Firefighting, EMS, law enforcement and military service are all noble professions. These professions are filled with great women and men that rush to danger and place themselves between harm and the community members we serve. Many do so as volunteers.
As leaders of organizations filled with such brave souls, it is our obligation to lead with nobility, courage, selflessness and strength. That means more than physical courage; it means moral courage as well. Each of us has to be willing to stand up to things that are wrong.
Over the next year, it’s my honor and privilege to be your IAFC president. That means I work for you. I come to the position with no agenda other than to make our association stronger and provide you as a chief or line officer more tools to better serve your community.
Do I have some ideas on how to do that? Absolutely! But understand, this is about you, not me. At the end of this message, I have given you my email address for just this year. You can email me if you have ideas on how we can make our organization and profession better.
While I have ideas, they have to be done in conjunction with our volunteer leadership (the IAFC board of directors, sections, divisions, committees, and task forces) and our professional IAFC staff. I believe in the wisdom of teams and working collaboratively. I would ask you to step up and let your voice be heard. One of my mentors, James O. Page, taught me this: “Decisions are made by those who show up.”
We have a lot to work on: Behavioral health and public-safety suicide, firefighter cancer, EMS system financing and reimbursement, mobile integrated healthcare/community paramedic programs, a cornucopia of firefighter health and safety concerns, building relationships with a new federal administration, responding to the growing consequence of terrorism and finishing the discussions about our own internal governance, just to highlight a few. There are dozens, if not hundreds, more. I believe working together, we can solve a lot of them.
Let’s work together over the next year. My email is IAFCprez1617@gmail.com; please let me know your ideas.
Fire Chief John Sinclair
IAFC President and Chairman of the Board