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IFE-USA Presidents Newsletter October 2023

Nikki Wissel | Published on 10/18/2023

IFE-USA Presidents Newsletter

October 2023

IFE Annual General Meeting

As I write this, I am on the plane returning from our 100th Annual General Meeting. At the meeting, Hailey Burgess was elected our first female International President. Hailey will do a great job as an ambassador for the Institution.

Related to the special resolution to amend the Articles of Association, current International President Peter Wilkinson made a motion at the meeting to withdraw the special resolution. No one objected to the removal of the special resolution; thus, no vote was held. I would like to thank all our members that took the time to fill out the proxy votes. It was noted that we had a great response and were prepared if a vote was needed. Both the IP and CEO committed to further consultation and communication related to the update of the Articles of Association. I am sure we will be in contact with our membership in the coming year as more information comes available.

International General Assembly (IGA) Representative Meeting

I am currently filling dual roles as the IGA representative and President. I attended the IGA meeting in London, UK, which had many agenda items. The first was the update of the constitution (now Terms of Reference) for the IGA. Much of the document covers our aim and how we will function as an IGA. While much will remain the same in terms of the leadership positions, a new idea is to have subgroups that are geographically located throughout the world. The USA branch would be in the Americas sub-group with Trinadad and Tobago, CASA, and Canadian branches. The IGA leadership has reached out to see if I would lead the subgroup and have tentatively accepted the offer.

We are hoping to complete the governance document soon so that we can get back to performing our key functions of determining solutions to world fire problems and sharing best practices among the branches worldwide.

During the IGA, I presented the information on the World Fire Congress that IFE-USA has been asked to help with. I will cover this in more detail in a later section of the newsletter.

IFE-USA In-Person Meeting

The Board of Directors of IFE-USA met in West Chester Ohio on September 30 through October 2, 2023, for the annual in-person board meeting. We were able to develop strategies for the next year, develop a budget to support the strategies. Lastly, we built a work plan for the year to ensure that we can fulfill the strategies. Some of our strategies include.

  1. Continue and expand the Lunch and Learns
  2. Attract new members and retain current members.
  3. Continue to have significant involvement in USA Fire Service initiatives.
  4. Increase our participation in world-wide fire service initiatives.
  5. Diversify our income sources to ensure we remain viable into the future.
  6. Establish groundwork to create research study that will draw on international perspectives to develop a model fire extinction program.


United States Fire Administrator Summit

Three members of IFE-USA’s leadership team attended the summit in person and two of our board members attended on-line. We noted many good presentations related to our current fire problems. Now we need to be a part of the solution. We did ask during the session why we did not have any international perspectives. However, we note that World Fire Congress is in the planning stages.

World Fire Congress

As IFE has the largest global presence of any fire association, the United State Fire Administrator asked IFE-USA to help with the planning and connection of global fire contacts to help make the event possible. As this is global presence is one of our biggest strengths, we gladly accepted the mission and have been working with USFA’s international affairs to identify country’s fire service leaders to allow the World Fire Congress to happen. Stay tuned for more information.

Upcoming Elections

IFE-USA will have a few openings for board members coming up for appointment in March. Our current structure for President and Vice President serving two years and moving forward will create a Vice President’s opening. We also must fill the International General Assembly Representative’s position. We are looking for our members to step up to fill these roles. One way to become familiar with the issues and inner workings of the branch is to become a committee member. We have Professional Development, Membership, Constitution and Bylaws, as well as Elections Committee. If you are interested in a committee appointment, please email me. Be on the look out for Election call for candidates late 2023.


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

President-USA Branch