President`s Letter: What Direction Will We Take into the Future?

The fire service has never been as challenged as it is now, and I worry that the can-do attitude of our all-hazard fire and emergency service may be in jeopardy unless we start looking at how we're going to do business in the future.

We operate now in a period of constricted resources and heightened expectations. OK, we went over the fiscal cliff, hanging only by a short rope that isn’t strong enough to keep the United States from freefalling over the next few months. Unless Washington's legislators start doing something other than pointing at the other side of the aisle, we’ll continue to fall.

Over the last several years, the fire and emergency service has had some tremendous challenges. The IAFC has taken on these challenges and will continue working for our members and the fire service as a whole.

The IAFC couldn't have accomplished what it has without the support of all its members who have been key players in raising the visibility of the fire service.

The IAFC is hosting a planning session this month to help develop a strategic direction for the association. This planning session will help give the association a roadmap for the future that current and upcoming leaders can follow.

The session will also provide a forum where IAFC leaders can be briefed on emerging issues and discuss what impacts these issues have on the fire service.

The IAFC has continued to innovate and look for efficiencies to help during these difficult times. We have asked what the fire service would look like if it were a brand new startup company in 2013? The IAFC Innovation Conference, February 3-5 in San Diego, will help answer that question and how we can shape the fire service for the future.

The important thing to remember is that we all—from firefighters to fire chiefs and elected officials and from staff to board members—have to work together. We need a shared vision toward a safe, efficient and a more effective fire service that can adapt to a changing environment.

We all have to pull in the same direction, each of us contributing different skill sets or expertise towards those common goals.

Chief Hank Clemmensen
President and Chairman of the Board

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