NVFC Autumn Update – November 2021

I will start with an update regarding the 2024 NVFC Fall Meeting in Kansas City. President Jennings and I were on a Zoom call Monday morning November 1 with NVFC Engagement Manager Meg Goldberg and their primary event coordinator for all things NVFC. They have contracted with the Kansas City Marriott Downtown to host this 3-day meeting the last week in September 2024.

While this is still a long way out, it is how NVFC manages its fall meetings. COVID did the same to them as it did for our annual onsite conventions in rolling things back two years, but everything up to KCMO was planned at that time. Jackson, WY was just completed. Next is Wilmington, NC in 2022, Cooperstown, NY in 2023, and Kansas City, MO in 2024. 

The Conference Committee just recommended Rapid City, SD for 2025. Normally the State Association requests being the meeting host, but NVFC planned this meeting to determine if a central location having a major airport in a region offering a lot to do but at minimal expense for all services would be appealing, and KCMO was selected. To be clear, NVFC is not requesting assistance but how can we not offer to help to some extent.

Several notes were taken on what NVFC would welcome for assistance. Although it was not a grocery list, there are several areas in which FFAM can provide opportunities while also involving introductions of the Missouri fire service leadership. More to follow in the 34-months between now and the KCMO meeting.

Rob and I just returned from the three-day Fall meeting in Jackson, WY. The theme this year was “Honoring the Past, Plan for Today, Shape the Future.” The NVFC Chairman Steve Hirsch (KS) added “Faith, Family and Fire Service.” With all of that said, I will defer the various committee reports until the next two magazines when we are in a slower news cycle. 

For now, a few comments on a hot topic.

The NFPA representative which coordinates all of the various NFPA committee picks, filings, work, and reporting is always in attendance at the Spring and Fall NFVC meetings. 

Interestingly over 1/3 of the NFVC Directors are on one or more NFPA Committees and a major line item in the annual NVFC budget for their travel with this work. Not so much the past 18-months, but they are resuming in-person meetings. There was a formal presentation on how NFPA is combining several related standards (3-5) into a group with a new master number. Not exactly new, but they have accelerated the process. Then they introduced NFPA Dash Board which you do NOT have to be an NFPA member to give input. This leads me to the next interesting point.

Tom Miller, Director WV who serves on 3 NFPA Committees has never been reserved with “See Something, Say Something” and brought up some recently verified facts that manufacturers have again been allowed to dominate some of the work with NFPA committees and he offered the following. From 2000 to 2020 protective gear has increased 700%. Apparatus has increased 400%. Radios have increased 600% and he went on with other examples. His specific point is that on close examination of NFPA Committee membership that manufacturing and their allied interest is dominant.

Tom then pointed out that SCBA in just one revision cycle, the latest cycle, increased 35% or $2,200 per unit. Hopefully, this shines a light on a serious issue that is wider spread than most realize. 

If left unchecked this will reach, and for some has already reached, a point where many departments will not be able to purchase even basic equipment without grant assistance.

In closing, I have arranged for Jaime to receive the just revised 2nd Edition Lavender Ribbon report on Fire Service Cancer. Each renewing FFAM department will receive one booklet with their paid renewal and information/benefits on NVFC Membership.

Thank you for your time and for allowing Rob and me to serve on your behalf with the NVFC.