizens not only face danger from fire but also other extreme events, whether man made, natural, intentional, or accidental. It was necessary and mandated by law; to add a new component to the safety provided by the FSD, give the FSD new and added responsibilities, additional training, guidance, and a new designation, that designation is the FS/ EAP Director.