Your memorial foundation has not been able to meet since the last article was presented in the September-October newsletter. We do not have a mounting list of things to do, but we are faced with some process questions which have been hanging for a time in hopes of a greater understanding being revealed to assist in current and future process management. A lot of this has been routed to Brian Zinanni for additional research and guidance including the time to do so. We should have a way forward on some of this by the next newsletter. Continue Reading →
Greg Wright and I had the privilege to attend the fall meeting of the NVFC in Kearny, NE, on September 27-29. North Dakota will be hosting in 2018, and Georgia in 2019. Greg and I both serve on the Health and Safety Committee. I also serve on the Recruitment and Retention Committee. Committee members are required to attend their assignment but outside of that Greg and I divided our time over the remaining 14 NVFC committee meetings. All State appointment directors and assistant directors are allowed to set in, ask questions and suggest their opinions on any committee and involved with Q/A, but only committee members vote, it is essentially an open forum to all States through process. Committee decisions can be over turned by the combined council but their hard work on the front end seldom comes to that. Continue Reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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 →