IAFC forms fire service research and policy center

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) announced the formation and inaugural meeting of The International Fire Service Research Center and Policy Institute (The Institute). The Institute was born out of a National Policy Center task force, originally conceived in 2002.

The Institute is committed to building the capacity and adaptability of fire rescue organizations. In addition, The Institute will help lead the transformation of fire rescue services through world class research. This will be accomplished by collaborative efforts with other research institutions from around the world to facilitate, coordinate, conduct and disseminate research projects and findings. The results of the work of The Institute will be used to support the development of informed public policy decisions with regard to the leadership, management, and operations of fire rescue services.
 
“The Institute was created to fill an international need for quality, unbiased research as a component of effective public policy,” said IAFC President Chief Jim Harmes. “It was established by the IAFC because of the importance of the fire rescue services, the amount of resources used in the delivery of these services and the concern over the high rates of civilian and firefighter death rates in the U.S.”

Policy and direction for the new institute will be managed by an international board of directors. They will also serve to provide direct and indirect financial support for the organization. In May, during the inaugural meeting of The Institute, the following slate of officers was elected: president, Ernie Mitchell, director of the National Firefighter Technology Resource Center, president of the IAFC (2003-2004) and former fire chief, Pasadena (Calif.) Fire Department; secretary, Bruce Moeller, fire chief, Sunrise (Fla.) Fire-Rescue; and treasurer, Bill Metcalf, fire chief, North County Fire Protection District, Fallbrook (Calif.).

The board of directors includes Roger Bradley, fire chief, Hanover (N.H.) Fire Department; Garry Briese, vice president, Emergency Management & Homeland Security, ICF International and former IAFC executive director; Rich Carrizzo, fire chief, Southern Platte (Mo.) Fire Protection District; Dennis Davis, currently an independent fire-service consultant working with a range of international clients, formerly the chief fire officer in Cheshire and HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services for Scotland; Amy Donahue, head of the Department of Public Policy, University of Connecticut; Bill Killen, former fire chief and president of the IAFC (2005-2006); Tom Looney, industry director for Justice and Public Safety, Microsoft Corporation; Bill Metcalf, fire chief, North County Fire Protection District, Fallbrook (Calif.) (San Diego suburb); Jim Milke, associate professor and associate chair, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland; Ernie Mitchell, director, National Firefighter Technology Resource Center, president of the IAFC (2003-2004) and former fire chief, Pasadena (Calif.) Fire Department; Bruce Moeller, fire chief, Sunrise (Fla.) Fire-Rescue; Tim Riley, former fire chief, Newport Beach (Calif.) Fire Department; Julian Taliaferro, city council member and former fire chief, Charlottesville, Va.; and Tom Von Essen, senior vice president, Giuliani Partners, chief executive officer, Giuliani-Von Essen LLC, former New York City fire commissioner.

Former Littleton, Colorado, Fire Chief Bill Pessemier has been named chief executive officer for The Institute and will manage day-to-day operations. Pessemier has been on the IAFC national programs staff for the past three years and is working to complete a doctorate in public affairs at the University of Colorado at Denver.  
The offices of The Institute will be housed at 4025 Fair Ridge Drive, Fairfax, VA  22033, telephone 703/463-6094. For more information about The Institute, contact Bill at bpessemier@iafc.org.

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