Being a fire chief with over two decades of experience in career, combination and volunteer departments, I have learned that to be successful, we have to have open and honest conversations. Like you, I see that we have a number of challenges and opportunities facing our fire service today. Below are the issues I see as most pressing and that will require collaboration to address:
Recruitment and Retention - this is not just a volunteer fire service issue anymore.
- Health and Safety - this includes annual physical exams, cancer, and mental health for all our members.
- Wildland Fires - we no longer have a fire season and the severity of fires is something we have never seen before.
- Codes - whether it is WUI code implementation or continued work on fire sprinkler code adoption, we have work to do.
From the lens of our IAFC, I believe we have opportunities to improve or expand in a few key areas:
- Engagement - how do we get more people involved, active, and working in our association? We have endless levels of talent within our association, so let’s put it to work and grow our association.
- Education - we have some great educational programs; however, we need to explore ways to put these resources into more members’ hands.
- Collaboration - our sections, divisions, and states are all facing similar challenges—how do we work closer together to multiply our efforts and share the good work that is being done internationally?
Whether we are looking at the global issues facing the fire service or opportunities within our IAFC, the most important thing we need for success is clear and consistent communication at all levels. The recently enacted IAFC communications task force has already presented some great ideas for improving communication within our association. I am committed to working with the IAFC board and staff to see that many, if not all of those ideas are implemented.
As your Second Vice President, I will engage in scheduled, direct, and routine conversations to ensure that you are up-to-speed with what is going on with your IAFC, and that matters you consider important are brought back to the IAFC board. I believe that effective communication starts with listening. I want you as IAFC members to feel connected, engaged, and heard, as I believe this will lead to success in our endeavors as a membership driven association.
It would be my honor to serve you, the members, as your Second Vice President on the IAFC Board of Directors. I humbly ask for your vote on May 25th and your support as we move forward. If you would like to talk more about our IAFC, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-579-0362. For more information about my candidacy, visit https://www.facebook.com/ChiefJoshWaldo/ or https://twitter.com/joshwaldo22IAFC.
Josh Waldo, CFO, EFO
Bozeman Fire Department