SW Division President Tom Bradley along with members of the executive committee have met to discuss the current needs in Texas and Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Harvey. President Bradley commented with Texas and Louisiana located in the heart of our division, we feel it’s critical that we offer this local assistance. Executive Director Moatts has been in touch with vendors and suppliers who are also willing to help the division and leaders of the area as soon as more information is gathered. “We don’t want to be a nuisance, we just want them to know we are here if and when needed” – Chief Tom Bradley.
Moatts has been in touch with division president-elect Randy Parr, fire chief of Tomball Texas. Chief Parr is dealing with flooding in his town. Tomball is located just 30 miles north of downtown Houston. Chief Parr stated that his unmet needs are “help with evacuation and care of the people.”
The leadership of the Division is conducting a needs assessment with area leaders. Currently operations are still in rescue phase however, the recovery phase will bring additional challenges and needs at that time as well.
Moatts also reached out to Louisiana vice president Robert Benoit, fire chief of Lafayette Fire Department to offer assistance as they prepare for the potential of flooding from tropical storm Harvey.
Fire Chief James LeBlanc of St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department in Ascension Parish announced that Lamar-Dixon Conference Center is being used as a donation collection site for the Harvey relief effort. Chief LeBlanc reflected on the tragedy that struck his community last year. “A year ago this week the Texas people showed up in Louisiana with supplies that we needed, so we want to return the favor to them, ” as quoted to WAFB9.
More information of the relief efforts will be available in our electronic newsletter or visit http://swdnewsletter.wordpress.com
We have a special treat for our registered attendees & vendors at this year’s education conference in Houston. Thanks to Kirkpatrick Architectural Studios we are able to partner with Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston and bring a special
EVENING WITH NASA after hours tour exclusive for the IAFC-Division Fire Chiefs!
The tour will begin just after 6:00. Buses from the LBJ will begin picking guests up @ 5:50. All those attending the event must have their state issued identification (D/L or government ID) and must be US citizens.
Located on 1,600 acres, Johnson Space Center is the home of Mission Control where human space missions and the operations of the International Space Station are monitored. It is also where astronauts prepare and train for missions.
Look closely and you can see near the top-right corner of the photo (above left) a tower shaped building. That is the Hilton Hotel & Convention Center and location of the Executive Leadership Conference & Expo; right across from the space center.
This exclusive after-hours tour will have 3 different parts. Building 9 begins the tour.
From the catwalk high above the massive floor, you’ll see several mockups of International Space Station parts and even get a look at the new Orion capsule. You might see pieces of the Canada Arm or other new and developing tech that will pave the way for future exploration. Cutting edge rovers, robots, next-level space suits. Here is where the impossible is happening right now. Be a part of history in the making as you witness engineers, scientists and astronauts shaping the future of space exploration.Click here to read more about what to expect
The 2nd part of the tour takes place in mission control. “Houston, we have a problem…” is one of the most famous mis-quoted phrases of the last century and the failed Apollo 13 mission. But, see first hand the control room where all of the history took place!
Last but certainly not least, the tour winds down at SATURN V at ROCKET PARK!
Mighty and massive, the Saturn V rocket at NASA Johnson Space Center is the tallest, heaviest and most powerful rocket ever flown. NASA used the colossal Saturn V rockets primarily during the Apollo program to send Americans to the moon. Flown from 1967 to 1973, the rocket launched 27 astronauts into space with six successful missions landing men on the moon. Saturn V also launched Skylab, America’s first space station, into orbit in its final mission. Astronauts could immediately feel the impressive power of Saturn V propelling them through Earth’s atmosphere into orbit.
There are only three Saturn V rockets on display in the world. The rocket at NASA Johnson Space Center is the only one comprised of all flight-certified hardware. The other two rockets are made of flight hardware, mock-ups and test components. The three segments, called stages, contain the powerful engines needed to lift off, entering orbit to reach the moon. In total, 13 Saturn V rockets launched into space.
GROUP PHOTOS FROM IN FRONT OF THIS MASSIVE ROCKET WILL BE TAKEN AND AVAILABLE TO OUR SPECIAL GUESTS.
To see more about the conference education and events, please click here
A group of three can attend for $350! (B2G1 registration) *must be from one department or company.
Why should you decide to sponsor or exhibit at our conference?
How about 1200+? That’s how many current members belong to the Southwestern Division of the IAFC. How about add another 1000 to that number?
That’s the additional impact we have at our state associations. Our state partner associations are made up of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas
Considering the location of our region (FEMA 4) we have huge impact in the way much of the nation responds to the needs of the American Fire Service.
In Texas alone there are 1,529 registered fire departments SOURCE https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/registry/summary
Register now to exhibit, sponsor or donate to our 2017 Executive Leadership Conference. We appreciate our suppliers and partners. Without you, none of this would be possible. All donors will automatically get a mention in our conference program and brochure
Your participation in the IAFC- Chapter Conference assures even more of the support for training and support goes directly to the members.
Click the links for more information:
Greetings Members of the Southwest Division,
The last eight months has been busy for the Southwest Division. Perhaps the most important objective of my presidency has been to bring relevance to our division. You asked, and we delivered. Currently we are working to re-design our electronic monthly newsletter which highlights what’s going on within each state in our Division as well as upcoming training events. We have also brought a first of it’s kind training program; the SWFCA Leadership Academy for Chief Officers. It teaches our future chiefs what to expect when they put on the Fire Chief’s hat. With coaching and mentoring classes online, this training is designed exclusively for the Southwestern Division’s members. Each session is unique and personalized. We also are bringing modern incident command training through our Command Symposium series taught by Chief Alan Brunacini and friends.
In addition, during the past 8 months after numerous conference calls and two meetings with the IAFC Board of Directors along with every Division President and Secretary back in the spring of this year, a partnership between the IAFC and the Divisions was signed into policy. This historical occasion also brought debate over conflicts between the Divisions and IAFC. From this governance committee surfaced a resolution to conflicts of interest between the IAFC and Divisions which was signed by the Divisions and IAFC. This agreement will assist all federation members in reaching a fair resolve when an issue may arise. I wish to thank the SWD Board members for their vital input and assistance in helping to resolve this issue with the IAFC and other Divisions.
As we look forward to the SWD IAFC Executive Leadership Conference and Vendor Expo in Houston Nassau Bay, Texas this October, we are continuing to bring great content such as education and product showcases, I would also like remind our members that we hold annual elections for new and existing board members. We also will have some constitution and by-law proposals on the ballot. Please exercise your right as a SW Division member to cast your vote. We need your input to move this Division forward, maintaining our place as the greatest division in the IAFC.
This year Chief Randy Parr of Tomball Texas will be sworn in as the new President of the Division. Please make plans to join us in celebrating Chief Parr as he takes the baton, working with our Board and members to continue the growth and prosperity of this great division.
Fire Chief Tom Bradley
Stillwater Fire Department
President, SW-IAFC 2016-2017
FOR PDF VERSION OF LETTER DOWNLOAD HERE Letter from T. Bradley 2017
He has presented his “Reset the Clock” program over 1,100 times to more than 26,000 leaders at employer facilities across North America. He has presented the HR Professional version of this program for SHRM Chapters across the country, annually for Dallas HR.
In conjunction with various employer, industry and professional associations, he has conducted live TV broadcasts, webinars and on-line employee relations programs, in addition to presenting at their regional and national conferences.
Balance Employee and Employer Rights
- Concerns about job security, responding to
- Generalized disparaging comments, how to address
- Personality and attitude problems, how to handle
- Discriminatory comments, disassociating yourself from
Minimize The Risks of Day-To-Day Management
- Employee complaints, proper responses to
- Problematic job interview situations, how to handle
- Erratic performance, how to address
- Disabilities, responding to a request for an accommodation
Maximize The Effectiveness of Your Policies
- Open discrimination charges, responding to a request to discuss
- Sexual harassment complaint, proper initial response to
- Substance abuse, confrontation in obvious impairment situations
- Violence, responding to threats of
Key Concepts for Staying Free of Legal Challenges
- Serious misconduct, proper initial response
- Previously unaddressed misbehavior, how to address
- Corrective action meetings, how to prepare for and conduct
- Discharge meetings, how to prepare for and conduct
Eliminate Your Personal Liability
- Potential sexual harassment, proper reaction to
- Serious off-the-job misconduct, how to respond to
- Reference checks, how to handle
- Disclosure of Medical Conditions, How to React to
IN 2013 MIKE WAS INDUCTED INTO THE HRSWC HALL OF FAME!
The Southwestern Division is geared and ready to invite our members to a special luncheon in their honor this year during the Division Luncheon. Expect to see a little something special for our members. For a small fee of $10 you can expect to receive an exceptional meal as well as take part in a special presentation, exciting plans for the upcoming year and a sneak peek into our first Executive Leadership Conference hosted in Houston, TX.
If you have registered to attend FRI in Charlotte this year, be on the look-out for a special invitation-only link to attend the SW Division Luncheon.
See you in Charlotte!
A real valid issue is being raised in our fire departments among our front line first responders..carrying concealed weapons. Depending on where you live, this is a protected right under the current laws. But, this law can create a whirlwind of liability for on-duty or off-duty public servants. Whether we agree or disagree with CCW, we must be proactive in these discussions and in developing policies to protect our teams, our departments and our citizens.
Taking the Heat
by Steven “Doc” Bernard
You arrive to a reported structure fire and it is fully involved. Fire is through the roof. The first thing you do is send all available personnel into the fire on interior attack mode……… No? Why not? Is there some written guide or training on how it is to be done? Of course there is. We size up the scene. We follow guidelines our department has adopted. We follow our training. That’s how we do things. We have bookcases full of regulations, manuals, operating guidelines, policies, and operating procedures. NFPA alone takes up a couple of those shelves. The more complex or potentially injurious an item is, the more manuals and information there is on how it is to be used. But we are used to that, because they are meant to help us do a dangerous job with some potentially dangerous tools.
Lately though, it seems the job has gotten even more perilous. This is not due to the fire, but from a section of the public that has been making threats against our departments, and in some cases where units have been struck by gunfire. And logically, our personnel want to be protected from these assaults. We see departments issuing bullet-‐resistant vests and helmets, and some organizations have been calling for or allowing their personnel to be armed while on duty.
But in polling a number of departments that I have some connections with across the country, I asked two questions of them. First, “Does your department allow concealed or open carry of a firearm on-‐duty or on scene?” And secondly, “Does your department have a written policy about it?” What I found, in my unscientific poll, was that if the answer was “No, it is not allowed”, there was a written policy in place. But, if the answer was “Yes…well…only certain calls…” “Only certain people can”, or “If the Chief says okay”, I found that there was usually no written policy associated with it or only a verbal/assumed policy, if that. This article is NOT being written to promote or prohibit our personnel from being allowed to carry. That is for the individual department to decide, in my mind. But for there to be an allowance to carry this new potentially life-‐threatening equipment in our workspace, there must be a policy in place that sets out how, where, and what level of training must be achieved. Otherwise, those departments could very well be setting themselves up for a lawsuit and sorrow. Personally, I have my CCW permit and the blessing from my state to carry as a private citizen and I want to protect that right. But on a fire department, whether career or volunteer, we are not private citizens while we are doing the job. We are invited into people’s homes, and sometimes we don’t even wait for permission to enter private property. John Q. Public does not have those same privileges.
We represent the department/agency/county/city/township that has hired us. We are now held to a higher and stricter standard than Joe Citizen with his carry permit. So I ask all of you, what is your department’s policy on the carry of firearms while on a call and/or at the firehouse? If you have them established, then this question is already answered. But if you haven’t, this article is addressed to you. We are looking at major liabilities if we do not seriously address this within our departments.
I am not against protecting ourselves, but I am also not ignorant to the fact that both the department and the individual could face severe civil and legal penalties if there was no policy regarding it. You see, now we need talk about responsibility and liability.
There are some laws that might defend a person’s actions but that does not mean the departments are immune from a case being brought forward and need to be defended to prevent it from going further if someone is shot by a department employee while on duty/call. A case being sought incurs attorney fees, and if they name the individual as well as the department…and should there be a motion to sever the case…the individual may be left holding the proverbial “bag” if there was no written policy that the individual was to follow, and if there was any hint of impropriety, negligence or acting without authorization. Or the department could be held liable for not having regulations in place that addressed this issue for that employee. And yes, a volunteer, while representing a department is still an employee and an agent of that department. How many departments accept that Ricky Rescue, new on the department, can properly and adequately get on the pump and get us water…when his experience is just playing with his sump pump in the backyard? No, we put him through Pump Operations Class and we can verify he can do the job properly. We won’t even talk about driving the rig… How about something more lethal that we see nearly everyday, a defibrillator/monitor? Will we allow Freddy the New Fireman run around with the paddles without confirming he is certified and trained how to use them? The spreaders? But yet we are allowing our personnel to bring personal equipment on to scene and to the station that has lethal implications and yet we have no policy governing it’s carry or use while on the job. We have no record of their training with this equipment, other than a CCW permit, which is fairly easy to get in many states, and some states don’t require any actual education or training to carry a firearm legally.
So I have been becoming more and more concerned with the calls to allow firefighters and EMS personnel to be allowed to carry while on duty, yet not seeing any written guidelines or policies about it. Some departments just allow it to happen and don’t think anything about it and have set no policy as they are afraid of Constitutional issues.
We must remember that we can set standards for the use of equipment when it is used in the line of duty. A choice by the employee has to be made: adhere to the policy, or seek employment elsewhere if they feel the standards are too strict.
We have to protect our departments by setting policy and standard. But not having that policy to be able to benchmark off of, is opening us to high levels of liability. Firearms and their place at the station and on a scene need to be addressed, and department policy needs to be written as to who can carry and when they can carry a firearm while on duty.
Mind you, I am on the range at least 2-‐3 times a month, have extensive firearms training, and a veteran. So, to even hint that I am anti-‐firearm or anti-‐self protection is a non-‐starter. I just want to see any department that does not have a policy about carrying while on duty to establish one.
Whether it is accepting of it, or forbidding of it, let’s make sure everyone on our department knows what the policy is and what the requirements are should they be allowed.
Steven Bernard is a firefighter, conributing author, writer, video and photo journalist.
Chief Alan Brunacini is perhaps the most iconic figure in the American fire service. From his beginning as a firefighter in Phoenix, AZ he has taken his knowledge and experiences on the road, for a 2nd time beginning in 2016 with Command Symposium 2016.
February 9 & 10 Chief Bruno along with a host of expert instructors brought this new series of incident command to Plfugerville for Command Symposium 2017. The list of instructors included Chief Dennis Rubin, Captain Richard Miller, Chief Cecil Clay, Chief Scott Kerwood and Captain Michael Anderson. We also had a special join the panel, Mr. Bobby Halton of Fire Engineering Magazine.
The attendees learned about the functions of command and organizational structure. The class is very interactive and all instructors encourage students to ask questions. Chief Brunacini is also known for coining the phrase BE NICE, and follows this philosophy throughout the 2-day program.
Chief Kerwood lead an afternoon session on the importance of Standardized Operating Procedures (SOP). He has been recognized by numerous organizations for the implementation of SOP’s within his own department and Williamson County Emergency Services Division.
Captain Richard Miller of IAFC’s FSTAR Project discussed the importance of the work done through FSTAR (Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research) A large part of keeping our firefighters safety is consistency in fire ground and incident command. FSTAR also fights for legislation such as firefighter physicals.
Chief Cecil Clay (ret) City of Oklahoma City also joined Captain Miller with another segment involving firefighter safety and statistics.
Pflugerville, TX has already confirmed to host next year’s first class of Command Symposium 2018! Dates February 8 & 9. Details to follow
SWFCA recently launched their 6 month leadership training coaching and mentoring program at the Oklahoma City Fire Training Center. The class was filled to near capacity for this inaugural class of 2017.
Participants traveled from other regions to take advantage of this remarkable training program.
State Fire Marshal Robert Doke welcomed the class to Oklahoma and emphasized the importance of leadership skills and training in all aspects of community. Also President Tom Bradley, Fire Chief of Stillwater Oklahoma and current President of the division spoke on behalf of the board of directors and state of Oklahoma about the decision to bring this unique opportunity to the IAFC-SW membership.
As your division elected leadership, we are committed to offering you the benefits you’ve asked for and deserve as a member of the IAFC.
Here is some feedback that we have already received after the initial 2-day classroom group:
The course was great. Honestly better than I expected
Training officer & volunteer fire chief – Oklahoma
I am looking forward to the online classes to see how they turn out and what the interaction is like.
Oklahoma volunteer officer
First time I’ve worked on my personal skills and I look forward to the follow-up classes
Fire officer, Lexington, SC
We want to thank Chief Richard Kelley, OCFD for hosting this class!
There will be a wrap-up session and graduation ceremony in October in conjunction with the division’s executive leadership conference in Houston, TX
If you or your department would like to host a class, please contact Lisa Moatts firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-694-2768
Discount offered to Southwestern Division Members!!! Register now and save $60
We’re excited and honored the 4th Annual Station Design Conference will be held in the historic, 80-acre Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex in Fort Worth, Texas, May 3–5, 2017.
This renovated 500,000 sq. ft. complex is shared by Fort Worth fire and police headquarters and expansive training venues.
Located in one of two pre-WWII warehouses, the Fort Worth Fire Department has repurposed the historic facility into modern offices, auditoriums, classrooms and offers extensive training scenarios—a must-see facility!
This year’s program has expanded to provide three days of immersive education on fire station design presented by award-winning architects and project managers of fire stations and public safety facilities to guide you through the journey to your new fire station.
- Meet one-on-one with expert architects for an objective review and discussion of your department’s plans.
- Gain insights into the bidding/construction process.
- Learn about the newest technology and innovations designed to boost performance and response times.
- Become knowledgeable about the latest design trends in security, safety, firefighter health and more!
- Network with fire chiefs, officers, public safety officials, award-winning architects and project planners from across the country.
Special Discount for Southwestern Fire Chiefs Assoc. members!
Register now and save an extra $60 on top of Early Bird pricing—That’s $160 off on-site pricing! Use promo code: SWFCA (Early Bird pricing ends on 3/15/17)
Whether you’re thinking about your next fire station, or already in the process, you won’t want to miss this event!