|The NVFC spring board meeting was held in Alexandria, VA, with 38 fire associations in attendance
The Board members heard from speakers on a variety of topics from grant programmes to partnerships, to recruitment ideas.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Board of Directors heard from a wide array of distinguished speakers during its annual NVFC Spring Board Meeting in Alexandria, VA, April 27-May 1. Thirty-nine state fire associations were represented at the meeting.
The Board members heard from speakers on a variety of topics from grant programs to partnerships, to recruitment ideas.
The speakers and special guests included the following:
- Chief Glenn Gaines, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator, provided an overview of the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) current initiatives, thanked the NVFC for its work, and congratulated the organization for receiving the Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Safety Leadership Award.
- The Honorable James Shannon, President of the National Fire Protection Association, gave the keynote speech at the Chairman's Luncheon and focused on the importance of unity in the fire service. Using the example of getting fire safe cigarette legislation passed in all 50 states, Shannon emphasized what can be accomplished when all of the fire service organizations work together. "When we have the fire service speak with one voice, it is incredibly strong. It is critical we don't undersell the importance when we all speak together."
- Tim O'Dowd, Fire Program Specialist at USFA talked about the success of the collaborative projects between the NVFC and USFA.
- Tim Manning, Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spoke about the new face of FEMA.
- Elizabeth Harmon, Assistant Administrator for Grant Programs at DHS, gave an update on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and answered questions from the NVFC Board.
- Drew Dawson, Director of the NHTSA Office of EMS, provided an update of NHTSA programs and EMS activities on a federal level. He also thanked the NVFC for being a very consistent and important voice in helping to ensure the voice of the volunteer fire service and EMS providers.
Sara Yerkes, Senior Vice President of Government Relations at the International Code Council (ICC), talked about the new Sound the Alarm program the NVFC and ICC are collaborating on as well as other current ICC initiatives.
The NVFC Board members heard some of the most eminent speakers at their annual meeting
- Victor Esch, Fire Program Specialist with the DHS/FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, offered tips and project ideas for applying for the AFG and SAFER grant programs, with a focus on the recruitment aspect of SAFER grants.
- Duane Putman, Director, Employers – Coalitions, Organizations, and Associations at Pfizer, Inc., provided an update on the Put It Out smoking cessation campaign partnership between the NVFC and Pfizer.
- Eric Bernard, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Rescue Association, discussed his association's successful SAFER-funded recruitment campaign, which features innovative ideas such as establishing a recruitment station and having joint training for new recruits among all of the county's fire departments.
- Jason Cannon from Scott Health and Safety assisted in the presentation of the NVFC's Junior Firefighter of the Year and Junior Firefighter Program of the Year awards, which are sponsored by Tyco International, and the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is sponsored by Scott Health and Safety. "Each award recipient represents a different area, but all can be summed up with just a few words – dedication, commitment, community outreach, and preservation," Cannon said of the award winners. "On behalf of Scott Health and Safety, I thank you."