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President’s Letter: Our Focus is Firmly on Leading the Fire Service

More than a year ago, under the leadership of Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr (IAFC President 2015–2016), we began a healthy and necessary review of our association’s structure to carefully consider whether we’re best-positioned to carry out our mission for you, our members. Our work didn’t stop when I took the oath of office as your president last August.

I’m extremely pleased to report that last month—again with the help of a professional facilitator experienced in association, government and corporate structure—we completed our self-evaluation, clearing the path for all components of our great organization to Lead, Educate and Serve the fire and emergency service well into the future.

In March, representatives from each of our divisions convened in Reno, Nevada, along with the IAFC board of directors, to finalize our governing policies and procedures. It was a historic moment when all eight divisions and all 18 members of the board agreed on how we can make our federation work most effectively for all our valued members across North America and beyond.

To sum up, the IAFC has:

  • Affirmed the current legal autonomy of the eight regional divisions.
  • Listened carefully to division leaders about their ideas on how to better position themselves to meet the needs of their members.
  • Established clear criteria on how the IAFC and its divisions can best work collaboratively to develop strategies to strengthen relationships with each other.

Of course, the devil is in the details. For those who want to dig deeply into the details our strengthened partnership, I invite you to review the updated IAFC Division Policy Manual (PDF). 

My vision is for this policy is for it to not gather dust on a shelf somewhere. Rather, it will serve as a reminder each year about our strengths and priorities as a federation and help us continue to be the most respected global voice in the fire service. In short, to keep us on track to achieve our important mission. After all, that’s what we’re here for.

Fire Chief John Sinclair
President and Chair of the Board

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