The Latest

Dec 22, 2017

Senate Reauthorizes AFG/SAFER and USFA

Sunset date for AFG/SAFER grant programs pushed out to 2024.

Dec 19, 2017

House Passes AFG-SAFER-USFA Reauthorization Bill

Bill authorizes $750 million each for FIRE and SAFER grant programs. Sunset date: 2024

Nov 28, 2017

Did Your U.S. Representative Sign the FIRE/SAFER Grant Letter?

Contact your House representative by Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Sep 29, 2017

FIRE/SAFER Reauthorization Introduced in the House

Bill calls for the elimination of the sunset clause.

Aug 30, 2017

Let’s Assist Responders, Victims in Texas

In one Texas community, 80% of the local firefighters have lost their homes.

Aug 28, 2017

IAFC Discourages the Practice of Self-Dispatch to Emergency Locations

In major disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, the fire service needs to be disciplined in its response, ready and available.

Aug 18, 2017

New Publication Explores Importance of Succession Management in the Fire Service

Guide provides steps for departments to start their own succession plans and includes a history of succession management in the fire-rescue service.

Aug 16, 2017

Be Prepared for the Solar Eclipse

Solar-Eclipse Viewing Resources Available for Fire Chiefs

Jul 17, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Try a KISS Succession Plan

It’s been said you never know what a job entails until you’re in it. As the fire chief, exposing those coming up behind you to what you do is a major step in minimizing the gap.

Apr 18, 2016

Check Your Bus Ticket First

If you're like me, it's hard to determine what the real facts are about implementing mobile integrated healthcare (MIH) or ...

Jan 18, 2018

President’s Letter: Managing Your Key Relationships

I personally invite you to take advantage of a golden opportunity to hone your skills with the IAFF/IAFC Labor-Management Alliance: join us for the LMA Conference April 5-6 in Denver at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center: IAFC.org/LMAconference.

Jan 18, 2018

Company Officer Leadership: Labor-Management Relations – Building Our Teams

Labor and management. Two groups of people who don’t always agree, but must come together to meet the overall goals and mission of the organization. How do you view labor and management?

Jan 18, 2018

Executive Officer Leadership: Cultivating Effective Union-Management Relationships

Organizations want to deliver results and greater productivity; a union may be seen as a barrier to effectively achieving these goals. From the union’s perspective, this management view leads to violations of the collective bargaining agreement.

Jan 18, 2018

LMA Update: A New Era of Cooperation and Collaboration

Over the life of the IAFC’s and IAFF’s partnership, the Labor-Management Alliance has gone through several iterations. One constant is the organizations’ dedication to building strong labor-management relationships.

Jan 18, 2018

Chiefs, Union Leaders Come Together as LMA Conference Returns

For any fire department that has labor-management relationships or new people in leadership roles, the 2018 LMA Conference is the place to be.

Jan 18, 2018

It's Time We Build a Uniform Officer Ride-Along Standard

Is it time to consider developing, adopting and using a formal officer/job-sharing or ride-along program standard?

Jan 18, 2018

Choose Your Next Officer with These Key Evaluation Areas

A key factor to ensuring a successful and highly reliable organization is finding those who are committed to excellence and embody the epitome of the organization’s vision.

Jan 18, 2018

Enhancing Fire-Rescue Human Capital: Succession Planning and Implementation

The time has come for today’s leaders to embrace, develop and implement succession planning and management. Let’s examine the foundation, the method and the outcomes and challenges associated with it.

Jan 09, 2018

Reminder: FY 2017 AFG Application Period Closes Feb. 2

Don't wait until the last minute to submit your AFG Grant application.

Dec 22, 2017

Senate Reauthorizes AFG/SAFER and USFA

Sunset date for AFG/SAFER grant programs pushed out to 2024.

Dec 19, 2017

House Passes AFG-SAFER-USFA Reauthorization Bill

Bill authorizes $750 million each for FIRE and SAFER grant programs. Sunset date: 2024

Dec 18, 2017

What’s in Your Disaster Plan?

As Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria hit different areas, we watched challenges play out through the media. While many areas still work to get back to a place of normalcy, we should look at those challenges and ask, “What’s in my disaster plan?”

Dec 18, 2017

Reaching the Community with Hands-Only CPR

While the death rate is declining, the best way to affect out-of-hospital cardiac-arrest incidents is to ensure that AEDs are readily available and that members of the community are trained in CPR.

Dec 18, 2017

President’s Letter: Let’s Better Connect with the Communities We Protect

Fire chiefs must be able to answer the question, “What are you doing to connect to the people you protect?”

Dec 18, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Maintaining Relevance through Culture and Action

Any organization’s leadership will tell you that a key ingredient for sustained success is maintaining a positive relationship with the customer. It’s essential to achieve this, and the most stable path is through positive culture.

Dec 18, 2017

Company Officer Leadership: Public-Relations Campaigns are Tools for Relevance

What makes us relevant in our communities? Our quick response, willingness to take risks and professional competence? How do we show them how relevant—and indispensable—we are?

Dec 18, 2017

Fire and Life Safety: Community Relations

In today's environment of public suspicion, gaining and maintaining public consent to operate has become an ongoing top-management concern for most fire agencies and fire-prevention divisions.

Dec 18, 2017

Mobile Integrated Healthcare Handbook is Released

The MIH Handbook will provide a step-by-step process to evaluate whether mobile integrated healthcare is right for fire departments and the steps to implement such a program, tailormade to the needs of the department’s local EMS systems.

Nov 30, 2017

Thanks for Making Your Voice Heard on Capitol Hill for FIRE/SAFER Grants

152 members of Congress ask House leadership to pass FIRE/SAFER reauthorization.

Nov 28, 2017

Did Your U.S. Representative Sign the FIRE/SAFER Grant Letter?

Contact your House representative by Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Nov 17, 2017

Help Save the FIRE/SAFER Grant Programs

Contact your U.S. House representative and urge reauthorization of FIRE/SAFER grant programs.

Nov 14, 2017

Bringing Back Fun in the Firehouse

I remember the days of riding the back step and so much more. I won’t call them the good old days; we were lucky to have survived them unscathed. But oh, was it easy to recruit and retain new members; the volunteer firehouse was the place to be.

Nov 14, 2017

Recruit the Best and Retain Them Longer

It’s no surprise that the recruitment and retention of volunteers has become a hot topic and one that many fire departments are constantly trying to overcome. Recruiting new members and retaining seasoned individuals is becoming a challenge.

Nov 14, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: The Relationship Between Human Resources and Community Awareness

A public-safety organization's HR responsibilities include attracting applicants, retaining members, motivating members, planning for succession development and offering relevant training. The challenge for us is to get it right.

Oct 31, 2017

Integrating Veterans in the Fire and Emergency Service

At my FRI session, we discussed bringing veterans into our firehouses. The idea seems simple, though it can lead to worrying about what-ifs. But why don’t we have a fire or EMS job for every veteran who meets our requirements and wants one?

Oct 31, 2017

ICS Is Not Just for Operations

ICS is an excellent means of organizing resources, providing accountability and allocating them to meet challenges; it’s a time-proven approach to dealing with emergencies. But we shouldn’t ignore that, at its base, it’s simply a management tool.

Oct 31, 2017

President’s Letter: Make Community Interaction Count

On the heels of Fire Prevention Week, it’s easy to appreciate the interaction and trust we have within our communities; the week is a magnificent example of harnessing tragedy to make positive change.

Oct 31, 2017

Company Officer Leadership: Community Relations – Whose Job Is It Anyway?

In the fire service, whose job is community relations? Most folks would probably say the fire prevention and education division or the PIO. The real answer is much larger than these two.

Oct 25, 2017

Allow Intolerance or Affronts to Human Dignity? #NotOnMyWatch

It is imperative that firefighters take time to embrace the Human Dignity Statement developed and approved by the IAFC Board of Directors as a testament to how firefighters should treat each other.

Oct 16, 2017

Company Officer Leadership: Senior SAFE Program – Protecting Our Seniors

Though the trend in fire deaths has decreased for the older adult population, older adults still face the greatest relative risk of dying in a fire.

Oct 16, 2017

Emotional Intelligence, or Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

Traditionally, intellectual capacity has been seen as a primary indicator of one’s ability to succeed. Emotional intelligence is now also considered a crucial element in individual and professional success.

Oct 02, 2017

Condolences for Las Vegas Shooting Victims, Families

Fire service leaders should work together with law enforcement agencies at all levels of government on active shooter preparedness and training.

Sep 29, 2017

FIRE/SAFER Reauthorization Introduced in the House

Bill calls for the elimination of the sunset clause.

Sep 26, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Community Members Help Reduce Risk

Community education needs be at the forefront of our minds. If we can educate our communities in risk reduction, lives will be saved.

Sep 14, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Make a Decision

Many chief officers have prepared for and experienced many types of fireground situations. Countless lives have been saved based on quick, decisive actions. How do these processes transfer to administrative decisions these same officers must make?

Sep 13, 2017

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit: A Resource for Fire Departments

Exposure to the trauma of others is an occupational challenge for first responders. Organ-izations can mitigate the negative impacts of vicarious trauma—and it’s their duty and responsibility to do so. The VTT was designed to help.

Aug 30, 2017

Let’s Assist Responders, Victims in Texas

In one Texas community, 80% of the local firefighters have lost their homes.

Aug 28, 2017

IAFC Discourages the Practice of Self-Dispatch to Emergency Locations

In major disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, the fire service needs to be disciplined in its response, ready and available.

Aug 18, 2017

New Publication Explores Importance of Succession Management in the Fire Service

Guide provides steps for departments to start their own succession plans and includes a history of succession management in the fire-rescue service.

Aug 17, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Professional Development for the Entire Organizational Chart

One of the questions many training officers and fire chiefs struggle with is how to structure professional and career development programs within their departments.

Aug 17, 2017

Company Officer Leadership: Leadership Development

Leadership development—what does that really mean? Can you develop people into becoming good leaders, or are leaders just born to be leaders?

Aug 16, 2017

Be Prepared for the Solar Eclipse

Solar-Eclipse Viewing Resources Available for Fire Chiefs

Aug 03, 2017

These Digital Tools Will Make You A More Efficient Fire/EMS Leader

A collection of digital tools aimed at improving the efficiency of the everyday leader in fire/EMS.

Aug 02, 2017

Terrorism & Homeland Security: Complex Coordinated Attacks – More than Active-Shooter Events

The fire service is integral to homeland security, and chiefs must know the hot issues. To help, the T&HS Committee offers an in-depth look at the issues as well as the resources available from the IAFC. This is the seventh article in the series.

Aug 02, 2017

An Evolution in Transparency: In Our Departments and Communities

It’s time to introduce our personnel to the public we serve. People have seen our folks in action. They’ve invited them into their homes at their time of need. But who is it that’s stepping across the threshold?

Jul 17, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Try a KISS Succession Plan

It’s been said you never know what a job entails until you’re in it. As the fire chief, exposing those coming up behind you to what you do is a major step in minimizing the gap.

Jul 17, 2017

Do You Need a Drone in Your Department?

The key to a successful and sustainable drone program is to have a supporting infrastructure in place before that first flight.

Jul 17, 2017

Terrorism & Homeland Security: Body-Armor Purchasing Decisions

The fire service is integral to homeland security, and chiefs must know the hot issues. To help, the T&HS Committee offers an in-depth look at the issues as well as the resources available from the IAFC. This is the sixth article in the series.

Jun 29, 2017

Company Officer Leadership: Your Role in Departmental SOGs

Many think that all a company officer needs to do is apply the SOGs/SOPs and discipline those who don’t abide by them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Jun 29, 2017

Split Personalities: What's Your Organization’s Culture?

Understanding your department’s internal personality will help you understand how its external image is perceived. Bad attitudes, poor morale, sloppy attire: If you don’t recognize it, others quickly will.

Jun 15, 2017

Yes, Bullying, Harassment and Violence are Alive in the Firehouse

In the midst of discussions of brotherhood, courage, honor and self-sacrifice, the revelation that a firefighter committed suicide as a reaction to cyberbullying was for some eye opening, for others validation of their lived experience.

Jun 15, 2017

Terrorism & Homeland Security: Ballistic Protection – Not as Simple as It Appears

The fire service is integral to homeland security, and chiefs must know the hot issues. To help, the T&HS Committee offers an in-depth look at the issues as well as the resources available from the IAFC. This is the fifth article in the series.

Jun 01, 2017

Human Relations: If We Build It, They Will Come

There are many untapped, talented people who would be ready to play on our team and work for our mission if we would just prepare the workplace to recognize and harness their diverse and varied talents.

May 16, 2017

EMS, We Have Some Work to Do

As if fire-based EMS doesn’t have enough issues with its name brand of service delivery, I want to tell you about two new challenges.

May 16, 2017

Safety & Health: Risk Reduction—A Global View

When considering risk-reduction programs, fire departments typically target the residential populations in their communities. There’s good reason for this approach.

May 16, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Incorporating Performance Metrics into Agency Culture and Analysis

Performance metrics help to establish expected performance levels. Without them, organizations may drift along with no perception of quality performance. Without substantiating data, any perception they do have is ultimately just an opinion.

May 11, 2017

CALL TO ACTION: Contact Your Senators re: FIRE/SAFER Reauthorization

President Sinclair is urging fire service leaders to write their senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 829 (FIRE/SAFER grant program reauthorization).

May 04, 2017

Medical Equipment Failures

When medical devices fail and death or serious injury occurs, your department is required to report it. This article tells you how.

May 04, 2017

What ESCI’s Purchase of Fields Consulting Group Means for You

As you may know, Fields Consulting Group was purchased by Emergency Services Consulting International, the consulting arm of the IAFC. In doing so, we have expanded our services extensively.

Apr 19, 2017

Fire Innovation Is Peer-Driven

After years in the industry, I can tell you the companies serving the fire service are in fire houses, eagerly working with the fire service. But adopting technology in the fire service is a whole different animal.

Apr 19, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Things Have Changed

As chief officers, we must find innovative ways to involve our members that allow them to learn and be heard. New technology is out there and will continue to grow quickly, so we must embrace it.

Apr 17, 2017

Your Image of a Firehouse Is Probably Wrong

Governing magazine explores the increasing demands placed upon fire chiefs and departments and how modern firehouses have had to change with them.

Apr 07, 2017

Benefits of Unmanned Vehicles in the Fire Rescue Space

What fire departments need to know about rolling out Unmanned Arial Systems (UAS).

Apr 03, 2017

Company Officer Leadership: Innovation in Officer-Development Training

Fairfax County (Virginia) Fire and Rescue serves rural, suburban and urban environments, and with such varied needs, ensuring a highly trained and effective officer corps becomes even more critical.

Mar 17, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Alternative Funding for the Fire Service

In today’s economy, we’re still working to make ends meet and stay within our budgets. It’s never been more critical to examine alternative funding streams to supplement existing budgets, support essential services and purchase new technology.

Mar 01, 2017

Company Officer Leadership: The Company Officer’s Role in Obtaining Funding

It’s pretty easy talk to our crew and gather ideas on what we need, helping the department find the resources to purchase the items is another story altogether.

Feb 17, 2017

ESCI Acquires Fields Consulting Group

Emergency Services Consulting International, the consulting arm of the IAFC, expands its services and product line with the acquisition of Fields Consulting Group.

Feb 14, 2017

A Whole-Community Approach to All-Hazards Planning

Whole-community planning allows public-safety officials to develop plans that serve the community’s needs. Public safety's goal should be to lead the community toward risk-management that includes residents more in disaster response and recovery.

Feb 03, 2017

All-Hazards Doesn’t Mean Plan for Everything

Many fire service leaders are knighted to the position of emergency manager as well as fire chief. In this role, we’re tasked with conducting all-hazards planning. But just what does this mean?

Feb 02, 2017

President’s Letter: All-Hazards Experience Is the Worst Teacher

As I was standing alongside a road, watching a mile-wide flame front from a fast-moving wildland fire move rapidly toward me, a friend pulled up and said, “Fire first gives the test, then provides the lesson.”

Feb 02, 2017

Small Departments Aren’t Exempt from Being All-Hazards Ready

When we think of the term all-hazards, images come to mind of expansive incidents with vast resources distributed to handle any problem that arises. Few small departments can field such assets, but they’re not exempt from the responsibility.

Feb 02, 2017

Community and Department Needs First

I’m asked from time to time about how I've survived the changing landscape of our community and not encountered the issues other neighboring chiefs have. While I have no magic solution, I can offer these suggestions.

Feb 02, 2017

Company Officer Leadership: All-Hazards on the Street

It’s now post-post-9/11 and everyone has a different idea about what to call us and our activities. Probably the most common formulation today is all-hazards. So what does all-hazards mean to us?

Jan 20, 2017

The Elephants—Better Known as the Undiscussables

Is there an issue or problem in your department that keeps rearing its ugly head but nobody wants to discuss it or attempt to fix it? These unnamed elephants are issues everyone knows about but is afraid to discuss. So what do you do?

Jan 20, 2017

In Your Leadership Toolkit: Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is recognized as a necessary component of leadership. Fire and emergency service leaders must keep this tool sharp and use it effectively in the firehouse and on every call. How sharp is the tool in your kit?

Jan 20, 2017

HELP Yourself This Tax Season

Tax season can be a time of frustration. The HELPS program offers an excellent way to decrease your taxable income while still retaining strong benefits for fire and emergency service retirees.

Jan 20, 2017

Executive Officer Leadership: Forecasting—An Inexact Science

Can anyone with certainty forecast the future? It isn’t likely, but with some research and knowledge, we can predict how current trends may change what we see and how we act 5 to 10 years from now.

Jan 04, 2017

SAFER Application Period Open January 9 to February 10

SAFER application period open January 9 to February 10. Start planning your FY 2016 SAFER Grant application now by reviewing the technical assistance tools offered by FEMA.

Dec 20, 2016

The Color of Protection

Law-enforcement officers are under attack and becoming targets. Responding alongside law enforcement places us in areas of risk; their risk is our risk. Action must be taken to protect ourselves, but what steps can we take to do that?

Dec 20, 2016

President’s Letter: Developing Relationships

When someone new is elected in your community, 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.

Dec 20, 2016

Executive Officer Leadership: Maintaining Relevance in Communities

A community's perception of the fire and emergency service is often affected by its perception of the chief and his members. What do your relationships reflect?

Dec 20, 2016

How an Empty Salt Shaker Leads to Firefighter Death

Yes, anyone can fill the salt shaker, but as one chief pointed out, this particular, insignificant task is assigned to someone. I believe the way he said it was, “Filling the salt shaker was someone’s job.”

Nov 01, 2016

Us Versus Them: Can We All Get Along?

“Can we all get along?” Those words were spoken nearly 25 years ago by Rodney King during the Los Angeles riots that followed the trial of police officers accused of beating King during his arrest. The quote is often misstated and ...

Oct 19, 2016

Motorola Solutions Foundation Public Safety Grant Funds 5th Year of Fire Service Executive Development Institute

Fairfax, Va. – The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has received a significant grant award as part of the Motorola Solutions Foundation’s public safety grant award program. The grant will make it possible for the IAFC to provide a ...

Oct 18, 2016

Proving Risk Reduction Works: The Case in Point

Proving what we do works for our communities has always challenged fire and emergency services. Nevertheless, pressure to prove that our performance affects outcomes for the better has never been greater.

Oct 15, 2016

Integrated Reporting Tool Launched at FRI 2016

Cloud-based event-reporting and analysis tool access to internal and nationally-collected data to support operational changes and necessary training.

Oct 15, 2016

NWS Watch, Warning and Advisory Survey for Decision-makers

NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) is conducting a survey that is gauging how decision-makers, such as fire department officials, use NWS watches, warnings and advisories. Your feedback will play an important role in any decisions on how to improve NWS ...

Oct 04, 2016

A Simple Act on November 6 Can Buy Life-Saving Minutes Later

ST. LOUIS — Three minutes. That’s how much time families have on average to get out of their homes after an alarm from a smoke detector.* However, those life-saving minutes only occur when detectors are fully powered and operational. Fortunately, three ...

Sep 19, 2016

If Not Now, When?

Training is about today. Education is about tomorrow: what the next community need is and where the fire and emergency service fits in.

Sep 09, 2016

Why So Many Unhappy Firefighters?

The fire service is one of the most rewarding and exciting careers available. So why are there so many unhappy firefighters?

Sep 09, 2016

Fire & Life Safety- Leading Your Team to Success

Job satisfaction often hinges on the quality of relationships. Yet in today’s rapidly evolving, 24/7 workplaces, it’s not always clear what we should do to create satisfying work experiences and happy team members.

Sep 09, 2016

The Lawsuit Litmus Test

Anyone in public service knows that legal action or a lawsuit may be just the next call or the next shift away.

Sep 09, 2016

What to Do When Internal Candidates Don’t Get the Promotion

Fostering a pool of both interested and qualified personnel allows chiefs to select their command staff and local administrators or governing boards to draw from for their next fire chief.

Sep 09, 2016

5 Notable Traits of High-Performing Management Teams

Five attributes are consistently seen in high-performing management teams, consistently resulting in optimized performance, innovation, growth in capabilities and influence and measurable results.

Sep 07, 2016

Company Officer Leadership- Taking Management Decisions to the Field

What does it really mean to manage a department? It takes leaders at all levels throughout an organization to put forward ideas and work together to meet the department’s management demands.

Sep 06, 2016

Executive Officer Leadership- Delegation and Communication

Proper communication facilitates good management; this is often easier to say than to do.

Sep 06, 2016

Conducting Effective Evaluations

Effective employee evaluations create an atmosphere of trust; employees know what expectations the agency has and employers have a forum to ensure those expectations have been communicated.

Aug 12, 2016

President’s Letter- Let’s Always Look Out for Each Other

When the wall collapses, we’ll be there for our brothers and sisters. We should be there for them, too, even before the wall comes down.

Aug 12, 2016

Company Officer Leadership - Success as a Leader Means Never Being Satisfied

The most important attribute of being a leader is just this—the continued drive for personal and professional success in all aspects of life.

Aug 12, 2016

Five Core Competencies of Executive Leadership

Just as a mechanic requires a precise set of skills to fix cars, leaders require a certain array of competencies to enact effective leadership.

Jul 30, 2016

Emergency Medical Services: Let`s Make a Deal?

Some of you may be familiar with the TV game show Let``s Make a Deal, currently hosted by Wayne Brady ...

Jul 30, 2016

President`s Letter: The Fire Service`s Role in Healthcare Delivery

The healthcare system in our country is undergoing tremendous change. Driven by unsustainable costs, policy makers are reengineering healthcare in ...

Jul 30, 2016

Company Officer Leadership: Culture Change Through Grassroots Leadership

When applied to common areas in the fire service, grassroots leadership can take on a powerful form and gain momentum. ...

Jul 30, 2016

Firefighter/EMT Safety, Health & Survival: Supporting Our Departments` Grassroots Leaders

Leadership in today``s fire service is constantly challenged at a variety of levels. Leaders in fire and rescue departments everywhere ...

Jul 30, 2016

Homeland Security Appropriations Bill Approved by Senate Appropriations Committee

On June 26, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill (S. ...

Jul 30, 2016

Fire & Life Safety: A Lesson in Regaining Public Trust

Several years ago, our division manager and department director went to meet a couple property owners to discuss issues they ...

Jul 30, 2016

Company Officer Leadership: Community Relations in the Fire Service

Recently, I attended a conference where leaders in fire service discussed the state of our profession and how leadership had ...

Jul 30, 2016

Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Perception

Just about anywhere you go, fire departments find themselves under increasing public scrutiny as economic pressures remain high or even ...

Jul 30, 2016

Emergency Medical Services: "It Depends"

My human resources director likes to use the phrase “it depends” when we address difficult issues; the issues might be ...

Jul 30, 2016

Firefighter/EMT Safety, Health & Survival: Cultivating Your Community Relationships

Is your organization``s brand identity well established within your community? That is, have you communicated your department``s characteristics, values and ...

Jul 30, 2016

Hose2Habitat Answers the Call

An excellent answer to the age-old question, "Hey chief, what should we do with the old fire hose?" is "Take ...

Jul 30, 2016

Building Key Relationships with Elected Community Leaders

Today, perhaps more than ever, it``s critical that chiefs work hard to strengthen community relations. One important way is to ...

Jul 30, 2016

Embracing Grassroots Leaders

Leadership is perhaps one of the most fascinating and controversial topics in today’s fire service; no model fits every department ...

Jul 30, 2016

Fire Prevention Week Is Just Around the Corner

Some fire departments spend the week visiting schools and citizen groups, while other stay in and welcome tour groups. I’d ...

Jul 30, 2016

Fire & Life Safety: What If No One Understands Your Message?

This seems tremendously obvious, but our industry can’t reduce fires and injuries if our audience doesn’t understand our safety message....

Jul 30, 2016

Fire & Life Safety: Community Risk Reduction on a Shoestring Budget

Community risk reduction (CRR) is the identification and prioritization of risks, followed by the integrated application of resources to minimize ...

Jul 30, 2016

Decisions: Encouraging People to Make Them

“A difference which makes no difference is no difference.” That quote, attributed to philosopher and psychologist William James, essentially says ...

Jul 30, 2016

Environmental Sustainability: Finding Benefits through Ceiling Fans

Being sustainable and reducing the operating costs for your station doesn``t have to be an involved or complicated effort. A ...

Jul 30, 2016

Environmental Sustainability: Quick Savings through Lighting

One of the most popular ways to achieve energy efficiency and realize cost savings in your firehouse is through lighting ...

Jul 30, 2016

Three Techniques for Writing a Compelling Annual Report

An annual report provides a powerful, effective and efficient way to connect with your community. It enables you to demonstrate ...

Jul 30, 2016

If Everything Is Important, Nothing Is

Most of us remember a tragic house fire in Stamford, Conn., on Christmas Day 2011. The fire claimed the lives ...

Jul 30, 2016

Emergency Medical Services: Minimum Wage

At some point early in our working lives, we all probably earned the minimum wage. While the intent of the ...

Jul 30, 2016

Emergency Medical Services: Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

As we start 2015, one of the goals this year for On Scene is to look at the wicked problems ...

Jul 30, 2016

President`s Letter: Mission-Centered in Changing Times

We``re all familiar with the economic situation and the need to be more efficient, business-oriented and innovative. So why do ...

Jul 30, 2016

Emergency Medical Services: There`s No "I" in Team

We``ve all heard it before: "There``s no ``I`` in team." We usually do pretty well with this. After all, unlike ...

Jul 30, 2016

Consolidated Communities: Efficiencies and Service Synergies

In the current economic realities, many communities are struggling with how to best provide the required number of first responders ...

Jul 30, 2016

Executive Fire Officers: Are You Up to the Task of Leading?

The fire service has entered a new dimension that will significantly impact it: While the economy is improving, this improvement ...

Jul 30, 2016

Creating a Community Connection

Washington is just one of many places where elected officials are making decisions that affect your ability to uphold your ...

Jul 30, 2016

Greening the Fire Service Future

When Chief Mike Duyck, chair of the IAFC’s Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC), was asked what kind of reception his panel’s ...

Jul 30, 2016

Sizing Up Your Community Risk

It has been well accepted in recent times that fire departments across the United States are being becoming all-hazard providers. ...

Jul 30, 2016

Establishing an Effective Fire Investigation Unit

Most if not all fire agencies across the United States continue to encounter ongoing financial turbulence. During these challenges, difficult ...

Jul 30, 2016

Managing Your Department through Transformation

The news from around the country continues to be pretty daunting. Difficult economic realities from the Great Recession continue to ...

Jul 30, 2016

Fiscal Preplanning Can Divert a Disaster of a Different Kind

At least 31 applied research projects from the National Fire Academy``s Executive Fire Officer Program, including the author``s, are dedicated ...

Jul 30, 2016

Looking for Allies when Fighting Extreme Weather? Look to Public Works

Extreme weather can take its toll on the fire and emergency service. But when it comes to keeping communities safe, ...

Jul 30, 2016

Be Aware, Be Informed, Be Prepared: Getting Ready for Winter

Weather forecasters for the Washington, D.C., area tell us that this winter may bring extreme cold temperatures and significant amounts ...

Jul 30, 2016

Gaining Perspectives on the Economic Outlook

IAFC On Scene is in the process of a year-long, progressive survey to evaluate national trends in budget and community ...

Jul 30, 2016

Environmental Sustainability: The Inherent Environmental Benefits of Fire Sprinklers

Anyone who understands fire-sprinkler systems also understands they’ve had a positive impact on our environment for over 135 years without ...

Jul 30, 2016

Collaborating on a Statewide Basis: Interview with OEC Director Chris Essid

Chris Essid is director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (OEC). OEC was created by ...

Jul 30, 2016

Emergency Medical Services: A Look in the Mirror

With the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), EMS could be facing some significant changes in ...

Jul 30, 2016

Company Officer Leadership: Renaissance Responders

In 2010, the number of structure fires in the United States was less than half of what it was 30 ...

Jul 30, 2016

Company Officer Leadership: Managing Administrative Processes

We all probably joined the fire and emergency service for pretty much the same reasons: to help others, to have ...

Jul 30, 2016

Fire and Community Health?

We hear it all the time: Our EMS resources are stretched to the limit. Our medical calls for service are ...

Jul 30, 2016

When Wild Weather Works Your System

All one has to do is look at very recent weather events to see the impact and challenges the fire ...

Jul 30, 2016

The Real Importance of Succession Planning

Do you sense a lack of bench strength in your organization? Do you believe that when you head out the ...

Jul 30, 2016

Challenges of Budgeting for Health Insurance Costs

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) creates budget concerns for government employers and fire departments as well as ...

Jul 30, 2016

Organizational Excellence

Organizational excellence, like beauty, is often in the eyes of the beholder. However, increasing demands for public transparency require successful ...

Jul 30, 2016

Fire & Life Safety: Managing Relationships Inside and Out

Our society is more connected today than it has ever been, with the use of email, social media and text ...

Jul 30, 2016

Company Officer Leadership: Are You Prepared to Handle Any Response?

A toxic chlorine leak has occurred at the local chemical company. A tornado has just touched down in the residential ...

Jul 30, 2016

Emergency Medical Services: Decisions, Decisions

We’ve heard that life is all about choices, and we``re often faced with making all kinds of decisions. Some are ...

Jul 30, 2016

Fire Prevention and Safety Grants: Application Period Opens

The application period for FEMA’s Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant program opens Tuesday, February 18, at 8 a.m. (EST). ...

Jul 30, 2016

Politics: To Be or Not to Be Involved

Most of you remember how politicians and the general public saw the fire service in America after 9/11. It’s clearly ...

Jul 30, 2016

SAR: Putting It All Together, Part I

The IAFC’s committee on Terrorism and Homeland security has focused on highlighting the criteria for Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) through ...

Jul 30, 2016

Accidents, Mistakes, and Bad Decisions

A firefighter sideswipes a car with the fire apparatus when pulling out of a tight parking spot. Is this event ...

Jul 30, 2016

Drone Use in Public Safety

Drone use in public safety is a growing area of interest, particularly for fire departments, search and rescue and arson ...

Jul 30, 2016

Collaboration: The Human Element

Collaboration has found increasing importance in emergency services in the recent years, as doing more with less has become the ...

Jul 30, 2016

Fire-based EMS: How Can I Help You?

Historically, countless changes have been made in the interest of improving the delivery and services the fire service provides. We ...

Jul 29, 2016

How You Eat an Elephant: First Course

Last month, we acknowledged the complex, monumental task of addressing the current issues facing the fire service. The wicked problems ...

Jul 29, 2016

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

A year ago, in the January 2015 issue of IAFC On Scene, then-IAFC President Keith Bryant reminded us in Fire ...

Jul 29, 2016

Future EMS Delivery Models

Executive leaders in the fire service sat down August 26, 2015, with leadership from American Medical Response (AMR) to discuss ...

Jul 29, 2016

Environmental Sustainability: Capital Purchasing and Sustainability

For those of you who do capital purchasing, how often have you looked at different options with the ability to ...

Jul 29, 2016

Arsonists Among Us

Firefighter arson—this predicament certainly isn``t new to the fire service, but it has huge potential to damage a department``s reputation. ...

Jul 29, 2016

Defining Relevance for the Fire and Emergency Service in 2013

After more than 30 years in the fire service, one of the most common clichés I hear is, "It isn``t ...

Jul 29, 2016

Why Fire Accreditation in These Hard Times?

Public safety, in terms of funding, typically consumes more than 80% of a municipal operating budget. This high percentage reflects ...

Jul 29, 2016

Formula Helps Determine When to Repair, Replace Fire Apparatus

In the article Formula Helps Determine When to Repair, Replace Fire Apparatus, a Virginia department unveils a new approach ...

Jul 29, 2016

Pension Debate: Are We Out of Touch?

Organizations, like people, have personalities. As city manager, I was asked to meet with each of our employee unions in ...

Jul 29, 2016

Overcoming Family Squabbles with Our Brothers and Sisters in Law Enforcement

"If you don``t like change, you``re going to like irrelevance even less."—General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army...

Jul 29, 2016

Uniting on the Money Issues that Divide Our Families

We``re proud that the fire service is like a family. We eat together, sleep together and celebrate holidays together. We ...

Jul 29, 2016

Being the Eyes and Ears: Suspicious-Activity Reporting

Suspicious-activity reporting (SAR) is the basis of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security``s See Something, Say Something program. This program ...

Jul 29, 2016

Community Planning: Ensuring What You Need Will Be There When You`re Called

Preincident planning of commercial and industrial properties is an important function for the fire and emergency service. Planning for apparatus ...

Jul 29, 2016

Building Community, Building Resources

I recently surveyed several new fire chiefs, asking what was lacking in their education and preparation for becoming a fire ...

Jul 29, 2016

Emergency Medical Service: Not Done Changing Yet

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. ~Ben Franklin In Fred McChesney’s Washington Post op-ed (9/4/2015), he advocates that because the ...

Jul 29, 2016

Company Officer Leadership: Navigating Inevitable Change

A few years ago, Fire Chief and then IAFC President Jack Parow stated that the fire service saw 50 years ...

Jul 29, 2016

When Perception Is Reality, Image Is Everything

Over the course of the past several years, the fire service has been subject to increasing scrutiny. Economic pressures, evolving ...

Jul 29, 2016

Environmental Sustainability: Reduce Utility Costs for Big Savings with Little Investment

When it comes to reducing operating costs for existing facilities, there is low hanging fruit to consider. Reductions can be ...

Jul 29, 2016

Company Officer Leadership: Making an Excellent Difference

With every promotion in the fire service comes a changing of the guard—an opportunity for someone to move up, to ...

Jul 29, 2016

Using Social Media in Fire and EMS

Many departments have taken advantage of the popularity of social media to connect with their communities and improve their public ...

Jul 29, 2016

NFIRS: What You Report Matters

"Speak with data…" is a saying in research and engineering that reinforces the need for data to support any position, ...

Jul 29, 2016

New World Issue for Fire/EMS Leadership

The fire service is a victim of its own success! We``ve been very successful in educating the public about fire ...

Jul 29, 2016

How Accreditation Can Drive Fire, EMS Success

The United States has been besieged by economic pressures not felt since the 1920s and 1930s, and the fire service ...

Jul 14, 2016

IRS Shrinks Clothing Taxes: What You Need to Know

Is that old fire department t-shirt in the back of your closet really taxable income? The volunteer and combination fire ...

Jul 13, 2016

House Proposes FY 2015 Funding Levels for USFA and AFG Programs

On June 28, the House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee approved its draft of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 U.S. ...

Jul 13, 2016

The ACA and Ambulance Transport Revenue

The Wicked Problem in Healthcare The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to solve wicked problems. The ...

Jul 13, 2016

Your Ambulance Reimbursement Methodology Is Going To Change!

Threats can turn into opportunities with strategic planning. A potential threat to your ambulance reimbursement rates needs your action now....

Jul 11, 2016

Where Will Your Next Chief Come From?

It seems like more and more fire departments have to look to the outside for their next fire chief, for ...

Jul 11, 2016

Is Your Department Prepared for Mass-Casualty Events?

Despite only accounting for 5% of the global population, an outstanding 31% of the world’s mass shootings occur in the ...

Jul 10, 2016

Watering Liberty's Tree: Combatting Complacency in the Fire Service

The traditions of the fire service are part of what make it so attractive as a career and calling: From ...

Jul 10, 2016

New Emergency Response and Preparedness Standard at OSHA

In the wake of significant multiple-firefighter LODDs in recent years and recognizing an opportunity to do more to safeguard emergency ...

Jul 10, 2016

Government Relations for Company Officers

The typical day within a fire station has very little discussion of government structure, funding mechanisms and political views, but ...

Jun 23, 2016

Planning for a Chemical Emergency

In December 1984, a gas that’s used in the production of insecticide was accidentally and unknowingly released upon the public. ...

May 05, 2016

Let's Call Things by Their Proper Names

This year the fire service will hold its’s sixth Wingspread Conference. These conferences, which are held just once a decade, ...

Apr 18, 2016

Check Your Bus Ticket First

If you're like me, it's hard to determine what the real facts are about implementing mobile integrated healthcare (MIH) or ...

Mar 14, 2016

Watering Liberty's Tree: Combatting Complacency in the Fire Service

The traditions of the fire service are part of what make it so attractive as a career and calling: From ...

Feb 15, 2016

All-Hazards Planning: Team Approach

When developing an all-hazards emergency operations plan for your jurisdiction, one of the key things to remember is not to ...

Jan 15, 2016

Diversity, Inclusion and Safety

If the past is prologue, there’s much to be learned about the effect of diversity and inclusion on safety.The ...

Dec 18, 2015

Congress Passes Fiscal 2016 Funding for Critical Fire Service Programs

Fairfax, Va. - Today, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to fund the federal government through the end of fiscal year ...

Sep 08, 2015

Don't Be Left Out in the Cold... or the Wind, or the Rain or the Snow

A recent report from the National Climatic Data Center, “Billion Dollar U.S. Weather/Climate Disasters,” clearly shows what a year we ...

Jul 30, 2015

Regional Collaborations

After surveying the community, you’re reassured that the community will support your organization, but their expectations involve planning and response ...

Jun 30, 2015

Preplanning for All Hazards

NFPA 1620, Standard for Pre-Incident Planning, sets guidelines to develop preplans for specific locations. As written, nothing limits 1620 to ...

May 29, 2015

Company Officer Leadership: Principles of Effective Organizational Structures

Most if not all fire departments around the globe operate in a quasi-military fashion: top down leadership, with clearly defined ...

Apr 16, 2015

Suspicious Activity Reporting: See Something, Say Something—But To Whom?

Does your department know how to report SARs? Bomb. Fuse. Convention. These three words, written in the margin of a ...

Mar 02, 2015

Company Officer Leadership: Avoiding Complacency in Your Leadership Role

Great leaders work most of their careers to become who they are and to get where they are, either as ...

Feb 12, 2015

How to Write a Compelling Annual Report: Post Webinar Q&A

Dr. Pat Lynch's post webinar Q & A from her "How to Write a Compelling Annual Report" presentation

Sep 16, 2014

Succession Planning or Succession Program?

When chiefs see the phrase succession planning, many think they need to develop a plan for who will succeed them. Building a succession program is a better approach.

Aug 15, 2014

Firefighter/EMT Safety, Health & Survival: Share, Listen, Let Go

Firefighter/EMT Safety, Health & Survival:

Jul 02, 2014

4 Tips for Using Social Media to Engage Your Community

Don`t have a dept social media presence? If even one member of your dept does than you do!

Mar 31, 2014

Write Successful Grant Applications: Ten Steps for Fire-Service Grant Funding

Funding is uppermost in our thoughts as we strive to serve our communities. Now`s a good time to consider your funding needs and how to meet them, and this guide will help you in that process.

Jan 28, 2014

Now Available: Medical Evaluation Implementation Guide

The IAFC Safety, Health and Survival (SHS) Section has developed A Fire Department's Guide to Implementing NFPA 1582 (pdf, 9MB), ...

Dec 11, 2013

National Fire Service Organizations Address Volunteer Fire Service Concerns With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI), the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), ...

Dec 05, 2013

Five Wicked Issues We Can No Longer Ignore

The future fate of the fire and emergency service depends on finding solutions to the macro-level problems underlying the many challenges we face on a daily basis.

May 06, 2013

Open the Doors! Being Neighbors to Those We Serve

First responders and our firehouses are vulnerable to threats and security is an issue, so some of us have closed the doors, putting up a barrier between those we serve and us; we need to find a safe balance. The first step is to simply open our door ...

Feb 25, 2013

New IAFC Resource Helps Fire Departments Take Control of Their Public Image

The IAFC has launched the much-anticipated Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Perception (pdf, 2MB), the result of the association's ...

Nov 02, 2012

Special Bulletin: Fire and Life Safety During Storm Recovery

The Fire Life Safety Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs is offering a quick checklist of simple safety ...

Aug 20, 2012

NFPA, IAFC Release New Resource Aimed at Helping Reduce Unwanted Fire Alarms

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) released the Fire Service Guide to ...

May 17, 2012

IAFC Testifies on USFA Funding, Roles

Today, Chief Jim Critchley of the Tucson Fire Department and president of the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA) testified before ...

Jan 27, 2012

DHS Announces Opening of SAFER Grant Application Period

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that the application period for the Fiscal Year (FY) SAFER grant program will ...

Dec 19, 2011

Congress Passes FY 2012 "Megabus" Appropriations Bill

On Saturday, December 17, the U.S. Senate passed the conference report to H.R. 2055, the so-called "megabus" appropriations bill that ...

Nov 04, 2011

Report Cites Risks to Public Safety Posed by Budget Cuts

Failing to manage the challenges of budget cuts, rising call volume, personnel and equipment shortages, security issues and the overall ...

Labor-Management Alliance (LMA)

A proactive resource to avoid and eliminate conflict and mistrust between organized labor and management.

Learn More

Federal Grants

The IAFC works on the national level to ensure support is available to local departments to keep their communities and personnel safe in ways that contribute regional, state and federal public safety coordination.

Learn More

Featured Resources
Events

Fire-Rescue International

  • Dates: 08 – 11 Aug, 2018
  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Address: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center,

Each summer, thousands of the most prominent fire and emergency service leaders from across North America and around the globe come to FRI to learn, network and collaborate together.

FRI education covers all areas of the emergency service:

  • Navigating the political environment
  • Managing change
  • Ethical leadership
  • EMS issues
  • Career development
  • And more

FRI attracts hundreds of exhibitors to showcase the newest fire service innovations in apparatus, technology, equipment, gear and more. If you're a fire/EMS chief, chief officer or company officer - this is YOUR conference for leadership education.

Fire-Rescue International

  • Dates: 08 – 11 Aug, 2018
  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Address: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center,

Each summer, thousands of the most prominent fire and emergency service leaders from across North America and around the globe come to FRI to learn, network and collaborate together.

FRI education covers all areas of the emergency service:

  • Navigating the political environment
  • Managing change
  • Ethical leadership
  • EMS issues
  • Career development
  • And more

FRI attracts hundreds of exhibitors to showcase the newest fire service innovations in apparatus, technology, equipment, gear and more. If you're a fire/EMS chief, chief officer or company officer - this is YOUR conference for leadership education.

Chief with iPad in front of apparatus

The IAFC department administration topic area focuses on:

  • Budget and fiscal management including the broader economic environment departments operate in
  • Community relations, social media oversight and impact, and reputation management
  • Data and analysis
  • LODD and PSOB guidance and ceremony protocol
  • Strategic planning and department policy