NVFC Board Elects Officers, Celebrates Award Winners at 2023 Spring Meeting
May 30, 2023
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Board of Directors held its annual spring meeting on May 19-21 in Arlington, VA. Fifty-four directors from 34 states attended. The jam-packed event featured officer and Executive Committee elections, committee meetings, general sessions, guest speakers, and a banquet celebrating the recipients of the NVFC’s achievement awards.
The board is comprised of up to two representatives from 47 state fire service associations and meets twice a year in the spring and fall. Highlights from the spring 2023 meeting are as follows.
Committees and Sessions
Several NVFC committees met on a range of issues including wildland, standards and codes, legislation, recruitment and retention, health and safety, and more. The EMS/Rescue Section also held its bi-annual meeting. In addition, general sessions were held with the full board to discuss matters of national and state interest, vote on issues before the board, and provide input and guidance on the strategic direction of the organization.
The NVFC was pleased to welcome U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell as the keynote speaker. Dr. Moore-Merrell provided an update on the U.S. Fire Administration’s initiatives and strategies and answered questions from the board.
Additional speakers included the following: Arlington Fire Department Chief David Povlitz welcomed the board; Rick Markley provided an update on the National Firefighter Cancer Registry; Kevin O’Connor from the International Association of Fire Fighters spoke about how the two organizations can work together to benefit the fire service; William Dunham from the FEMA Grants Office provided an update on the AFG, SAFER, and FP&S grant programs; and Glenn Tecker of Tecker International LLC, delivered a leadership presentation.
Officer and Executive Committee Elections
During the meeting, the board elected its 2023-2025 officers and Executive Committee members. They are as follows:
- Chair: Steve Hirsch (KS)
- First Vice Chair: Dallas Renfrew (TX)
- Second Vice Chair: Paul Acosta (CO)
- Secretary/Treasurer: Bob Guthrie (CT)
- Executive Committee: David Bullard (GA), Brian McQueen (NY), Sheri Nickel (OK), Bill Offerman (IL), Reid Vaughan (AL)
The Executive Committee also includes Eric Quinney (WY) as chair of the EMS/Rescue Section and Pat Thompson (KY) as chair of the Legislative Committee.
On the evening of May 21, the board celebrated the recipients of three of the 2023 NVFC achievement awards at a special reception sponsored by ESIP and dinner sponsored by Wendell’s Mint. The award winners are:
- Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Lincoln Financial Group – LeRoy Koopman (SD)
- Chief James P. Seavey Sr. Health & Wellness Leadership Award, co-sponsored by VFIS and Ward Diesel Filter Systems – Chief Mahlon Irish Jr. (NY)
- Junior Firefighter of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty – Kyra Kozey (NY)
The East Norwich (NY) Junior Program will receive the Junior Firefighter Program of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty, in a local ceremony so that all of their members can attend.
Learn more about this years’ award recipients at https://bit.ly/2023-nvfc-awards.
On the evening of May 20, the board and invited guests gathered for a movie night sponsored by John Deere to screen the new volunteer fire service documentary Odd Hours, No Pay, Cool Hat. The 90-minute film takes viewers into the heart of the volunteer fire service by showcasing the diverse stories, motivations, and experiences of volunteers and the ties that bind these stories together. The NVFC was thrilled to welcome members of two of the featured departments – Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company (Rixeyville, VA) and Wheaton (MD) Volunteer Rescue Squad – to the screening along with firefighters from other local departments.
Volunteer fire departments can utilize the documentary as a recruitment event in their community throughout the spring and early summer. Learn more at www.oddhoursfilm.com.
In addition, the board gathered for the Chair’s Lunch on the afternoon of May 20, sponsored by Clarion Events Fire & EMS Group.
The NVFC appreciates the support of our sponsors who helped make the meeting possible: Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Ascend Fundraising Solutions, California Casualty, Clarion Fire & Rescue Group, Columbia Southern University, ESIP, John Deere, Josh Cellars, Lincoln Financial Group, National Fire Protection Association, Provident, PH&S Products, Tesla, VFIS, Ward Diesel Filter Systems, and Wendell’s Mint.
The next board meeting will take place September 21-22 in Cooperstown, NY.