The Spring meeting of the National Volunteer Fire Council Board of Directors was held the week of April 18ththrough the 21stin Alexandria, Virginia. The full board discussed and approved several matters that will have impact on the membership and the entire fire service. Most of the organization's standing committees met during the week as well to recommend changes to the full board. Alabama was represented in most of these committee meetings by one or both directors from the state. In the Standards and Codes Committee the upcoming deadlines for comment were reviewed and representatives on various NFPA committees presented activity reports to the committee as a whole. The most critical items discussed were gear cleaning requirements and impact on small departments and the impending motion regarding community risk reduction training being embedded into NFPA 1001 that is scheduled to come up in the June meeting for NFPA. NVFC remains committed to firefighter health and safety and is attempting to find a way to make the potential impacts of certain gear cleaning requirements something that volunteer fire departments can absorb. Likewise, the NVFC stands behind the concept of community risk reduction, but much of the committee believe that placing an additional requirement into basic firefighter courses is not helpful to the overall goal. The standards and codes committee is also creating a task force that will deal with a risk assessment tool for volunteer fire departments that will allow them to make better informed decisions on what they need to prepare for and how to better implement standards.
The Communications and Technology Committee continues to track FirstNet and its impact on the fire service as well as Vice Chairman Chris Barron (TX) serving on a task force with other fire service groups to address drones and their use in the fire service. This committee has switched its focus in the past few years from a radio wireless format to a much broader reach. Recruitment and Retention committee continues to manage the Make Me a Firefighter Program across the entire country to great effect. https://makemeafirefighter.org/mmaf
The board of directors voted to make a modest increase in conference registration fees in order to keep up with the rising cost of nearly every component required. Likewise, there was a small increase in annual dues for all levels of membership. The increases in dues were not just made to keep up with costs, although some of the increase is aimed at covering the rising costs of insurance that is offered to members. The NVFC board has authorized a plan that will allow the office staff to hire another membership specialist and to also offer some digital products through a company called Higher Logic that will make it much easier for the volunteer fire service to be connected with each other and connected with the NVFC.
Alabama is well represented on the counsel with Director Larry Jarvis serving on the Recruitment and Retention Committee as well as the Volunteer Advocacy Committee. Larry brings years of volunteer service and a true love for volunteer firefighting to the NVFC. Director Reid Vaughan serves on the Executive Committee, Standards and Codes Committee (Chair), Communications and Technology (Chair) and Audit Committee.
The entire board will be meeting again this September in Bismarck, North Dakota for the second meeting of the year. This is just one of the vital links that the Alabama Firefighters Association provides members and departments in order to have their voices heard. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed or your department would like to talk about joining AFA and the NVFC please contact the AFA today.