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Firefighter Code of Ethics
The American fire and emergency services has a very proud tradition of serving communities across our nation that dates back to colonial times. Throughout our nation’s history, firefighters have been looked upon with great respect and admiration for their courage and dedication to their profession. To preserve the public’s trust, a National Firefighter Code of Ethics was developed by a group of fire service leaders that calls on individual firefighters to pledge their support for maintaining the highest level of professionalism and behavior.
The Code is a guide for acceptable behavior already practiced by all but a very small percentage of the fire service. Isolated events that have occurred across the country involving lapses in ethical judgment by fire service personnel led to the Code of Ethics being developed. It was the brainchild of the National Society of Executive Fire Officers (NSEFO) and has since gained the support of a number of local, state, and national organizations, as well as prominent fire service leaders.
Individual firefighters are encouraged to sign the Code and keep it in view to remind themselves each day of their pledge to the highest standards of professionalism and behavior.
The idea for the Code was initially proposed in the Fire Service Reputation Management White Paper published by the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association (CVVFA). For more information on firefighter ethics, visit the CVVFA's Firefighter Behavior web site.