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President's Newsletter Aug 2023

Published on 8/14/2022

President’s Newsletter August 2022

Greeting to our members. I hope you are enjoying last months of summer and have had a chance to take in some of the State Chief’s Conferences. The board members have been very busy over the past two months (Yes, I missed writing a President’s Report last month due to much travel to include some much-needed family travel.

Education Conference Upcoming

I know many of our members attend Fire Rescue International and we are happy to be able to connect our educational conference session back to FRI. We hope to have this continue into the future, making attendance much easer for our members. This year we have an outstanding group of speakers to include the IFE International President Andrew Sharrad. He will be traveling all the way from Australia via about four different flights to get to us in San Antonio. He will provide a program on Australia’s wildfires, which we have noted the UK as well as the US are trying to contend with annually and almost non-stop. We look forward to seeing you Tuesday August 23rd at 13:00 in room 303C of the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center. I know many are flying on Tuesday. If you cannot make it at 13:00, we will run the event until 17:00, please feel free to drop in.

Constitution and By-Laws Committee has a New Chair

Dr. Byron Kennedy, Deputy Chief of Atlanta Fire-Rescue Department was recently appointed the CBL Chair. He is working to overhaul our Constitution and Bylaws to ensure we are compliant with the current practices and needs of the branch, as well as properly align with IFE international. No small task, but we are positive he will succeed. If you are interested in helping Dr. Kennedy with the CBL Committee, please email president@ife-usa.org and I will send your contact information to Dr. Kennedy. Thanks to Andrew Whitehead of the Baltimore Fire department for being the first volunteer to help the CBL Committee

A Successful Annual General Meeting and Education Conference for CASA Branch of IFE

I was honored to be invited to Port-of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago for the Caribbean and South America’s Inaugural Annual General Meeting and educational conference. I provided some panel discussions, as well as represented the USA. I feel they are set for success and have elected an outstanding and diverse set of branch officers. Best withes to our geographically close CASA branch.

October is the IFE International in Person Board Meeting and IGA Meeting

We have three USA branch members that will travel to the UK to attend the meetings this year. Business Manager and Past IFE International President Bruce Varner, IFE International Board Chairman Mark Chubb, and IFE-USA Branch President and IFE Representative Dr. Randall Hanifen will all be in attendance at the meetings and conference, giving the USA branch one of the highest attendance levels for a non-UK branch. It is great to see the level of involvement that the USA branch continues to have internationally and the information that our members are able to bring back to the USA

Wingspread Close Out, Delivering the Message and Planning for Wingspread 8

Bruce Varner and Board member at Large Peki Prince traveled to Racine Wisconsin to present the findings to the Johnson Foundation and begin the planning that will need to occur to make Wingspread 8 a reality. Both report that the Johnson Foundation staff were very impressed with the report and the work that came out of Wingspread 7. We are happy that IFE has been involved in Wingspread since its inception in 1966 and had many members that participated in Wingspread 7. I was honored to deliver the findings to the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association’s Annual Conference, which prompted much discussion on how we get action at the state and local level for our nation’s fire and emergency services’ statements of national significance. If you have not read the report it is available at www.wingspreadvii.org.

Board Vacancies on the Horizon

As with any association, the board members cannot serve forever, and we are no exception. Due to retirements, both Tom Wood and Randy Parr have either stepped down or have announced they will not run in our upcoming 2023 election. We know we have many outstanding members in the USA branch that will step up to serve, so we are announcing their intentions early. I could not survive as the President day-to-day without these great leaders and wish them much rest and enjoyment in their retirement.