Historically, one of the challenges impacting the fire service has been our lack of a common voice. Starting several decades ago, the fire and emergency service, including our association, began to realize we’re always much more effective when we work together. This is especially true when dealing with our elected federal officials and elements of the executive branch of government.
As I sat at the Congressional Fire Services Institutedinner last month, I was inspired by the comradery and commonality I saw among various fire service organizations. It’s my observation that the fire and emergency service today is stronger than ever before because we embrace the synergy that comes from our collective hard work.
From AFG/SAFER funding and FirstNet to the cancer registry and volunteer firefighter tax incentives, I have witnessed the teamwork of our sister organizations firsthand this year and I’m constantly in awe.
Working together is always more difficult than the alternative, so it’s imperative that in the years to come we dig deep as an association and work diligently to improve our chosen profession.
Making a difference politically starts with each individual fire service leader.
CFSI Week is a great reminder that the actions of a few can make a difference in our communities and the country as a whole.
I wake up every day feeling honored and fortunate to be able to put on a uniform and serve the greatest civic institution ever created. But when I witness all of us in uniform, marching around Capitol Hill, interacting with our federal representatives and—just as important—each other, well, it’s nothing short of inspirational.
If you’ve never attended CFSI, make plans to join us next year in Washington April 24-25. Even if you can’t attend, take an opportunity to introduce yourselves to your elected federal officials, because we can all make a big difference.
Fire Chief Thomas C. Jenkins V
President and Chairman of the Board