Idaho Fire Chief's Association, Inc.

Our VISION is to improve career and volunteer emergency services in the state of Idaho through leadership, collaboration, education, safety, information and representation.

Our MISSION is to provide and enhance leadership to career and volunteer emergency services in Idaho.

IFCA President: David Gates

Chief Norm Bjorkman Retirement Party
(Posted:  6-30-14)
Fire Chief Norm Bjorkman, after 37 years of service has retired from the Soda Springs Fire Department. In celebration of this accomplishment the City of Soda Springs is throwing Chief Bjorkman a retirement party and dedicating the Soda Springs fire station in Chief Bjorkman’s name. 

Date: August 9, 2014
Location: 45 East 1st South in Soda Springs. This will be on the north side of the city park.
Time: The party will start will start at 11 and the presentations will start at 12:30.
IFCA president Chief Dave Gates and IFCA District 6 Director Chief Eric King will be present to represent the Idaho Fire Chiefs and would like to invite as many Chiefs to be present as possible to give Chief Bjorkman a great send off. Hope to see you there!

Submitted by: Eric King, Fire Chief  Chubbuck Fire Department,  IFCA Dist. 6 Director

Three Idaho Firefighters Receive
Idaho Medal of Honor

(Posted:  6-16-14)
Three firefighters received the Idaho Medal of Honor for acts of bravery and heroism deemed above and beyond the call of duty.  The firefighter's were honored at the annual Medal of Honor ceremony on Saturday, June 7th at the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Memorial Park in Boise.  The recipients honored include:

Captain Stuart Eigler of the Sam Owen Fire District for a heroic water rescue at Lake Pend Oreille. 
Firefighter John Ryan O'Hearn of the Pocatello Fire Department for saving the life of a wheelchair-bound individual during a residential structure fire.
Captain Jeff Piazza of the Clark Fork Fire Rescue Department for saving two dogs during a mobile home fire.
The IFCA proudly salutes these brave heroes!
For more details on the stories of the Medal of Honor Recipients and ceremony photos:

Dues Increase Passes Unanimously
(Posted 5-2-14)
Those members in attendance at the Annual Business Meeting on May 1st discussed and voted unanimously to increase the annual dues of the Association.  It has been five years since the last dues increase.  The increase will be roughly 20% and would be effective for the 2015 membership year. It represents a 10% increase for inflation and program expansion over the past five years and 10% projected inflation for the coming five years.  The IFCA Board of Directors thanks the members for supporting their Association's finances through their unanimous vote on this important issue.  The Board will continue to seek out new revenue streams to augment the dues as a funding source for the Association.

FFLP Grant Application Period Closes
(Posted: 6-30-14)

The 2014 Idaho Fire Fighter License Plate grant award application period CLOSED on June 27 with dozens of grant applications received.  The IFCA Office fielded many calls from last minute grant applicants with various questions.  Now begins the process of compiling the applications into a spreadsheet and notebooks for the Grant Review Committee to begin the selection process.  The timetable is to have the application review packages to the GRC by the end of July.  The GRC will have August to review and decide on the grant awards.  Grant award recipients should find out their results in early September and grant checks should be distributed by late September.  Thanks to all who submitted grant applications this year and we wish everyone good luck as the process takes place.

Fire Service EMS Tool Kit Available
There is a brand new edition of the Fire Service-Based EMS Tool Kit that the fire service been working on. It is a "must download" for any department that runs any aspect of emergency medical services. Click on the links below for the Tool Kit document as well as an Introduction article by Chief Dennis Compton. This excellent document represents a successful joint effort on the part of representatives from the Metro Chiefs, the IAFF, IAFC, IFSTA and the it out!...and please forward, share etc.

Introduction: fire service-based ems...there_'s a new tool kit for your use.pdf pdf Documentpdf Document
Fire-EMS Tool Kit:  fs-based ems tool kit final january 14, 2014.pdf pdf Document

Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.

Source:  BillyG  -  The Secret List 1/15/2014 0100 Hours


NWCG Structural Guidelines Bulletin
(Posted: 6-30-14)
The Northern Rockies Coordinating Group (NRCG) has re-issued the USFS structural protection policies document with supplemental information from the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL).  With the arrival of wildland fire season this is a good document to review if your jurisdiction is proximal to any Federal or State lands.
Link:  nrcg structure protection guidelines.pdf pdf Document 

IFCA Still Waiting on SAFER Grant
(Updated: 3-4-14)
SAFER grant awards are being announced weekly by the USFA and hopes are high that the IFCA SAFER grant will get funded.  Last July the IFCA Board approved action to apply for a SAFER grant for an insurance program that could boost volunteer retention and recruitment in Idaho.  The grant would be use to provide accidental death and dismemberment coverage as well as disability insurance to ALL volunteer firefighters in Idaho that meet some basic minimum standards.  The grant application was officially accepted by FEMA and the grant application is being coordinated through Greg Redden of Adapt, LLC (formerly Redden & Associates).  The IFCA Office assisted in the lengthy application process of getting the IFCA fully registered with the federal government.  The Board appointed Chief Stacy Hyde (Ammon FD) as interim Division President of a resurrected Volunteer Division.  Chief Hyde feels this grant, if obtained, will be a major help in bringing chiefs of volunteer departments into the IFCA and providing volunteers some well deserved benefits.  It will also help volunteer chiefs in their recruitment and retention efforts of volunteer firefighters by being able to offer some tangible benefits for the volunteers. 

2013 Firefighter LODD Deaths Up Significantly

After several years on a downswing, on-duty firefighter deaths were up in 2013. There were 101 on-duty firefighter fatalities last year, including eight classified as Hometown Heroes, according to statistics compiled by the USFA. During 2012, records show 83 firefighters died while serving their communities. There were 83 firefighter fatalities in 2011 as well, and 87 in 2010. The number is preliminary as state fire marshals throughout the country will be contacted to make sure all on-duty deaths are counted. Firefighters who suffer a heart attack or stroke within 24 hours of responding to an emergency are considered Hometown Heroes. There were four incidents in which multiple firefighters were killed – and three of those were in Texas. Two firefighters were killed in Bryan; 10 in West and four in Houston. A wildfire in Arizona left 19 hotshots dead. Of those who died, 42 were volunteers; 29 career; 22 wildland full-time; five wildland contract; one wildland part-time and one paid on call. Trauma was the top killer of firefighters last year with heart attacks dropping to third. However, 26 causes are still pending so those numbers are likely to change. The records also showed 45.5 percent of those who died were under 40. Also, 29 personnel died battling wildland fires, while 21 perished at structure fires. Fourteen died in collisions which includes aircraft crashes. The deadliest time for firefighters was 1700 to 1859 – when 30 firefighters perished; and 11 died between 1900 and 2059. June and April were the deadliest months, while the fewest occurred in January and September. Arizona had the most firefighter deaths – 20 – followed by Texas – 14, and Pennsylvania, six. A full report on the 2013 on-duty firefighter deaths will be published later this year by several sources.



Details on most fire service jobs in Idaho may be found at this link:  and then
directly contact the agency that is offering the position.


One of a few

Leadore mom leads town’s volunteer fire department
By LAURA ZUCKERMAN - Idaho Falls Post Register  7-13-14
LEADORE — Stacy Findley is the mother of four daughters, an emergency medical technician and one of less than a handful of women fire chiefs in Idaho.

Not that the 45-year-old Leadore woman evaluates herself or others based on gender. In fact, the set of criteria she uses to assess performance and qualifications for any given task most entirely are linked to skills and actions.

“We place too much emphasis on the validity of ourselves as females and males,” Findley said. “One gender is not better than the other. What makes us stand out is when we – men and women – work together as a team. A team is undefeatable.”

Joining the department

Findley became a firefighter for the department in Leadore in 2005, as a natural extension of her work as an EMT. The two volunteer agencies long have shared members. Findley was two years into emergency services when she was persuaded by colleagues to help them as they battled fires.

A wife whose daughters range from 5 to 18 years old, Findley went on to serve as assistant chief under veteran chief Randel Snyder. She was elected chief in December after Snyder stepped down. A little more than two months later, Jim Playfair, a valued department engineer, unexpectedly died from a suspected pulmonary embolism.

It was a severe blow for his family and friends, as well as the community of Leadore, which counted on Playfair’s unstinting volunteerism and extensive firefighting training. For Findley, the loss lingers.

“He was great. All of my guys – and gals – are great,” she said.

Nearly two dozen volunteers make up the department.

One of a select few

Findley is one of four women heading one of the roughly 250 fire departments in the state that feature full-time paid firefighters, all volunteers or a combination of both, State Fire Marshal Mark Larson said.

In remote ranching communities such as Leadore, located about 46 miles south of Salmon, volunteers are vital to ensure the health and safety of neighbors, friends and families.

“The people involved in emergency services in small towns are strong, caring people,” Larson said. “No one is doing it as a career; no one is doing it for the power and the glory: it’s for the good of the community.”

Leadore firefighters encounter everything from structure fires ignited by faulty wiring to ditch burning that spirals out of control.

Whatever the cause, each fire demands the attention of well-equipped team members, whose frequent training and association creates a close-knit fraternity.

“Firefighters are a brotherhood,” Findley said. “No matter where you go, you are accepted by other firefighters and there is an understanding between you. It’s a special community.”

Plenty of built-in stress

It is a job that comes with plenty of built-in stress.

“Lives can be at stake, property in jeopardy,” Findley said. “That’s part of the bond between firefighters: the intensity of the job, the seriousness of it and the fact that you are fighting against something that is immense.”

The challenge for volunteer crews is to carve out enough time from work and home schedules to engage in training exercises. And money is scarce. The annual Fireman’s Ball fundraiser, set Sept. 27 at the Leadore Fire Station this year, and donations underwrite most of the department’s budget.

Returning the favor

Findley’s call to serve her community is linked to its service to her. When she was a young mother, her 3-year-old daughter fell from the attic to the ground floor during construction on the family’s Leadore home. The California native dialed 911 and was told to call someone in the area who was an EMT.

“I was from the city. I had no idea what that meant,” she said.

Findley drove at top speed to a local café, where she saw a Leadore store owner in the parking lot.

“He saw the look on my face and said, ‘What is wrong?’” Findley said.

A short time later, volunteer EMTs were at her home, where they loaded up the child and transported her to the hospital in Salmon. The toddler recovered from her injuries.

Everybody pulls together

“At a time of real crisis, EMTs and neighbors were there,” Findley said “And they will always be there. It doesn’t matter what time it is or what you’re doing: a fire or an emergency or an ambulance call, you go. Everybody pulls together here and gets it done.”

Lemhi County emergency services coordinator Janet Nelson credited Findley for bringing out the best in fellow volunteers.

“She doesn’t ask any more of the people she’s working with than she’s willing to do herself – and that’s a whole lot,” Nelson said. “She’s a great person, a wonderful citizen and Lemhi County is fortunate to have someone as dedicated as she is.”

Aleta Ries, vice president and training officer with the Leadore EMTs, said Findley stepped into the role of fire chief with skill and ease.

“If you talk to some of the firemen, they have no problem following her because she’s a woman. To them, she’s a person who has earned her leadership position,” Ries said.


"Everyone Goes Home" Video

The United States Fire Administration has released an outstanding video called "Everyone Goes Home." This is a film produced by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in cooperation with the Chicago Fire Department. See or download it at this link:

This video should be required viewing by all firefighters.


Support WFCA's Fire-Rescue GPO
Saving money should be at the top of every chief's list of things-to-do. The power of group purchasing and pre-qualified contracts saves departments time and money when purchasing a wide range of fire equipment and items of everyday use. We encourage all of our members to take advantage of the WFCA's Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) program. A percentage of your purchase benefits the IFCA so please consider using this program for your department purchases.

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Receive email news briefs on state and national fire/EMS news, job openings, used fire equipment, courses and more delivered to your desktop every weekday. This is an excellent way to stay "in the know" and to improve your situational awareness. To subscribe just use this link:, or to place an ad go to:

NOTE: Credit for the accident photo in the IFCA home page banner goes to Sylvia's Photography of Middleton (ID). Thanks David & Sylvia!

Other IFCA News . . .  
(For daily news reports from Idaho and around the Nation please subscribe to the Idaho Daily Dispatch - see link above and also in the top right of this home page under Quick Links).




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GSA Contract Purchase Changes for State and Locals

Source:  IAFC HeadquartersDate 7-3-14During the spring it was identified that some changes were coming to how state and local governments including fire departments purchase items from GSA, speci

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