The culture of joining and benefiting from an IAFC membership has now been woven into our organization
About ten years ago, when I became a captain, I had an immediate interest in joining the IAFC to see how being a member could help me in my new position. Previously, I thought that the IAFC was only for chief officers. I quickly learned that was not the case and signed up right away.
The benefits were instantaneous as I found a treasure trove of information and resources at the tip of my fingers through the member portion of the website. The ability to post questions and receive feedback from people in our industry across the country proved to be invaluable. Five years later, I became a fire chief and continued to rely on the resources of my IAFC membership in new ways. I also began attending Fire-Rescue International (FRI) and found added value in the networking opportunities and high-level presentations that were offered.
As a part of attending FRI, I became aware of the Officer Development Program (ODP) and immediately began taking those tracts to assist with my development. I found these courses to be extremely engaging, entertaining, and valuable with the varied content and speakers. I only wish I had discovered the ODP sooner in my career. If you get the chance to attend an ODP tract of courses at FRI or as they travel the country, I would highly recommend the investment. You will not be disappointed. Even outside of the ODP courses, the other course offerings at FRI are so unique, timely and engaging that you will have no problem filling your schedule for the week. Add to that a superb display of equipment and apparatus and FRI rises to the top of any of the conferences in our industry.
I have enjoyed my IAFC membership so much that I continue to support the Company Officer and EMS sections as part of my annual membership since they provided so much support to me as I developed in my career. Furthermore, I have offered memberships to the IAFC to the various officer ranks in my department. It is not mandatory but highly encouraged for all our officers to take advantage of our department’s sponsorship so that they can have access to the superb resources offered throughout the IAFC. My next goal is to start bringing my officers to FRI on a rotating basis so they can all benefit from the networking and resources at that level. The culture of joining and benefiting from an IAFC membership has now been woven into our organization and will hopefully benefit our officers and department long after I leave.
If you are not a member of the IAFC, please consider joining right away and dive into the resources and networking that will benefit you and your department.