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NVFC Update – July 2017

As Fire Marshal Tim Bean discussed during the Sunday board meeting at convention and again at the June directors meeting there is a conversation underway on a minimum training standard. NVFC is also taking up that issue, having asked some questions and attempting to get a better understanding of this across the nation. This will perhaps start a genuine conversation on this important topic at a national level. I find some comfort in both the local and national process of starting with a minimum that is reasonable and obtainable versus heading straight to the highest mark available. This in no way detracts from the utmost encouragement to pursue Firefighter I and II, plus several allied certifications but there are certain realities that are just going to be what they are. Doing nothing, leaves nothing, but doing something is at least a step in the right direction of, “better than we were.” So within that narrative and as presented, how do we best protect those that are trying their level best to protect their communities? That is the discussion currently underway both in Missouri and other areas. Done correctly this can have a very good outcome. Continue Reading →

Memorial Update and News

It is with profound sadness that I must open my article with not one but two line of duty death (LODD) announcements. Since the last newsletter our state finds itself having honored two LODD’s and both very shortly after our May 21, services in Kingdom City. Firefighter Jesse Ketchum with the Memphis Fire Department passed on May 29, and Firefighter Jeffrey M. Sanders with the Mayview Fire Protection District passed on June 19. I also wish his partner a speedy recovery. Your foundation now sets about the task of honoring their sacrifice in the May 2018 services. Several of you reading this article assisted with arrangements and honoring department/family in one or both community services. Thank you for doing so.

The DVD’s from the 2017 services will be available for sale by the time your are reading this article. It has the candlelight and Sunday morning service on one DVD. If you were not able to attend and need one or attended and forgot to sign up for a copy please contact me. Cost is $10 or $12 each if mailed. Continue Reading →

NVFC Update – May 2017

Plans were put into place with an approved budget in 2016 to attend the Spring Meeting of the National Volunteer Fire Council in Washington, DC, April 6-8. This included a day on Capital Hill on April 5. This was a six day commitment with travel but planned to be completed. In week six leading up to finalizing all plans and reservations it became clear that Washington could be totally occupied with affordable care, hacking, finalizing appointments, immigration, and global relationships. We held off until week four and a firm deadline of proceeding with or cancelling the trip. A key focus was to spend a day on the hill plus the NVFC meeting. On conferring with President Hoover I expressed my concern that access to key congressional staff could be very limited if not at all. An office aid versus a government affairs staffer would likely be my only available contact and depending on the day, I could be left talking only with the receptionist? I had also just discovered no rooms were left within the NVFC rate block of $265 and the host hotel was full. The next option was another hotel one mile away at $350 per night plus 16% tax. President Hoover and I agreed to cancel the trip due to probable lack of impactful access and conversation with the congressional offices at this time. The added hotel cost was not in budget either and sealed the decision. Continue Reading →

A Note About the Foundation

Time to save the dates for the 2017 memorial services. The Candlelight Service is Saturday, May 20, at 9:00 p.m. The Memorial Service is Sunday morning May 21, at 10:30 a.m. Weather permitting, both services will be at the memorial site in Kingdom City. Weather not permitting, they will be held 5 miles North, at the Auxvasse Elementary School Gym. Our keynote speaker this year is Brian Zinanni, founding member and director of the Missouri Funeral Assistance Team, State Director of Supporting Hero’s, Memorial Foundation member, and Regional Director of the National Honor Guard Commanders Association.

We will be honoring those which have passed in the line of duty and those which have served and passed from 2016.  Those that passed in early 2017 are honored by choice of their family and anyone we may have missed from 2014 or 2015. If there is a line of duty we have missed regardless of date, they will be honored. As a point of fact, we have two being honored from the 1960’s. Our next foundation meeting is Sunday, March 19.

National Volunteer Fire Council Fall Meeting

The National Volunteer Fire Council  (NVFC) Fall Meeting was hosted by the South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association in North Charleston, SC, on September 21-23 with 43 of 49 States represented, there are no volunteer fire departments in Hawaii. Several states included their director and assistant director, having 81 of 98 representatives in attendance. This Fall meeting was attended by Missouri Director Keith Smith and Assistant NVFC Director Greg Wright, who is also the district 2 director for the FFAM.

Day 1

Opening and welcome by various South Carolina fire agencies, local and regional dignitaries and special guests. Reports from the NVFC executive staff and executive committee officers. Our President Kevin Quinn (RI) was not able to attend due to by-pass surgery the week before. Vice President Steve Hirsch (KS) facilitated the Fall meeting.

STRATEGIC PLANNING

All organizations are recommended to have a 1-3-5 year road map but of late, experts caution about going to 5 years. With the fire service, economy and technology constantly changing and expected to continue as such, the emphasis is on the 12 months in front of your organization with a firm grasp on the 24 months which follow, 3 years total. Good advice for sure but being able to measure the goals in the plan while forecasting change are the current rules of engagement. The following information may be able to assist organizations through growth, attempting to improve their service positions or just tweaking a few things of interest. These are a few highlights from the NVFC Strategic Plan. Continue Reading →

The Importance of Early Health Screenings

Recently the Chairman of NVFC, Kevin Quinn attended and participated in attending a fire department health screening. This invitation took on a new urgency for further medial testing later discovering an underlining medical condition not previously suspected but now known. If you ever think such things are not in your future because you feel just fine, let me share a few lines from the recent email he sent to the NVFC Board on what started out as an invitation to visit a friend and NVFC board member.

 You all know how passionate I am about the “boots on the ground” volunteer firefighters across our great United States of America. As many of you know, heart disease and cancer are leading killers of our nation’s firefighters. We keep telling firefighters to have annual check-ups and physicals to avoid becoming a statistic. I believe it is important to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Continue Reading →

Memorial Foundation Report

The annual candlelight and memorial services took place Saturday and Sunday May 14-15. While Saturday night was cold the rain held off and both services were held on the memorial grounds. The field of flags arranged by Dr. Baker and his helpers was outstanding!

The Foundation was task with honoring four recent Line of Duty Deaths (LODD) from 2015 and one previously unknown from North Kansas City.

  • Christopher A. Tindal, South Metropolitan FPD, 01/08/2015
  • Larry W. Lawhorn, Orchard Farm FPD, 05/03/2015
  • John Mesh, Kansas City FD, 10/12/2015
  • Larry Leggio, Kansas City FD, 10/12/2015
  • Dorris Winn Fox, N. Kansas City, 04/05/1935

Continue Reading →

National Volunteer Fire Council Fall Meeting

 NVFC-1The fall meeting of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) took place in Concord, NC on October 21-23 with 40 States attending, 37 directors and 25 alternates. NVFC is now partners with Shell Pipeline, Penske Racing and the Pennzoil 22 car. Shell Pipeline is partners with NVFC for the deck plate, which has the NVFC logo and “Find the Fighter in You” and MakeMeAFirefighter.org.

That website will start initiate process of matching someone interested in becoming a firefighter with a department, with an emphasis on volunteer departments but a fire department close to them regardless. There have been 2,800 website hits so far and growing.

A key focus of this meeting was cancer in the fire service and more evidence is showing it to be worse than expected, although suspected as such for many years. Clinical evidence is now beginning to validate what many in political circles have tried to dismiss and ignore hoping it would go away including insurance carriers. Just the opposite is now moving ahead with strong evidence that continues to build reaching and validating many conclusions backed by clinical studies and science. Continue Reading →