The American election is over and we can all take a collective sigh. Whew. No matter how you voted, we now have a new president, and he is our president. The new administration is replacing about 4,500 top jobs within the federal government. From cabinet secretaries to the U.S. fire administrator, many of those jobs touch the fire service.
In September, we met with both campaigns, and both meetings were well received. The IAFC is working to ensure that competent fire chiefs are placed within the new administration.
Once people are appointed, it will be up to us to develop relationships with the new leaders and advocate for fire service issues. That will take time, energy, effort and money.
When someone new is elected in your community, as a fire service officer, you introduce yourself and educate the newly elected person on your mission, your dedication to the community and your needs. Just like you do back home, that’s what we’ll be doing at the federal level.
America is a big country, but the fire service is usually within one—or at most three—degrees of separation to nearly everyone. Here’s one example of this from visiting the Trump campaign: we met the deputy director of the campaign who is a former volunteer firefighter in Maryland.
Here’s where you can help. Once the new administration’s team is in place, there will be people you know who hold key positions. Please let us know if you have those connections. It will help us develop the relationships we need to carry our mission forward.
Also, the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) is our friend and partner in Washington. This year we need to show Congress and the new administration how united we are on fire service issues. I’m asking you to attend the CFSI event in April and meet with your legislators and important administration leaders to explain our mission, our commitment to our communities and our needs. Working together, we can achieve our goals of making our communities safer and protecting our firefighters.
Fire Chief John Sinclair
President and Chairman of the Board