To ALL AFCA Members and the Arizona Fire Service:
On January 14th, 2010, the AFCA Executive Committee was given direction by the Board to draft and publish a position statement regarding the recent cuts at the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the elimination of a state funded system for Training and Certification. The actions initiated by the Governor’s office that caused this unfortunate situation represent the most challenging we have ever faced from the standpoint of state training. We have spent over 20 years working with the OSFM, and working through some difficult issues to build a good program. However, abolishing the training and Certification functions of the State Fire Marshal’s office along with the suspension of National Incident Reporting System coordination and State Resource Tracking in support of Statewide Mutual Aid is taking a huge step back and as a state, we’re worse off in these critical areas than we were before the Fire Marshal’s office was established 1970.
AFCA Position Statement:
The AFCA is adamantly opposed to the suspension of the Fire Marshal Training and Certification programs that were outlined in the SFMO budget memo which was distributed on January 7th. As a result of this action, numerous training programs, testing schedules, instructor authorizations and certification processes are in limbo . The training component of the State Fire Marshals Office is closed and three key training positions have been eliminated.
At this time, the AFCA is focused on ensuring that it is actively involved in any and all discussions involving state fire training and certification. We are trying our best to work toward a unified solution that doesn’t leave the state’s training program fragmented and inadequate. The AFCA, along with other major Arizona fire service groups, including labor, volunteers, districts and metro departments, is currently conducting meetings to determine how such a transition might work so the training curriculum, coordination and certification process isn’t lost.
Under the umbrella of the Arizona Fire Service Institute (AFSI), a task force has been developed to investigate and submit recommendations to the AFSI Board for the development of an organizational, administrative and business structure that provides for the services suspended by the Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety. The Task Group is comprised of 2-3 people from the AFSI Member Organizations plus, the AZ DFBLS, State Training Committee, and the State Division of Forestry. This group will be holding a series of meetings over the next two weeks and provide updates to the AFSI Board on February 3rd.
AFSI is comprised of 5 member groups; Arizona Fire Chiefs Association, Arizona Fire Districts Association, Professional Firefighters of Arizona, Volunteer Fire Fighters of Arizona and the Metro Fire Chiefs Section. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is an active participant in AFSI.
On behalf of the AFCA Board, we are asking Arizona Fire Service to band together in support of our efforts to work with the State Training Director to develop a transition plan that places Arizona State training curriculum coordination and certification under one fire service entity with the goal of maintaining cohesiveness, integrity and credibility.
For more information please watch the AFCA web site www.azchiefs.org or contact the Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org