Report from the Fall Board of Directors Meeting the National Volunteer Fire Council
Posted On: Oct 10, 2018
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) held its 2018 fall meeting in Bismarck, ND, from September 19-21. The NVFC board of directors meet twice a year to conduct Council business, steer the direction of the organization, and address matters of importance to the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services.
Sixty-three board members from 37 states attended the meeting, including Reid Vaughan and Larry Jarvis from The Alabama Firefighters Association. Committees met on topics ranging from health, safety, and training to legislation to wildland to recruitment and retention and more. The EMS/Rescue Section and NVFC Foundation also met. The Standards and Codes Committee met and discussed the potential for a new standard that is being proposed by the NFPA that will provide for a standard that is aimed at support personnel. It is hoped that the new standard will allow fire departments to training individuals who do not wish to serve as entry firefighters to as much of the 1001 standard as possible in order to have a more professional and better prepared service. If anyone is interested in serving on the committee that will consider the standard please apply here http://www.nfpa.org/my-profile?CommitteeApplication:action|edit&committee-id=PQU-FSP Additional information about the project may be located at http://www.nfpa.org/newprojects. (If someone is serving a department in a support role (non-entry firefighter) their application would be given more consideration)
In addition to committee actions, the board tackled a variety of issues, including the following:
Approved the NVFC’s amended 2018 budget and the 2019 budget
Reviewed the progress of strategic plan items
Passed an Anti-Harassment and Bullying Statement
Approved the new mission statement for the diversity and inclusion committee
The board also reviewed the new online NVFC member community, Volunteer Voices, and discussed how it will be implemented. Volunteer Voices will enhance member engagement and allow the volunteer boots on the ground to connect with each other, ask questions, and share resources and best practices.
A line-up of speakers presented to the board on a range of topics.
The event kicked off with a welcome from North Dakota Lt. Governor Brent Sanford, State Fire Marshal Doug Nelson, and Bismarck Fire Chief Joel Boespflug.
Steve Vandewalle provided an update on the Department of Homeland Security First Responder Resource Group and how volunteers can be involved.
A panel discussion on volunteer response to train derailment was presented by Robert Wetzler, former chief of Minot Rural Fire Department; David Lautt, former chief of Harvey Fire Department and NVFC ND director; and Lisa Clute, executive officer of First District Health Unit.
Ali Rothrock spoke about her experience with harrassment and how she overcame to thrive in the fire service.
Candace Muggerud, managing partner at KAT Marketing, spoke about the North Dakota Firefighter’s Association recruitment and retention program.
The North Dakota Firefighter’s Association hosted a reception and dinner at Ft. Lincoln State Park on Wednesday evening, and the annual auction to support the NVFC Foundation was held on Thursday evening.
The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer fire, emergency medical, and rescue services on the national level and provides resources, programs, training, and advocacy to help departments and boots-on-the-ground responders thrive. The board of directors is comprised of representatives from 48 state fire service organizations. The next NVFC meeting will be held April 25-27 in Alexandria, VA.