My focus this year as your president is simple: finding ways to help fire chiefs make our communities and citizens safer.
I’ve often said the job of today’s fire chiefs is more challenging than it’s ever been. The scrutiny for our performance and decisions is systemic and the pressure to do more with less is a battle cry many of us are familiar with. The threats that complicate our job are seemingly endless, from the conventional fire, rescue, EMS and hazmat categories to terrorism and everything in between.
Our business is to solve problems that vary greatly in scope and complexity—and to do so quickly and efficiently.
Over the next year, the IAFC will undertake efforts to better lead, educate and serve fire chiefs across the world. We’ll do this through improved outreach, better social media interaction and strategic political advocacy and by continuing to elevate our annual conference, Fire-Rescue International.
Research, data and technology are tools fire chiefs must harness to be successful. We can’t be allergic to change and evidenced-based decisions. Therefore, our association will push forward in finding ways to harness, disseminate and improve these cutting-edge initiatives.
An area of emphasis for this coming year will be in terrorism and domestic emergency preparedness. While the attacks of 9/11 were 16 years ago, we can’t become complacent to the threat posed by terrorists and the preparedness levels we need in the fire service. I’m calling on our Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee to help the fire service battle complacency and mediocrity and to produce initiatives we can build on.
To all IAFC members, I have just one “ask” of you: Get involved in your association. Attempt to share your questions and lessons and participate in all our association has to offer!
Be involved in your division, join a section, apply to serve on a committee and get the next generation of leadership involved. Sign them up and galvanize our association.
Now let’s get to work!
Fire Chief Thomas C. Jenkins V
President and Chairman of the Board