The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and Columbia Southern University (CSU) are partnering for the 13th year to support volunteer responders by offering two scholarships to NVFC members to help them further their education in the fire and emergency services. Each scholarship will cover up to 60 credit hours towards one online degree program. CSU offers a wide range of accredited degree programs, including fire science, fire administration, occupational safety and health, and more. The university offers many online learning options designed to accommodate the busy life of a volunteer firefighter or EMS provider. Scholarship recipients may pursue an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Emergency medical services “Online learning has been instrumental to help our first responders continue their education, especially over the past year,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “We thank CSU for their continued support of our volunteers and the opportunities they provide to help these men and women enhance their skill sets and better serve their communities.” Our partnership with the NVFC ensures that we continue to teach a relevant, indispensable curriculum" “As a university whose students and alumni are actively involved in their community fire departments, it is imperative that we stay connected to organizations like the NVFC,” said Chief Keith Padgett, CSU’s fire and emergency medical services academic program director. “Our partnership with the NVFC ensures that we continue to teach a relevant, indispensable curriculum to volunteer and career fire professionals.” Achieving educational goals Since 2009, this scholarship has helped many NVFC members launch their careers and advance their position in the fire and emergency services. To date, 24 NVFC members have been able to achieve their educational goals through the partnership. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must: Be a member of the NVFC. If one is not currently an NVFC member, they should learn about membership benefits and join for just $18 Be a volunteer responder Complete the CSU/NVFC Scholarship application Submit a 500-word essay on this subject: ‘Explain how the opportunity to continue your education through this scholarship will advance your participation in the fire and emergency services or enhance your ability to contribute back to the emergency services community' Provide at least one letter of recommendation (from a teacher or someone at the fire department one reported to directly) Must not have previously earned a scholarship through CSU or the NVFC Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED), and be able to provide a transcript Be able to begin coursework within 90 days of the date of the award Maintain a 2.0 undergraduate GPA or 3.0 graduate GPA Remain in good standing with CSU and NVFC throughout the degree program Maintain continuous enrollment in the CSU degree program for the duration of the scholarship Current CSU students must already meet these requirements to be considered The deadline to apply is August 25. An NVFC scholarship committee will select the winners, and recipients will be announced in October 2021.
The Josh Cellars brand is partnering with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to recognize volunteer firefighters by producing a limited-edition, NVFC-branded bottle of Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon. For every bottle sold, Josh Cellars will donate one dollar to the NVFC (up to $150,000) for initiatives that support volunteer firefighters. “We are so appreciative of the tremendous support Josh Cellars gives to our volunteer fire service,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “This year’s limited-edition bottle is a great tribute to our nation’s volunteer responders and will help provide essential tools and resources to support their critical work.” Assistance to volunteer fire departments For Joseph Carr, founder of Josh Cellars, the volunteer fire service is a cause close to his heart. Josh Cellars wine was created by Carr as a tribute to his father, a volunteer firefighter and U.S. Army veteran. “Growing up, my dad Josh, our family, neighbors, and friends were all volunteer firefighters,” explains Carr. “It is civic duties shared and understood by all where I come from that you always take care of your community. That’s why Josh Cellars partners with the NVFC to provide assistance to volunteer fire departments and the dedicated responders across the country.” The Josh Cellars Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon will be available for purchase nationwide from May 1 through August 31 in local retail stores across the U.S.
Academy Sports + Outdoors and Brooks have teamed up to support people who keep the world running with the launch of a special, limited-edition Brooks x Academy First Responder shoe collection. For every purchase, a donation of $10 is made to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and American Nurses Foundation, up to $25,000 each, to support the frontline responders who serve the communities. First Responder Collection Brooks’s purpose is to inspire everyone to run their path to a better self by creating the best running gear, tools, and experience. As one of the nation’s sporting goods and outdoor retailers, Academy Sports + Outdoors believes in bringing their communities the gear they need to have more fun out there. Together, they created the First Responder Collection inspired by the enduring resilience and strength of firefighters and frontline medical workers. Recognizing first responder community “We are grateful to Academy Sports + Outdoors and Brooks for launching this special First Responder Collection to recognize and give back to the first responder community,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “Our nation’s volunteer firefighters and EMS providers do so much for their neighbors every day, and shining this spotlight on their work both honors these courageous men and women and raises awareness of all they do.” “From Academy and Brooks, we are grateful for all that our first responders do each and every day,” said Anna Morrison, running footwear buyer for Academy Sports + Outdoors. “Thank you for your diligence, your sacrifice, your compassion, and most importantly, thank you for showing up and risking your lives when we need you most. This collection is our thank you for all that you have sacrificed.” Available in 4 designs The collection includes four unique designs using bold and empowering graphics that capture the true essence of frontline heroes. The two firefighter designs embody the daring and courageous character, kinship, and strength of the men and women who serve their communities in this incredible way. The Brooks x Academy First Responder Collection is on sale till June 30.
Intelagard, National Foam, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up to support the volunteer fire service. Through a special giveaway program, nine volunteer fire departments will be awarded a Macaw® compressed air foam system (CAFS) backpack, nozzle kit, five gallons of Knockdown® firefighting foam, and four gallons of EasyDECON® DF200 to assist them in protecting their responders and their community. Each package is valued at $6,500. Served fire community “Communities across the country depend on volunteer firefighters to be their first line of defense for a wide variety of emergencies, including fires, natural disasters, vehicle crashes, hazardous materials incidents, and more,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “We appreciate Intelagard and National Foam for their commitment to help these volunteers by providing their most up-to-date, innovative equipment so they can do their jobs safely and efficiently.” We are fortunate to have served the fire community for the past 30 years" “We are fortunate to have served the fire community for the past 30 years,” said Intelagard president Dennis Smagac. “During this anniversary year, we are delighted to be able to give back to the volunteer departments whose staff sacrifice their time and risk their lives to protect us. You are all heroes.” Unmatched firefighting performance The Intelagard Macaw® backpack provides versatile power in a totally independent CAF backpack. More powerful than standard extinguishers, the multipurpose Macaw® can be used for fire suppression, exposure protection, mop-up, hazardous materials cleanup, and decontamination. The Knockdown® foam is a unique environmentally responsible Class A foam concentrate that provides unmatched firefighting performance and flexibility. Knockdown® is specially designed for use in Class A/B foam systems and is excellent for CAFS. To be eligible to apply, departments must be at least 50 percent volunteer, serve a population of 25,000 or less, have an annual revenue of no more than $250,000, be located in the U.S. and legally organized under state law, and demonstrate a need for the product. The applicant or department chief must be a member of the NVFC.
Anheuser-Busch and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are teaming up for the third year to provide critical hydration to volunteer fire departments responding to wildfires through the Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program. The program is an expansion of Anheuser-Busch’s longstanding tradition of providing emergency drinking water and supplies for disaster relief efforts. Anheuser-Busch is continuing its commitment in 2021 by pledging to donate 1.5 million cans of clean drinking water to help keep wildland firefighters hydrated as they protect and strengthen their communities. Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program Since the program began in 2019, over 3.2 million cans of water have been distributed to more than 520 fire departments in 47 US states. “Hydration is a vital component to firefighter health and safety, and an important part of keeping firefighters functioning at their best during response,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chair, Steve Hirsch. Supporting volunteer First responders We appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s ongoing commitment to support our volunteer responders" Steve adds, “We appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s ongoing commitment to support our volunteer boots-on-the-ground responders. This is an invaluable program that provides a critical resource to volunteer departments, so they can use their limited budgets on other necessities.” “Our emergency drinking water program is a tremendous source of pride for all of us at Anheuser-Busch, as our way of recognizing the efforts of those who help us build stronger, more resilient communities in times of need,” said Julio Suárez, Senior Director of Community Affairs at Anheuser-Busch. Providing critical hydration resources Julio adds, “Providing these critical hydration resources to our nation's brave firefighters is our way of saying thank you for their efforts and sacrifices for the continued safety of our communities.” To apply for the emergency drinking water, fire departments must be located in the U.S., annually respond to wildfires, be over 50 percent volunteer, and serve a population of 25,000 or less. Fire departments in declared emergencies due to wildfire will also be able to request water outside of the application period, in order to help with their immediate wildfire response needs. The application period is open through April 23, 2021, or until all water has been allocated.
MSA and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are working together to provide the most innovative and up-to-date technology to help first responders improve their health and safety. That’s why three volunteer firefighters that are NVFC members will receive a personalized MSA Cairns® XF1 Fire Helmet in 2021. To be eligible to enter, applicants must be an active U.S. volunteer firefighter and a member of the NVFC. Members will have three opportunities to enter to win an XF1 helmet throughout the year. One recipient will be randomly selected during each entry period. Integrated light module “Many volunteer departments often work with limited budgets, where providing top-of-the-line PPE isn’t an option,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “We are grateful to MSA for this helmet donation program and their organization’s continuous commitment to the volunteer fire service and the health and safety of our first responders.” The jet-style design of the Cairns® XF1 Fire Helmet reduces snag hazards, provides a personalized fit, and houses its own integrated light module. Plus, the soft goods are removable, washable, and replaceable, helping firefighters align with cancer awareness programs as written by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network. Approvals include NFPA 1971-2018 Structural Firefighting and NFPA 1951-2013 Rescue and Recovery. The first entry period is open now through March 31, 2021.
MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are teaming up for the 10th year to provide state-of-the-art personal protective equipment to better protect the volunteer firefighters who need it most. Through MSA’s and DuPont’s 2021 Globe Gear Giveaway, 13 departments will each receive four new sets of turnout gear along with four helmets to increase firefighter safety. This decade-long program has provided over $1 million worth of life-saving gear to date. Volunteer fire departments “We are honored to have partnered with MSA and DuPont for 10 years to be able to provide volunteer fire departments with needed protection to enhance the safety for their firefighters,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “So many volunteer departments struggle just to make ends meet. It is inspiring to be part of this program that has helped to properly equip hundreds of firefighters throughout the nation so they can be ready to respond when the call comes in.” We’ve been committed to providing workers all around the world with the equipment they need to help keep them safe" “Protecting firefighters is what we do at MSA,” said Eleni Lucido, vice president and general manager of MSA’s business in the U.S. and Canada. “For more than a century, we’ve been committed to providing workers all around the world with the equipment they need to help keep them safe, so we’re proud to partner with DuPont and the NVFC to provide state-of-the-art turnout gear to departments in need.” Bringing latest innovations John Richard, global vice president and general manager of DuPont Safety said, “Together with MSA, DuPont is honored to support this program that gets the latest innovations in gear to firefighters across the U.S. DuPont, along with our fellow co-sponsors of this program, is committed to fire service and bringing the latest innovations in gear to help protect those who protect us.” The application period is now open. To be eligible to apply for the giveaway, departments must be over 50 percent volunteer, serve a population of 25,000 or less, be located in the U.S. or Canada, be a member of the NVFC, and demonstrate a significant need for new gear. MSA provides NVFC memberships to the first 500 applicants to help departments meet the membership requirement.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), in partnership with the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, launched the Psychologically Healthy Fire Departments (PHFD) toolkit to support firefighters and EMS providers and create healthy, successful departments. A new implementation toolkit is now available to help fire department leaders promote and foster health and wellbeing among their members. Maintaining a psychologically healthy fire department provides a positive work environment for responders, while also enhancing the department’s performance. PHFD: Implementation Toolkit The Psychologically Healthy Fire Departments: Implementation Toolkit delves into six categories that leaders should focus on to support well-being and high performance, including: member involvement, health and safety, member growth and development, work-life balance, member recognition and effective communication. The PHFD: Implementation toolkit examines each category along with specific actions that can be taken, special issues to consider, case studies from successful departments and additional resources. “A department that supports its members and is committed to fostering a positive work environment has a healthier, engaged, and more successful workforce,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chair, Steve Hirsch, adding “This implementation toolkit will walk fire department leaders through the steps and considerations necessary to make sure they have a psychologically healthy fire department that benefits the individual, the organization, and the community.” Based on Psychologically Healthy Workplace model The PHFD: Implementation Toolkit is based on APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace model The PHFD: Implementation Toolkit is based on APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace model and was adapted to fit the unique characteristics of the fire service. Fire service leaders who understand the link between the well-being of their members and the performance and success of the department take comprehensive steps to create a positive environment that supports and promotes good health and optimal functioning. “Psychological research shows workplaces that promote good mental health and work-life balance are associated with increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and higher job satisfaction,” said American Psychological Association (APA) CEO, Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, adding “We commend the National Volunteer Fire Council for creating this toolkit and distributing it to its members.” Directory of Behavioral Health Professionals The PHFD initiative is supported by a Fire Prevention & Safety Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In addition to the implementation toolkit, resources include a Directory of Behavioral Health Professionals that lists local mental health providers equipped and ready to help firefighters, EMS providers, dispatchers, rescue workers, and their families. The directory is updated monthly as new providers are added and can be viewed or downloaded on the PHFD webpage. A training course to supplement the PHFD: Implementation Toolkit is also being developed.
Carbon monoxide (CO), also known as the ‘silent killer’, is especially dangerous because it is not visible and cannot be smelt or tasted. The only way to protect against this potentially deadly threat is with a CO alarm. In honor of CO Awareness Month in November, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have partnered to create an online CO awareness and CO alarm training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an alarm donation program for communities in need. Online CO awareness and CO alarm training course Aptly called the ‘Protect against the Silent Killer’ training program, the course virtually trains fire department personnel about the prevalence and symptoms of CO poisoning and proper CO alarm installation to help reduce the risk of CO suffocation incidents and deaths in communities across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room each year due to accidental CO poisoning and 4,000 are hospitalized. Awareness of CO poisoning is coming at a crucial time as winter approaches Awareness of CO poisoning is coming at a crucial time as winter approaches. According to the CDC, two-fifths of CO exposure occurs during December, January and February. While almost all homes have at least one smoke alarm, only two out of five households said that they have a working CO alarm, according to the American Housing Survey. Installing CO alarms on each level of the home Current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines recommend installing CO alarms on each level of the home, including the basement, and near every sleeping area. “Installing and properly maintaining CO alarms is the best way to keep your family protected against this potentially deadly threat,” said Tarsila Wey, Director of Marketing for First Alert, the most trusted brand in fire safety, adding, “We are proud to play a role in helping firefighters and communities expand their knowledge about CO poisoning and are glad that our educational tools directly impact their community risk reduction efforts.” Information on proper installation of CO alarms As temperatures begin to drop and people continue to spend more time at home, it is crucial that CO alarms are installed throughout the home and that everyone is aware of the signs of CO poisoning. The training provides insight about how CO is created, the dangers it presents, and the symptoms and risk factors of CO poisoning. The course offers detailed information on proper installation of CO alarms, appropriate in-home placement and maintenance. Presenters also emphasize the importance of alarm and battery replacement and discuss the various types of CO alarms. Complimentary First Alert CO alarms Students will receive the donated alarms in 2021 for distribution within their communities To complement the training, the first 20 students, who are associated with a fire or emergency medical service (EMS) department, to complete this course are eligible to apply for 25 complimentary First Alert CO alarms. Students will receive the donated alarms in 2021 for distribution within their communities to enhance the safety of their neighbors. “We value the dedication of all the firefighters and EMS providers who work tirelessly to keep their communities safe from the threats of CO,” said the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chair, Steve Hirsch. Steve adds, “Having access to this comprehensive training, along with First Alert’s generous alarm donation, helps to keep fire departments up-to-date on best practices and better equips them to educate their communities.”
In their second year of partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), Anheuser-Busch has committed to donating more than 1.5 million cans of emergency drinking water in 2020 to volunteer fire departments across the country as they navigate unprecedented challenges. Summer Deliveries Over the summer, the first wave of deliveries totaling more than one million cans were delivered to 150 fire departments across 38 states to help ensure local volunteer fire departments had the resources they need to prepare for the demanding wildfire season. An additional 42,000 cans were delivered to 10 departments that were in declared emergencies from surging wildfires in the west. Support Local Wildfire Following the second wave of deliveries this month, Anheuser-Busch will have produced and delivered nearly 1,630,000 cans of water to 2,534 fire departments across 43 states in 2020 to support local wildfire response efforts in their communities. “We are proud to partner with the National Volunteer Fire Council and deeply appreciate the critical importance of the volunteer fire service – those who selflessly volunteer to protect their communities when they need it most,” said Adam Warrington, vice president of Better World at Anheuser-Busch. “Through our emergency drinking water program, we are able to utilize our production and distribution capabilities to provide necessary resources for members of the volunteer fire service. Alongside our wholesaler network, we will also continue to highlight the efforts and sacrifices of our nation’s brave firefighters.” Partnership Anheuser-Busch supports the nation's volunteer fire service by providing emergency drinking waterAnheuser-Busch teamed up with the NVFC in April 2019 to expand its disaster relief emergency drinking water program to provide critical hydration to our nation’s volunteer fire service. “We appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s commitment to support our volunteer boots on the ground responders in fighting our nation’s wildland fires, especially since many volunteer departments often work with limited budgets and resources,” said Steve Hirsch, chair of the NVFC. “It’s critical that firefighters are well-hydrated to ensure the proper level of response. Anheuser-Busch has been an outstanding partner, and we are excited to continue our relationship together through this invaluable program to support our volunteer firefighters’ health and safety.” Commitment To Support Anheuser-Busch has a longstanding commitment to supporting communities in times of need by providing emergency drinking water and supplies for relief efforts. Every year, the brewer periodically pauses beer production at their Cartersville, GA, and Fort Collins, CO, breweries to can clean, safe drinking water to be ready to help communities in times of disaster through their partnerships with the American Red Cross and the NVFC. Since 1988, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesaler partners have donated more than 83 million cans of emergency drinking water to communities impacted by natural disasters and other crises.
DripDrop ORS (DripDrop Hydration), a globally renowned rehydration therapy company, announced partnering with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to provide the nation’s volunteer firefighters with dehydration relief. DripDrop Oral Rehydration Solution The company pledged to donate 100,000 sticks of DripDrop Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) this summer to assist volunteer firefighters during extreme heat, wildfire season, and the COVID-19 pandemic. When this donation was met within two days of the campaign’s launch, DripDrop increased the amount by an additional 100,000 sticks. “The speed with which the initial donation amount was reached proves how needed rehydration therapy is in volunteer fire departments across the U.S.,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chairman, Steve Hirsch. Rehydrating firefighters working in extreme conditions Firefighters work and train in extreme conditions, losing a significant amount of water" Steve adds, “Firefighters work and train in extreme conditions, losing a significant amount of water. The generous donation of 200,000 sticks of DripDrop ORS will help make sure these firefighters receive the relief they need so they don’t suffer the negative consequences of dehydration.” “No one is immune to dehydration and the effects it can have on our bodies, particularly those who work in extreme conditions like firefighters,” said Eduardo Dolhun, Managing Director and Founder of DripDrop ORS. Eduardo adds, “We are proud to partner with the NVFC and provide these brave heroes with DripDrop’s ORS to help them stay healthy and maintain proper hydration levels.” DripDrop – NVFC partnership The partnership between DripDrop and the NVFC coincided with the expansion of DripDrop’s popular ORS lineup to now include an 80-count, multi-flavor box of berry, lemon, watermelon, and orange flavors. This product is the latest in DripDrop’s arsenal aimed at combating dehydration, a condition affecting up to 75 percent of the U.S. population at any given time. DripDrop ORS improves on the World Health Organization standard for an ORS with medical-grade electrolytes, making it both the ideal rehydration therapy for the general population and a mission-critical tool for firefighters and other public safety and emergency workers.
DripDrop Hydration, a rehydration therapy company, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the association representing the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services, announces a new partnership to provide dehydration relief to the nation’s volunteer firefighters. The need has never been greater amid a wave of summer heat, wildfire season, and a COVID-19 pandemic that has pushed the healthcare system to the limit of its capacity. DripDrop ORS will provide a one-to-one ‘buy one, give one’ product donation to volunteer fire departments across the U.S. for every 80-count, multi-flavor DripDrop ORS box purchased by consumers. Maintaining proper hydration levels The partnership coincides with the expansion of DripDrop’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) lineup to now include an 80-count, multi-flavor box of berry, lemon, watermelon, and orange flavors. We are proud to partner with the NVFC and provide these brave heroes with DripDrop’s ORS" This product is the latest in DripDrop’s arsenal aimed at combating dehydration, a condition affecting up to 75 percent of the U.S. population at any given time. Volunteer firefighters can request two 80-count multi-flavor packages of DripDrop ORS to use in their department during wildfire response, long incidents, or other strenuous work. Up to 100,000 units of product will be donated. “No one is immune to dehydration and the effects it can have on our bodies, particularly those who work in extreme conditions like firefighters,” said Eduardo Dolhun, MD and founder of DripDrop Hydration. “We are proud to partner with the NVFC and provide these brave heroes with DripDrop’s ORS to help them stay healthy and maintain proper hydration levels, especially as we head into peak wildfire season.” Providing dehydration relief “Firefighters exert an extraordinary amount of energy when responding to long incidents such as wildfires, and dehydration is a very serious threat to their health and safety,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We are pleased to partner with DripDrop to provide dehydration relief to our volunteer firefighters so they are able to respond at their best.” DripDrop ORS was developed by Dolhun, a Mayo Clinic-trained physician, upon return from a medical relief mission in Guatemala. The patented formula he invented is the most efficacious, great tasting dehydration remedy available to consumers, and an effective alternative to IV therapy for mild to moderate dehydration. DripDrop ORS improves on the World Health Organization (WHO) standard for an ORS with medical-grade electrolytes, making it both the ideal rehydration therapy for the general population and a mission-critical tool for firefighters and other public safety and emergency workers.
On June 26-27, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) held a virtual preview of the 2021 Training Summit. This two-day online training event featured keynote speakers and panel discussions, followed by breakout sessions to enable participants to ask questions and further discuss the themes that had been presented by that day’s speakers. In-Person Event postponed to 2021 The NVFC had originally planned to hold an in-person Training Summit in Orlando in 2020 but had to postpone the event to 2021 to ensure the safety and health of participants during the pandemic. The virtual preview provided a chance for participants to take advantage of online training and key take-aways for their department now while getting a preview at what will be covered at the full event in 2021. Day One focused on health and safety, with a keynote speech by NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch and a panel of presentations on critical health and safety topics by instructors Brian Focht, Nathan Stoermer, Jack Sullivan, and Keith Tyson. Day Two emphasized leadership and development and featured a keynote by Tom Merrill and a panel by instructors Dave Denniston, Bill Gardner, Robert Leonard, and F.R. Montes de Oca. Each panelist provided highlights from the full presentations they will give at the 2021 Training Summit. Recorded sessions viewing available On-demand The recorded sessions are now available to view on-demand. Below is the sessions list. Keynote on health and safety by Steve Hirsch Keynote on leadership by Tom Merrill Panel on health and safety Panel on leadership and development Registration for the Training Summit taking place May 21-22, 2021, in Orlando, Florida, is now open. Travel stipends will be available to eligible attendees to help offset the costs of attending.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to partner with TargetSolutions to provide additional operational training and education opportunities to the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue community at no cost. TargetSolutions is offering a cadre of 10 online firefighter continuing education courses to all members of the NVFC. TargetSolutions features more than 450 hours of fire department training based on NFPA codes and standards. The training catalog includes awareness and refresher level courses for Firefighter I, Firefighter II, and company officer; fireground evolutions; hazardous materials; safety and health; first responder operations; wildland firefighting; and much more. In addition, TargetSolutions offers an operations management system that enables department leadership to manage training as well as schedule, deliver, track, and report on critical compliance issues. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning The courses now available at no cost to NVFC members are as follows: Firefighting Foams Action Plan Implementation Hazmat Spill Prevention and Control Hazmat Transportation Combustible and Flammable Liquids Pre-Incident Planning Behavior Emergencies Basic and Advanced Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Assessing the Patient with Major Trauma Bariatric Patients stellar training catalog “Online operational training is an important resource in today’s fire service, especially now given the constraints placed upon departments during the pandemic,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “By providing continuing education online, departments can supplement their in-person training program as well as provide a more flexible training schedule to their volunteers. We are pleased to partner with TargetSolutions to enable our members to take advantage of their stellar training catalog.” Instructions for taking advantage of the free training available through TargetSolutions are available on the Members-Only web site under Member Resources/Member Benefits.
On June 29, a bi-partisan group of 36 U.S. Representatives, led by Representatives Cindy Axne (D-IA), French Hill (R-AR), and John Larson (D-CT), sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administrator Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma asking that they, “…allow fire departments and EMS agencies to receive payments for providing treatment-in-place to their patients as well as providing these agencies with direct reimbursement for facilitating emergency telehealth consultations.” Emergency telehealth consultations The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) was one of several major national fire and EMS organizations to support the letter. “I’d like to thank Representatives Axne, Hill, Larson, and all of the co-signers for their leadership on this important issue,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “The fact that EMS agencies only get reimbursed by Medicare for transporting patients to a hospital has been a problem for years. The scope of services provided by fire and EMS departments is much broader than just patient transport, and because agencies only get paid for transporting patients to hospitals it creates a significant economic incentive to do that even if other treatment options are available.” “Now with COVID-19, as EMS organizations work with patients and hospitals to treat patients in non-hospital settings where appropriate, insurers need to step up to the plate and figure out ways to reimburse agencies for services rendered, including treatment-in-place and emergency telehealth consultations.”
In their second year of partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), Anheuser-Busch has committed to donating more than 1.5 million cans of emergency drinking water in 2020 to volunteer fire departments across the country as they navigate unprecedented challenges. This month, the first wave of deliveries – totaling more than one million cans – will be delivered to 151 fire departments across 38 states to help ensure local volunteer fire departments have the resources they need to prepare for wildfire season. Emergency drinking water program “We are proud to partner with the National Volunteer Fire Council and deeply appreciate the critical importance of the volunteer fire service – those who selflessly volunteer to protect their communities when they need it most,” said Adam Warrington, vice president of better world at Anheuser-Busch. “Through our emergency drinking water program, we are able to utilize our production and distribution capabilities to provide necessary resources for members of the volunteer fire service. Alongside our wholesaler network, we will also continue to highlight the efforts and sacrifices of our nation’s brave firefighters and raise awareness on the challenges they face.” Anheuser-Busch teamed up with the NVFC in April 2019 to expand their disaster relief emergency drinking water program to provide critical hydration to the nation’s volunteer fire service. Corporate social initiatives It’s critical that firefighters are well-hydrated to ensure the proper level of response" Engage for Good awarded the program a 2020 Silver Halo Award in the disaster prevention/relief category in recognition of the difference the program makes in the health and safety of firefighters. The Halo Awards are North America’s highest honor for corporate social initiatives and cause marketing. Warrington and NVFC CEO Heather Schafer were recently featured on Engage for Good’s Cause Talk Radio podcast to discuss the initiative. “We appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s commitment to support our volunteer boots-on-the-ground responders in fighting our nation’s wildland fires, especially since many volunteer departments often work with limited budgets and resources,” said Steve Hirsch, chair of the NVFC. “It’s critical that firefighters are well-hydrated to ensure the proper level of response. Anheuser-Busch has been an outstanding partner, and we are excited to continue our relationship together through this invaluable program to support our volunteer firefighters’ health and safety.” Commitment to supporting communities Anheuser-Busch has longstanding commitment to supporting communities in times of need by providing emergency drinking water and supplies for relief efforts. Every year, the brewer periodically pauses beer production at their Cartersville, GA, and Fort Collins, CO, facilities to can clean, safe drinking water to be ready to help communities in times of disaster through their partnerships with the American Red Cross and the NVFC. Since 1988, Anheuser-Busch and their wholesaler partners have donated more than 83 million cans of emergency drinking water to communities impacted by natural disasters and other crisis.
On April 29, National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chair Steve Hirsch asked President Donald Trump to exercise various legal authorities to assist emergency services organizations in dealing with challenges associated with COVID-19 and social distancing. Specifically, the NVFC is asking the President to: Exercise his authority under the Defense Protection Act (DPA) to encourage manufacturers to produce more personal protective equipment, like respirators, gloves, gowns, and face shields, to help address persistent shortages across the nation. Exercise his authority under the Stafford Act to waive the 25 percent local cost share requirement on assistance available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund. Direct the Small Business Administration (SBA) to modify the rules of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to make it easier for fire and EMS organizations to apply for assistance. Hirsch sent separate letters to the FEMA Administrator, Peter Gaynor, and the SBA Administrator, Jovita Carranza, providing additional details and offering to work with them directly.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), in partnership with the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA) and the American Psychological Association (APA), has released a new directory of behavioral health professionals that are equipped and ready to help firefighters, EMS providers, dispatchers, and rescue workers. Emergency responders are at risk of many behavioral health concerns, including anxiety, depression, burnout, post-traumatic and acute stress, addiction, relationship challenges, and others. Through the Share the Load™ program, the NVFC works to provide resources and tools to help responders struggling with behavioral health issues and to enable departments to support the mental well-being of their members. The new Directory of Behavioral Health Professionals is designed to provide local options for responders seeking assistance so they can get the help they need. Fire service providers with experience or training “Emergency responders are the ones rushing in when everyone else is rushing out, and that takes a toll on behavioral health,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “Add to that the stressors of balancing the fire service with family life and, for volunteers, another career. It is imperative that those who need help have access to mental health providers that understand the unique challenges and stressors they face. I encourage department leaders to make sure their members are aware that this important resource is available.” All of the providers listed in the directory either have firsthand experience with the fire and emergency services or have completed a training course through FBHA to educate them on the fire service and the specific challenges responders face. The directory will be updated on a monthly basis as new providers are added. Licensed healthcare professionals Information about each provider, their credentials, how to contact them, and what insurance they accept is included. In addition to licensed healthcare professionals, other resources for assistance are also included, such as chaplains and peer support specialists. The directory is part of the NVFC’s Psychologically Healthy Fire Departments initiative, which is being developed in partnership with FBHA and APA and is made possible through a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In addition to the directory, the initiative includes a toolkit and training to help fire department leaders promote and support mental well-being among their members. These components will launch later in the year 2020.
Anheuser-Busch and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have been named a 2020 Silver Halo Award winner in the Disaster Prevention/Relief category for the Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program. Keeping firefighters hydrated during long incidents or disasters such as wildfires is a critical need for fire departments, yet many volunteer departments struggle with limited budget and resources. To help departments meet this need, Anheuser-Busch teamed up with the NVFC in 2019 to create the Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program, which delivered over 1.5 million cans of water to volunteer firefighters across the country and will do so again in 2020. Protecting communities from Wildfires “We are honored to receive this award and for being part of this program that both fills a critical need for volunteer fire departments and highlights the amazing work of our nation’s volunteer firefighters as they protect our communities from wildfires and other disasters,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “We are thankful for Anheuser-Busch’s commitment to support the health and safety of our boots on the ground volunteer responders through this invaluable program.” “Over the past year, we have been incredibly proud to work with our partners at the National Volunteer Fire Council and many of the heroes across the country who are protecting our communities through the volunteer fire service,” said Adam Warrington, Vice President of Better world at Anheuser-Busch. “Together with our wholesaler partners, we are looking forward to continuing to build on this partnership to raise awareness of the challenges our firefighters face and provide critical resources to those who serve our communities.” Corporate social initiatives Presented by Engage for Good, the Halo Awards are North America’s honor for corporate social initiatives and cause marketing. This marks the 18th year that Engage for Good has honored businesses and nonprofits with Halo Awards for doing well by doing good. “This year’s recipients provide tangible examples of effective and innovative purpose-driven efforts and demonstrate the many ways companies and causes can collaborate to create meaningful business and social returns,” said Engage for Good President David Hessekiel.
NVFC chair Steve Hirsch sat down with Side Alpha podcast host Marc Bashoor in February to discuss volunteerism in the fire service, how to stem declining numbers, strategies for recruitment and retention efforts, and the future of the fire service. The podcast is now available for download.