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President’s Letter: Preparing Our Departments for All Hazards

If there’s one thing our profession has done well through its history, it’s that we’ve been elastic with our mission. The fire service has taken responsibility for handling things that are outside our traditional mission of firefighting. From community paramedicine and terrorism to hazardous materials and technical rescue, our world’s fire service is the benefactor of all-hazards solutions.

The IAFC has adapted to support this menu of responsibility as well. This June, our association will host the International Hazmat Response Teams Conference in Baltimore. This gathering of hazmat leaders and experts is the best of its kind.

Our EMS Section will have its conference, Fire-Rescue Med, in Las Vegas later that same week.

Consider sending your subject-matter experts in these disciplines to network with like-minded professionals and learn from the best the profession has to offer.

Conferences aren’t the only thing our association can contribute to your home department. Review our toolkit for active shooter and hostile situations as well as our large-scale response resources. These documents, developed through the hard work of our Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee, help coordinate and organize resources at a local level to respond more effectively to these low-frequency, high-risk incidents.

Behind the scenes at IAFC headquarters, our staff has also been collaborating with Intermedix and Esri to improve the National Mutual Aid System (NMAS) and introduce technology and geospatial data to fire-based responders.

It can be mind boggling to consider all the things a fire chief must consider and be prepared for. However, remember that the backbone of this association is the desire to make a fire chief’s job easier by providing tools, education and connections to solve problems.

Fire Chief Thomas C. Jenkins V
President and Chairman of the Board


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