A new federal standard that would require firefighters to use firefighting gear is being debated by state and local governments.
The American Fire Protection Association says the standards, which were adopted in April, are necessary to combat the rising fire risk in the country.
“The safety of firefighters is paramount,” APPA Executive Director Kevin Loeffler said in a statement.
“With this new rule, we have a way to meet that challenge and provide our firefighting teams with the tools they need to save lives.”
However, state and municipal fire departments argue that the new standards are unnecessary and have said the rules could hurt their ability to recruit and retain top firefighters.
The National Association of State Fire Chiefs (NASF) also said the standards will cause firefighters to abandon equipment that they already have on hand and would result in fewer resources being available to firefighters.
“These new requirements will result in firefighting operations being hindered because more time and resources will be wasted in responding to a disaster, resulting in fewer firefighting resources available for other important firefighting efforts,” the group said in an email to ABC News.
Loeeffler says that the rules also could discourage firefighters from trying to fight fire when it is actually too hot or windy to do so.
“If you look at the current wildfire season, this is the hottest wildfire season since record keeping began in 1910,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that the time is now to take the firefighting role into the next level.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.