On February 29, I formed a Coronavirus Task Force, chaired by Chief John Sinclair. This task force has done outstanding and exhaustive work to provide our members and the fire service with valuable information as we negotiate through the issues confronting us on the coronavirus. All the resources they have provided, including two webinars, can be found at IAFC.org/COVID19.
The reality is that the fallout from the coronavirus will also have a financial and economic impact. That financial impact includes not only the loss of tax money that will come from the predicted recession but also the funding that has been approved by the various stimulus bills from Congress.
It is essential that the IAFC help our membership and fire departments:
- Understand what federal dollars they may be eligible for under the various stimulus bills from the federal government.
- Navigate the challenging economic times that are coming from reduced tax revenue because of the economic shutdown.
Therefore, I am pleased to announce that I am implementing an Economic Task Force. I have reached out to Fire Chief Steve Pegram of the Goshen (Ohio) Fire Department and asked him to chair this task force. The other talented members of the task force are:
- Fire Chief Otto Huber - Loveland-Symmes (Ohio) Fire Department
- Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator (ret.) Denis Onieal
- Fire Chief Alicia Welch - Golden (Colorado) Fire Department
- Fire Chief Gerry Dio (ret.) - Worchester (Massachusetts) Fire Department
- Fire Chief Chuck Lauss - Urbana (Illinois) Fire Department
- Division Fire Chief Heather Moore - Springfield (Illinois) Fire Department
- Deputy Fire Chief and Attorney Curt Varone – Exeter (Road Island) Fire Department
- Chief Dave Becker (ret.) Staff Liaison
You can expect them to produce various resource guides, webinars, and other deliverables.
I thank all of those who have agreed to serve on this important task force as we face this challenge that will be a test of our generation.
Fire Chief Gary Ludwig is IAFC President and Chairman of the Board.