VCOS Election


IAFC Call to Action for 2023 Section Elections

IAFC has partnered with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) to administer the 2023 election. To ensure your election-specific broadcast email arrives safely in your inbox on May 16, 2023, simply add the following email address as an approved sender

If you do not receive your election email by May 17, 2023, please contact

To be eligible to vote in this year’s election, please make sure that your membership is current.

2023 VCOS Election

The VCOS board consists of nine members at-large and the VCOS international director, for a total of ten board members. No more than two at-large board members from the same division can serve on the board at the same time.

Open Seats
There are three at-large board members seats up for election for three-year terms through 2026. The top three vote-getters will get the at-large positions as long as it doesn’t conflict with the “no more than two from the same division” rule.

All candidates for election to the VCOS Board must:

  • Be a regular member in good standing of the IAFC and VCOS and chief officer of a volunteer or combination Fire-Rescue or EMS agency. Combination agency consists of an active fire department with active emergency response volunteer firefighters.
  • Be an active chief officer engaged in supervising volunteers in a combination or volunteer fire department.
  • Be available to attend four meetings a year in various parts of the country, with the understanding that some expenses for travel may be your responsibility. These meetings include the Symposium in the Sun and the annual meeting at Fire-Rescue International.
  • Participate in conference calls that occur approximately once a month.
  • Work on projects assigned by the chair/board of directors.
  • Promote the VCOS by writing articles for the VCOS newsletter and attending regional fire service events as a VCOS representative.

If more than two (2) candidates for member-at-large are members of a single division of the IAFC, only the two (2) with the highest vote totals will be eligible to take office.

IAFC Call to Action for 2023 Section Elections

IAFC has partnered with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) to administer the 2023 election. To ensure your election-specific broadcast email arrives safely in your inbox on May 16, 2023, simply add the following email address as an approved sender

If you do not receive your election email by May 17, 2023, please contact

To be eligible to vote in this year’s election, please make sure that your membership is current.

Meeting the Candidates

Corey Beals
I am currently a Deputy Fire Chief at Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I have been in the fire service since 1992 where I started as a volunteer firefighter. In 1997, I was hired as a career firefighter when our Municipality amalgamated. Over the years I progressed through the career ranks to the positions of Lieutenant, Captain, District Chief, Assistant Chief of Rural Operations, and in my current role as Deputy Chief.

I am very active in both the IAFC and CAFC on several committees and have attended numerous conferences, including VCOS annually since 2018. I am a member of the IAFC Program Planning Committee, iDELP, the CAFC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Leadership Development Committee.

My involvement on these commitments is multifold. Firstly, to gain exposure and network with likeminded professionals in the fire service to improve and enhance service delivery. Secondly, to provide a perspective from a demographic that is not always represented within the fire service. This is a key reason for my interest in joining the VCOS Board.

As an African Nova Scotian Chief Officer with over 30 years in the fire service, my educational and operational background provides a valuable perspective that is often missed at the decision-making table. I would embrace the opportunity to join the VCOS Board of Directors to provide a different lens and perspective to address challenges that meet the demands of an emerging fire service.

I am open-minded, committed, and dedicated to positive change that reflect the needs of today’s fire service. I believe my diverse background, experience, and connections throughout the IAFC and CAFC would be beneficial to the VCOS Board as you continue to do great work in representing the combination fire service.

Jason Caughey
It is with great regard that I submit my name to be considered for one of the three open at-large positions on the IAFC-VCOS board. I have been in the Fire Service for 25+ years. My service began as an explorer at the age of 13 and continued as a volunteer for over a decade. During my volunteer fire service, I spent time as a firefighter, captain, and chief of a small volunteer fire department in Montana. In addition to my volunteer service in Montana I worked full time for the Montana Fire Service Training School where I was a regional training manager responsible for delivering training to lOO's of volunteer, combination, and career fire departments throughout the state. My passion for the fire service led me to accept a position with Laramie County Fire Authority in Cheyenne, Wyoming as their Fire Chief. I have been the Fire Chief here at LCFA since 2011. LCFA consists of 7 fire stations, 120 volunteer members and 8 full time staff. I believe that my experiences in the volunteer and combination fire service have prepared me to be an active, engaged member of the VCOS Board. I have participated with the IAFC as a current member of the F.R.I. Program Development Team, and I have been a presenter at VCOS symposium in the Sun and VCOS West.

Spencer Cheatham
I’ve been extremely fortunate in having the opportunity to improve the volunteer and combination fire service both locally and nationally. From 2015 to 2022, I worked as a program manager for the IAFC’s VWS team. There, I developed and instructed classes dealing with recruitment, retention, and leadership in volunteer and combination departments. Additionally, I was able to work directly with over 60 departments nationwide to improve their efforts in those areas.

I’ve been a volunteer with my department since 1995 and an officer in nearly every operational and administrative capacity (including chief and president) until I was hired as our first full-time fire chief in 2022. We’ve seen a tremendous growth in our volunteer system over the last year by building what we call the “professional volunteer.” This effort has led to adding a second crew eight hours in January 2022 to over 120 hours in December 2022.

Before working for the IAFC, I was in the first group of paid firefighters hired into a combination department and I rose to battalion chief where I was responsible for training and managing all three volunteer departments.

I’d like to be a part of the VCOS Board in large part because of my time with the IAFC. I have always believed that volunteers can be utilized in departments to improve public safety, but I wasn’t always able to see successes in these areas. In traveling the country and meeting the people in our volunteer and combination systems, I found departments who are doing amazing things and are completely negating the common mantra that “the volunteer fire service is dead.”

I believe I can bring my experiences to the board and can continue to help improve the safety of communities by increasing their volunteer involvement.

Jordan Cramer
I aspire to be a board member for the VCOS because I feel I can bring a new perspective to the board as a millennial Chief, evolving our reach, and working to bring a new generation of members and fire service leaders into the section. This section and my involvement in the IAFC have been instrumental in my development in fire and emergency services and ultimately, my journey to become a fire chief, and I want to see it continue to grow so that others can benefit.

As a board member of the VCOS, I would work collaboratively with fellow board members to continue the many great projects and services that this section offers. The education, leadership development, training programs, ribbon reports, among other initiatives are second to none and they must continue to serve our membership and beyond.

I would look to play an active part in continuing our emphasis on health and wellness, volunteer recruitment and retention, organizational leadership, and the enhancement of combination systems. I believe that we should work to develop and deliver education and training on these topics on a more regional scale, making them more accessible for volunteer and combination departments around the country.

I started volunteering as a junior firefighter, and have since held multiple positions, both volunteer and career. These positions ranged from operations to administrative, and include secretary, lieutenant, recruitment and retention coordinator, community risk reduction specialist, fire inspector, and now chief. Additionally, I have had the pleasure to work on IAFC projects as a subject matter expert and instructor for topics including recruitment and retention, combination system operations, and inclusion.

This diverse experience in various positions has shown me the daily struggles we face, and makes me an ideal candidate to passionately serve this section.

Chuck Flynn
I currently serve as your Chair on the VCOS and wish to continue to serve and share my forty years of leadership experience with the fire service community and continue to enhance professional development among volunteer and combination fire officers.

Serving as Chief of both a large volunteer department as Chief of a combination department, and returning to serve as volunteer deputy chief, I have a vast amount of knowledge and experience regarding the concerns that affect each type of operation.

My commitment to training, promoting firefighter health and safety, inclusivity, equity and diversity in supporting volunteer/combination fire department operating models, demonstrates my personal firefighting philosophy aligns closely with the VCOS mission.

In terms of firefighter education and professional development of fire officers, I encourage training and education for all firefighters. As a Connecticut State Fire Academy, adjunct instructor I am able maintain a focus on training while simultaneously ascertaining ways to drive innovation in our educational process.

I believe the skills that will serve me well on the VCOS board are that same as those which, support me as an effective chief officer. I have assembled successful teams, who effectively addressed department’s needs to meet today’s emerging challenges. Our partnerships with elected officials resulted in the implementation of a retention stipend for firefighters & fire officers, the procurement of new apparatus, and a significant increase in training funds. Department’s strategy for recruitment and retention resulted in departments increasing and retaining membership.

I welcome the opportunity to continue to serve the members of the VCOS and look at my prospective tenure as an opportunity to pay it forward, by identifying, implementing, educating and networking with leaders in critical thinking!

Russ Hall
I am writing to you of my interest in running to be on the VCOS Board. I feel that with my extensive knowledge of, and years of service in public safety that I can be a successful addition to the Board.

My career has taken me to two departments in Massachusetts, both of which are combination departments. In today’s fire service, we all suffer from the same issues such as economic hardships, recruitment, retention and balancing career/call member integration. I feel that VCOS is extremely important to all officers who are looking for guidance on any type of matter.

I look at VCOS as a lifeline for many Volunteer and Combination officers. I as a Chief Officer never really understood what VCOS was or did early on in my career. I was given the ability to attend the Symposium in the West on a scholarship in 2019 and that was the moment that my eyes were opened to all of the resources that were available and the work that is accomplished by VCOS.

I have the desire to be part of the VCOS Board because I feel that the work that is done is valuable to the fire service as a whole. I would like to devote my time and knowledge base to assist VCOS in expanding its platform to reach more people. I also feel that I would be able to bring that work back to my division to ensure that all volunteer and combination officers have access to the resources that will aid them in their duty. Bringing the information back to the local level is very important to me, as it ensures the VCOS mission is being heard in the field by all who can benefit from it.

Frank Hand
I have been an active member of the IAFC from 1997 through 2003 and continuously from 2007 and served on the Eastern Division board since 2014 moving through the chairs as Past President. Today I serve as a committee member on the IAFC Constitution and By-Laws. I have always seen the value of membership in the VCOS section and have attended many of the IAFC conferences and was continually active in attending the EDIAFC conferences. My role today is that I serve in a combination fire department as the Department Chief in an urban setting with overall command and responsibility of all functions of the department. This includes my responsibility for our strategic planning initiatives which seek to identify the goals of maintaining a viable combination all hazard fire department. My ability to organize & delegate, tactfully and diplomatically arbitrate conflicts between viewpoints and to build consensus among other partners is one of my strengths. Recognizing through my position the needs of fire and EMS organizations that serve our communities will make me a viable candidate to fill this position of importance. We can accept that this is the majority of our membership that comprises our region and states and this will allow for me to recognize and discuss the future of the fire and emergency medical services and acknowledge the strains on these systems with total awareness.

James Sims
I wish to be considered as a candidate for the 2023 VCOS Election. I have been an active member in the volunteer fire service for forty-five years beginning as a junior fire fighter at the age of sixteen. I held the rank of Chief in the early 1980’s for seven years before stepping away for family and my professional career. I returned as Chief in 2016 and currently hold that rank. During my tenure since 2016 with the help of my officers we developed a Cancer Awareness and Prevention Program, upgraded equipment, developed a apparatus maintenance program, we upgraded our training program both in house and sending members away to school. The program I am most proud of is our summer junior fire academy. This program started in 2018 with twelve cadets and has grown to our capacity of thirty-two cadets. This program has become so successful that we have a waiting list for this year. I ask you to look at this program on our website. I would also ask that visit our website, to find out more about my fifty-five-man department which responds to over 850 incidents a year including fire, rescue, and quick response medical services.

I am submitting this request to serve on the board so I might help other chief in the volunteer fire service. This is not a catch phrase but since joining until today I will tell you that I truly love the volunteer fire service. Once asked in a job interview what was the best decision I ever made, I commented “that easy, it was joining the volunteer fire department.”

I meet all the requirements for a candidate to be elected the VCOS Board and I look forward to the opportunity to serve the volunteer fire service community. 

Paul Sullivan
I have been a member of the VCOS for almost 15 years. I became a member after one of my mentors, Chief James P. Seavey introduced me to both the IAFC and the VCOS. I have always enjoyed being a member of the VCOS and recognize the importance that the Section has within the IAFC and to the members of both the IAFC and VCOS. I was encouraged by another one of my mentors who currently holds a seat of the VCOS Board that I should bring my ingenuity, passion and ideas to the Board. Addressing VCOS members’ needs is important to me. As a member myself, I believe that the Board could be doing more to meet the needs of the membership. I would like to participate in the implementation of the recently designed marketing strategy. My term as President of the Eastern Division will conclude next month and I am looking forward to channeling my energy to another great cause. To me, that is advancing, improving and moving the VCOS forward.