The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Board of Directors met in Alexandria, VA, on April 17-18, 2015. Representatives from 43 state associations attended.
The NVFC board is comprised of up to two representatives from 49 state fire associations. The board meets as a whole twice a year to conduct Council business and address key issues in the nation’s fire, emergency medical, and rescue services.
Many board members arrived a day early to attend the Congressional Fire Services Institute’s (CFSI) National Fire & Emergency Services Dinner and Seminars as well as conduct meetings on Capitol Hill to encourage their congressional representatives to support legislation important to the volunteer fire service.
During the spring meeting, 15 NVFC committees met on issues ranging from legislation and volunteer advocacy to international relations and health, safety, and training. The Wildland Committee meeting was hosted at the headquarters of the U.S. Forest Service, which partners with the NVFC on the Wildland Fire Assessment Program and other wildfire preparedness efforts. Meetings were also held for the EMS/Rescue Section and the NVFC Foundation.
In addition, the NVFC unveiled its new Make Me a Firefighter campaign, a SAFER-funded project designed to help local volunteer fire and EMS departments recruit and retain members. Through the campaign, local departments will be able to post their volunteer opportunities, generate customized recruitment materials, plan department recruitment events, and more. Potential volunteers can go to a designated web site to find volunteer opportunities and connect with their local department.
The department registration portal will be available soon; stay tuned to the NVFC web site at www.nvfc.org for details. The NVFC thanks its Recruitment and Retention Committee and SAFER Workgroup for their guidance and input on the campaign.
The NVFC board held its bi-annual officer elections. The 2015-2017 NVFC leadership is as follows:
Chair: Kevin D. Quinn (RI)
1st Vice Chair: Steve Hirsch (KS)
2nd Vice Chair: Dallas Renfrew (TX)
Secretary/Treasurer: Allen Metheny (DE)
Executive Committee*: Mike Bird (MA), Juan Bonilla (ID), Jeff Cash (NC), Bob Kilpeck (VT), Suzie Hill Koklich (AK), Steve McClintock (NV), T.J. Nedrow (WA), Bob Timko (PA)
*The Executive Committee includes the four officers, five elected positions, Chair of the Legislative Committee, President of the NVFC Foundation, and Chair of the EMS/Rescue Section
NVFC board member Rev. Reid Vaughan swears in the elected 2015-17 NVFC leadership (L-R): Bob Timko, Mike Bird, Steve McClintock, Suzie Hill Koklich, Jeff Cash, Allen Metheny, Dallas Renfrew, Steve Hirsch, and Kevin D. Quinn.
A line-up of distinguished guest speakers presented to the board during the meeting.
Dr. Bill Jenaway, Vice President, VFIS Education Training and Consulting, led a special session on board leadership and governance.
Bill Troup from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) facilitated a roundtable discussion on cancer in the fire service. Participants included Dr. Bill Jenaway, CEO, VFIS; Ed Mann, Provident; Chief Brian McQueen, NVFC board member and cancer survivor; and Trey Kelso, Firefighter Cancer Support Network.
R. Wayne Powell, Executive Director of the National Fire Heritage Center, presented the keynote address at the Chairman’s Luncheon. The event was co-sponsored by California Casualty.
Sue Swenson and Chief Jeff Johnson (Ret), Chair and Vice Chair of the FirstNet Board, respectively, gave an update on the progress of FirstNet, the organization mandated by Congress to build, operate, and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety.
Frank Reiner, President of the Chlorine Institute and Chair of the National TRANSCAER Task Group, discussed the training and resources provided by TRANSCAER to help responders prepare for hazardous materials incidents. The NVFC also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TRANSCAER to help promote these trainings and initiatives.
Maggie Wilson, Section Chief of the SAFER and FP&S programs at the Department of Homeland Security, provided an update on the AFG and SAFER grant programs.
Marco A. Stradler, CMO and Managing Director of North America for Swissphone, spoke about the future of disaster-proven paging for volunteer fire departments during a special breakfast sponsored by Swissphone.
Michael Cartwright, Chairman of the Board for American Addiction Centers (AAC), talked about firefighter behavioral health and AAC’s partnership with the NVFC, which includes the Fire/EMS Helpline, during a lunch sponsored by AAC.
The NVFC presented its 2015 fire service achievement awards at a special dinner on April 17 co-sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and PennWell Fire Group. The recipients are:
E. James Monihan Director Award, sponsored by Provident Agency:Patrick Hlavaty (TX)
Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Rosenbauer America: Chief Edward J. Mello (Alberta)
Fire Prevention Award, sponsored by First Alert: Chief James Jarboe(MD)
Junior Firefighter of the Year, sponsored by Tyco: James Thomas “Jimmy” Johnson (NC)
Junior Firefighter Program of the Year, sponsored by Tyco: Hedgesville 4-H Junior Volunteer Fire Company (WV)
2015 NVFC Award Winners
The NVFC thanks all of our meeting and award sponsors: American Addiction Centers, California Casualty, Darley, ESIP, First Alert, National Fire Protection Association, PennWell Fire Group, Provident, Rosenbauer, Swissphone, The Pennsylvania Fireman, Tyco, and the Virginia State Firefighters Association.
The next board meeting will take place October 21-23, 2015 in Charlotte, NC.