NVFC Holds Fall Meeting in Kearney, NE

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) held its fall board meeting on September 27-29 in Kearney, NE. The board is comprised of directors from 49 state fire associations and meets twice a year to conduct council business, hold committee meetings, and guide the direction of the Council.

Highlights of the meeting included the following.

  • A response roundtable featuring Chris Barron (TX), Tim Diamond (FL), and Ron Roy (WA) was held regarding recent natural disasters including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and wildfires. Discussion focused on preparation before and response during the disasters as well as the current situation and needs in the impacted areas.
  • A series of guest speakers addressed the board on a variety of topics.
    • Sebastian Elbaum, professor from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, spoke to the Wildland Committee about his research on using drones to set and monitor controlled burns.
    • Jim Pauley, president and CEO of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discussed the NFPA’s commitment to the volunteer fire service and support of the NVFC’s initiatives. He also talked about the NFPA’s National Center for Fire & Life Safety that is under construction in Alabama and encouraged everyone to download NFPA’s first responder app.
    • Ed Mills, FirstNet Colorado outreach and education manager, gave an update on FirstNet and demonstrated technology including a thermal imaging device that plugs into a smartphone.
    • Mark Terry, senior director of operations for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, provided an update on National EMS Certification.
    • Robert Soto, lead trainer for Paradigm, gave a presentation regarding Paradigm’s training capabilities and methodologies, including the creation of Coordinated Response Exercise (CoRE), a discussion-based exercise meant to increase the interaction between emergency responders and pipeline operators.
  • The Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighters Association hosted a welcome reception at the Nebraska Firefighters Museum and Education Center and a dinner at the Axtell Fire Department. In addition, the NVFC’s annual auction to benefit the NVFC Foundation took place following the dinner. The auction, which raised over $8,000 for the Foundation’s health and safety efforts, was sponsored by McNeil & Co./ESIP, with Chief Dave Denniston serving as auctioneer.
  • The NVFC debuted its new Firefighter Strong newsletter, which features articles, tips, and resources to help responders and departments take proactive steps towards a safer, healthier department. The newsletter is being mailed to all U.S. fire departments, and a digital version is available on the NVFC web site at www.nvfc.org. Copies of the NVFC textbook Volunteer Fire Service Culture: Essential Strategies for Success were also distributed, as were new challenge coins promoting the NVFC’s ‘Serve Strong: Better You, Better Crew’ message.
  • The board approved the Council’s budget for 2018 and made changes to its committee structure. In addition, an election was held for two vacant leadership positions. Jeff Cash (NC) was elected secretary/treasurer, and Reid Vaughn (AL) was elected to the Executive Committee.
  • Board member Norm Hoeft (NE) received the 2017 E. James Monihan Director Award. Hoeft helped facilitate NSVFA joining the NVFC in 1977, and he has served as the state’s director since 1999. During his time in the Council, he has held several leadership positions, including first vice chair, second vice chair, and a member of the Executive Committee. Hoeft is retiring from the NVFC board after the fall meeting.

The NVFC thanks meeting host Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighters Association and meeting sponsors California Casualty, Columbia Southern University, McNeil & Co./ESIP, Josh Cellars, National Fire Protection Association, Paradigm, The Pennsylvania Fireman, PennWell Fire Group, and Provident. The next NVFC meeting will take place April 19-21 in Alexandria, VA.

Response roundtable participants Tim
Diamond, Chris Barron, and Ron Roy
NVFC Foundation chair Bob Kilpeck
and ‘auctioneer’ Dave Denniston
NVFC chair Kevin Quinn with NFPA
president Jim Pauley
    Mark Terry of NREMT
Norm Hoeft received the E. James
Monihan Director award.