Fire Buffs Hold 22nd Convention, Approve 5 Clubs

Fire Buffs Hold 22nd Convention, Approve 5 Clubs

Some months ago we mentioned the International Fire Buff Associates (IFBA) which does so much to promote constructive buffing throughout the United States and Canada. On July 10-13, at Howard Johnson’s Motor Hotel in downtown Boston, the IFBA held its 22nd annual convention. More than 650 delegates attended from as far away as the West Coast, making this reportedly the largest such gathering since the organization was founded in February 1953.

Those present enjoyed many of the typical activities to be found at any major convention—in this case a New England clambake; a tour of historic Concord for ladies and children; a moonlight cruise around Boston Harbor with buffet, music, and dancing.

But the IFBA delegates also spent several days observing fire department operations in city and suburbs; watching displays and demonstrations of apparatus from more than 20 communities; touring fire stations; and attending well-organized seminars on such subjects as fire photography, arson, and radio communications. They heard a number of speakers including Boston’s Fire Chief George Paul and Chelsea’s Chief Herb Fothergill. Convention business included election of officers for 1974-75. New IFBA president is John Van Dyke of the Columbus, Ohio, Box 15 Club (the 1975 convention will be held in Columbus).

Also on the agenda was approval of five more clubs for IFBA membership, bringing the total to almost 70. More are always on the way. Only a few weeks after the 1974 convention, Buff Dave Freedman of St. Paul reported that a new “Extra Alarm Fire Association” with 28 members, just launched in the Twin Cities, is thinking of seeking International affiliation. Like some other IFBA clubs, this group was formed through the efforts of a local fire chief (Clarence Nimmerfough of Minneapolis).

Fire officers in Denver have been working for several years with buffs there, attempting to form a working club, and early this year Assistant Chief John Passarella said the group was “gaining some momentum . . . membership is increasing monthly.” Information from the IFBA on club operations was helpful to Denver’s efforts.

Announced at the Boston convention was this item of interest to the fire service: the IFBA now holds associate membership in the International Association of Fire Chiefs. For some years the IFBA has placed a display booth at IAFC conventions, to acquaint registrants with buffing and the IFBA’s role in it. Henceforth, the buffs plan to work still more closely in cooperation with the IAFC convention activities—thus further extending the helpful relationship between responsible buffs and the fire service, now existing in hundreds of communities of all sizes.

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