Cap Wiz helps bridge communication between NVFC members and elected officials
Last year the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) subscribed to Cap Wiz, a grassroots advocacy outreach tool that enhances the ability to influence members of Congress by making it easier for members and supporters to communicate with their Representatives and Senators.
Using Cap Wiz, the NVFC can post draft letters to elected officials and federal agencies on a special section of our web site and then send an alert that includes the web site link to individuals that sign up to receive the NVFC's legislative updates (including NVFC EMS Update subscribers) to let them know that the letter has been posted. Individuals can follow the link, read the draft letter, and send it to their elected officials simply by entering their contact information and clicking 'send.' Cap Wiz will deliver the e-mails to the appropriate elected officials and generate reports on which offices receive e-mails so that NVFC staff can follow up to ensure that the message was received and answer any questions that the Congressional office may have.
"In order to get things done in Washington, DC, we need to have good arguments and broad-based, vocal support that creates a sense of urgency in Congress to address our concerns," said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. "With Cap Wiz we have a tool that will make it easier for hundreds of thousands of volunteer emergency responders to communicate with their Representatives and Senators, while at the same time providing NVFC with information about the level of grassroots support for our various legislative priorities."
The NVFC's top priorities include legislation that would allocate radio spectrum to public safety for the purpose of building a nationwide broadband communications network; the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program (which includes a component for non-fire service-based EMS organizations); legislation that would clarify the tax treatment of service award programs (pension-like programs for volunteer emergency responders); legislation that would extend an income tax exemption on benefits that volunteer emergency responders receive as recruitment and retention incentives; and legislation that would provide up to 14 days of job protection to volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel who respond in an official capacity to a Presidentially-declared disaster, among others.
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