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

The IFCA is Accepting RFP's for Association Management
(Posted: 9-15-14)

The IFCA Board has voted to solicit Request for Proposals for Association Management Service. The RFP information is as follows: 
IFCA Information: 2014-2015 IFCA Brochure
2014 Budget: 2014 RFP Budgetpdf Document

$54,750 Awarded in 2014 FFLP Grants 
(Posted: 9-15-14)
The Idaho Fire Fighter License Plate Grant Committee completed the award process last week. There were a total of 57 grant applications received this year requesting $87,508. The details of the grants awarded can be found under "News & Events" - License Plate Fund.

Dave Hanneman named as new
Idaho Falls Fire Chief
(Posted: 9-4-14)

Dave Hanneman will be the new chief of the Idaho Falls Fire Department. Hanneman will begin work Oct. 20 and is currently the chief of the Chula Vista (CA) Fire Department, a post he has held since 2008. He has more than 30 years of experience in firefighting and emergency medical services. “I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the Idaho Falls Fire Department, and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work, both with the staff and the community,” Hanneman said.  Hanneman has a master’s degree in professional technical education from the University of Idaho, along with a bachelor’s in fire service technology from Boise State University. He served at departments in the Boise area, including the Boise Fire Department as Deputy Chief, before moving to California. 

Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper said, “Chief Hanneman has a breadth of experience, all of which I think will benefit this department.”  “Most particularly, (he has) a strength in strategic planning.”  Chief Hanneman is a past member of the IFCA and the IFCA welcomes him back to Idaho.  He replaces former IFFD Chief Dean Ellis who retired in May and who now manages Idaho Fire Service Training program while still serving on the IFCA Board of Directors.

Travis Myklebust Appointed
Lewiston Fire Chief
(Posted: 8-21-14)
Travis Myklebust has been appointed as the new Fire Chief for the City of Lewiston. Travis has been serving as the Interim Fire Chief since April due to the departure of Chief Garry DeJong.

Chief Myklebust became a member of the Lewiston Fire Department in December of 1991 as a Reserve Firefighter and was hired full time in October of 1993. Chief Myklebust has held the ranks of Reserve Firefighter, Firefighter, Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief and Division Chief. Travis is the first Fire Chief in the department's history who started as a Reserve Firefighter.

Chief Myklebust has served many roles in the department, including being the department's first fire clown "Spanner", Travis is active in the community and currently serves as the president for the Lewiston Rotary Club. He holds degrees in both Fire Science and Para Medicine.

Source: Lewiston Fire Department Press Release, August 19, 2014, for additional information please call 208-743-3554.

New Soda Springs Fire Station
Named for Norm Bjorkman
(Posted: 8-11-14)

Photo: The Officers of the Idaho Fire Chiefs Association.  Thanks to Shelly Seamons.

Fire Chief Eric King, Guest of Honor Norm Bjorkman and Fire Chief David Gates (front) & Fire Chief Dan Squires (back)

August, 9, 2014. Retiring Fire Chief Bjorkman was given Emeritus status and retired after 61-1/2 years with the Soda Springs Fire Department.  IFCA President, David Gates, Pocatello Fire Department, and IFCA District Director, Eric King, Chubbuck Fire Department, were in attendance to present Chief Bjorkman with an IFCA Life Membership Award and a personalized brick at the Idaho Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial in Boise on behalf of the IFCA.  Chief Bjorkman has been one of the longest standing members of the IFCA.  We wish him well  in his well deserved retirement.


Crude Oil by Rail Course Offered
(Posted: 9-12-14)

Due to several Bakken Oil train accidents around the country in the past year, several rail companies and national organizations have started training programs for emergency responders. The Association of American Railroad’s Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC) is now offering Crude By Rail Emergency Response at their facility in Colorado. The 3-day training covers types of crude transported by rail, types of tank cars, spill control, and tactical considerations. The training concludes with a derailment and fire exercise. So far, 1,500 first responders from at least nine states have taken the training. Please see the course page for more information on prerequisites, travel information, items students should bring, and other details. This course is filled through the rest of 2014; there are instructions on the course page for those interested in 2015 offerings. For departments or personnel interested in SERTC’s courses, there is a grant program available to help with the course fees. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) offers Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants to states, territories, and tribal responders to use for hazardous materials incident training. For details and to apply, visit PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Grant Program page

(Source: SERTC)

Farewell Cheryl Karnowski at SFMO

(Posted: 9-1-14)
The IFCA has learned that Idaho Fire Incident Reporting System (IFIRS) Manager Cheryl Karnowski at the State Fire Marshal's Office in Boise is leaving after many years of service.  The IFCA membership wishes Cheryl all the best and extends our sincere thanks for your outstanding efforts documenting fire activity and the work of Idaho's fire departments. 
Thank You!

Wildfire Season Slows, Not as Bad as Last Year
(Posted: 8-10-14)
Idaho has experienced numerous wildfires from one end of the state to the other this year but the size and intensity of these fires has been much less that the blitz of major fires and loss of structures experienced last year.  Large fires continue to burn near Lewiston but several bursts of lightning sparked fires in south and central Idaho have been attacked swiftly.  The weather has also been more cooperative this year making it easier to contain and control the fires.  None-the-less it is still a busy fire season and summer is not quite over yet.  Be safe!

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.
nrcg structure protection guidelines.pdf pdf Document  

SAFER Grant Wait Continues
(Updated: 8-10-14)
SAFER grant awards are still being announced by the USFA but hopes that the IFCA SAFER grant will get funded this year are diminishing.  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 has refreshed its Federal grant registrations to enable re-application, when and if necessary. The Board continues to hope that the grant for this year may yet get funded.


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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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).




USDOT Announced HazMat Emergency Preparedness Grants

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $20.2 Million in Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grants to Help Communities Stay SafeWASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox



Bakkan Crude Oil Rail Shipping Hazards

Crude Oil Shipments by Rail -The Issues and ResponseSource:  IAFC Website   9-11-14Current capacity of existing pipelines has been unable to keep up with the growing crude oil supply fo



Are Fire Chiefs Expendable?

Source:  FireRescue1 Newsletter StaffYear in and year out there are spate of fire chiefs either fired or coerced to resign. This occurs in large metropolitan fire departments, small rural departm

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