Our latest National Fire Academy (NFA) weekend at Volk Field was a great event and the classes received positive reviews from attendees. The hands-on training was exciting for those that attended and focused on large vehicle stabilization and extrication. The REACT center put on another great class and the participants were energetic! Also, we had a lively discussion on SPS 330 as our preconference session. Our next event promises to be very exciting and will be the Winter In-Service in Sun Prairie February 8th and 9th, 2019. More information on some exciting speakers and a focus on leadership training in a newly constructed hotel, graciously hosted for our attendees, can be found here.
Chief Mark Rohlfing (Milwaukee Fire Department) and I recently attended the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association’s conference as guests and participated in a summit of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Great Lakes Division (GLD) state presidents, including representatives from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. It was a great summit, hosted in Peoria, IL. This summit gave me an appreciation for how similar the challenges of the fire service are across the states in our division. Chief Joe Pulvermacher (Fitchburg Fire Department) also attended the summit as a representative of the Executive Fire Officer (EFO) section. It was great to see Wisconsin well-represented. We were also well-represented at the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Conference, by Chief Scott St. Martin (Hudson Fire Department). It is important for us to continue to work together with our peer associations, as we have so much in common and collaboration benefits all of us.
In October, Chief Dave Bloom and I attended an event to recognize the participants in the WISSafe coalition for a successful save of a family of 3 in Janesville. The WISSafe coalition, along with the Red Cross, have installed smoke detectors in homes across Wisconsin that did not have them. One of the homes in Janesville had a fire, and the family was saved through the protection of the alarms that were installed. Great work by Janesville Fire Department and the WISSafe team. We are proud to have WSFCA be a part of the team.
As the Fall weather comes to a close and the ice and snow of Winter make their way into our great state, it’s time to remember that we are hearty Midwesterners! It’s also time to remember cold weather safety and all of those things that help us to adapt to our changing seasons at home and at the fire station. I hope that you, your families, and your departments enjoy a safe and happy holiday season and have a Happy New Year!
Yours in service,
Chief Nathaniel J. Melby
President, Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs’ Association