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Presidents News Letter February 2023

Bruce H Varner | Published on 2/23/2023

Presidents Letter

February 2023

I hope everyone is enjoying the new year and your goals are finding success. IFE-USA has had a very busy first quarter and we hope to accomplish many initiatives for our members this year.

Membership Renewals & Contact Update

Reminder that membership renewals went out at the first of the year and were due on 1/30/23. If you have not paid, please do so ASAP. IFE international has instituted a re-application if the membership is not renewed within the year. I remember the work it took to apply and validate my qualifications needed to hold membership in IFE and would not want anyone to have to re-apply. If you are unsure of status, please send correspondence

The IFE International at you to update your contact information in the My IFE portal as well as updating your information with the branch We are an international association, which means that we must abide by international privacy laws in the UK as well as the US. UK privacy laws do not allow us to update your information with IFE International and the two databases for membership do not communicate. This is an issue that I am bringing up at the International General Assembly meetings to see if we can have better cohesion between the systems, but until we can make this happen, updates must occur in two systems.

Lunch and Learns

We held our second Lunch and Learn with Commissioner Thiel last week ad learned that the decreasing fire problem in the United States and Philadelphia is untrue, and we have much work to do to keep American’s safe from fire. His information on fires and fire fatalities in a large metro department mimic’s what I am seeing in a smaller suburban department, many more fires and more fire fatalities. We must work to curb this increase. We have another Lunch and Learn scheduled for 2/22/23 featuring Dr. Augustine and Chief Rubin on CO emergencies. I want to thank Brian Boutwell and Peki Prince for the effort they have put into the lunch and learns. These are a great benefit to our members.

Annual General Meeting

The IFE-USA Annual General Meeting is scheduled for April 12. 2023 at 11:00 EST. Not only will we have our normal business meeting, but we will also have a guest speaker. Please join us as we learn from our guest speaker, get an update on the state of the branch, and install our new officers. Look for more information in the coming weeks on the annual AGM.

Conferences for 2023

We look forward to our annual conference tentatively being co-located with Fire-Rescue International again this year. Tentatively, we plan to have the event the day before FRI so that our members can join us without having to book additional travel. Additionally, those looking for an international perspective should look at the IFE 2023 Fire conference. Details can be found at

International Experiences

I am excited to announce Chief Kris Blume is spearheading a committee to form a program to travel to Israel and work with their fire services. He is forming a committee that will aim to put together the specifics of the program. If you are interested, please email him atkris.blume@gmail.comby March 15, 2023. I would personally like to thank Kris for the idea and spearheading this program for our members. What an exciting program.

Additionally, Bill Peterson is working on the Poland fire exchange program, which was previously announced. One of the benefits of IFE is the international perspective. Both Bill and Kris are working hard to ensure our members can make international connections and experiences.

IFE Participation in Wingspread Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

IFE is proud to sponsor Board Member-at-Large Peki Prince to attend the Wingspread Diversity, Equity, an Inclusion event being held at the Johnson Foundation in May. This session was born from Wingspread 7, in which many IFE-USA members were involved in. We are excited to see what recommendations are developed during the event.

Become Involved

As you can note, we are off to a busy 2023 and do not look to slow down. We encourage our members to become involved in a committee or initiative. If I can be of any assistance in connecting you to an activity we are undertaking or you have an idea for the branch, do not hesitate to contact me

Thank you to all our members that make IFE-USA possible.


Randall W. Hanifen

Randall W. Hanifen, Ph.D., CF, FIFireE


Institution of Fire Engineers-USA Branch,

Twitter: @ifeusabranch @ifeglobal