Southwestern Fire Chiefs Association

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IAFC-SW Division set to offer assistance to Houston and surrounding departments 

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

Evening with NASA- October 6, Houston

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.

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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.

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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.

downloadFrom 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


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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 

Register before September 1 and receive special discounted tickets for $150.

A group of three can attend for $350!  (B2G1 registration) *must be from one department or company.

 

 

Sponsor-Exhibitors Only

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:

Schedule of Events

Speaker Bio

Letter from our President

Hotel and Conference Center Layout

 

 

 

 

 

A LETTER FROM PRESIDENT TOM BRADLEY

 

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.

Respectfully,

Fire Chief Tom Bradley

Stillwater Fire Department

President, SW-IAFC 2016-2017

FOR PDF VERSION OF LETTER DOWNLOAD HERE   Letter from T. Bradley 2017 

Conference Keynote Speaker M. Mirarchi

Mr. Michael Mirarchi, a colleage of Dr. Gordon Graham will be the keynote speaker

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.

 

Topics include:

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!

http://hrsouthwest.com/schedule-events/hall-of-fame/2013-inductee/

 

 

Special luncheon being held during FRI

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!

Protecting self brings a new concern to fire service

Foreword:

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 Bruno was on “fire” in Pflugerville

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.

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Chief Brunacini, Chief Rubin and Bobby Halton at CS2017

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.

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Special Bruno & Bobby “unplugged” session

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.

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Chief Scott Kerwood of Hutto Fire & Rescue; Captain Michael Anderson of Pflugerville Fire co-hosted the event as well as provided training sessions

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

Leadership Academy receiving excellent reviews 

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 lmoatts@swd-iafc.org or call 843-694-2768


Firehouse Station Design coming to TX

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!

 

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