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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.
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NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2019               

President's Address: Resource Sharing - Get the Yapp!

On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to thank you for your ongoing participation with the Idaho Fire Chief's Association.

Do you ever wonder what other fire departments in our state pay their employees or how big of a response area they cover? The board of directors have been working with our Executive Director on helping fire chiefs in Idaho find those answers and more. During the past six months 24 departments completed a survey that has been compiled into a report and is now available on our mobile app for all association members helping provide answers to those question. The survey collected information regarding department make-up, response areas, community demographics, types of services provided, numbers of staff and copies of collective labor agreements. Our next plan is to create a system to keep these up to date and allow for other departments to provide their information as needed. We are aware these are the larger departments in our state with paid staff, but next will be what information our volunteer departments need. We see this as a value to our association members and it is through us that we will continue to add value to being a member of the Idaho Fire Chief’s Association. Click the 2019 IFCA Wage and Benefits tab to download the report/survey spreadsheet.

Our Association will continue to communicate updates throughout the year via this Yapp application. This tool allows us the ability to communicate and share resources to the members and our valued sponsoring vendors. Please take a moment to preview all of the topic tabs included here.

Thank you for helping make the Idaho Fire Chief’s Association’s 50th Year our best ever! I look forward to continuing our work together! 

Travis A. Myklebust, President, IFCA

Fire Chief, Lewiston Fire Department

2019 Firefighter License Plate Grant Program

For the 19th year, the Idaho Fire Chiefs Association has funded approved applications from fire departments and associations for the Idaho Firefighters License Plate (FFLP) Fund program. To date nearly $700,000 in grant funding has been awarded. Over $110,000 in grant requests were received, with just over $61,000 available for distribution. 

40 separate grant requests were funded this year. For a list of approved grant awards, visit 2019 FFLP Grant Awards

The committee was chaired by Chief Warren Merritt, IFCA Vice-President; members included Tom Moore, PFFI; Chief Larry Naccarato, IFCA Volunteer Division President; Chief Rusty Coffelt, IFCA Vice-President of Operations; and Wendy Walter, Idaho Department of Lands.  With so many worthy and deserving requests it was a difficult job this year.  Thanks to the Grant Committee for their diligence and commitment to ethical funding.

Western Fire Chiefs Association Update From FRI

Idaho was thanked by Stanley Torres who represents Western Pacific Islands (including Guam) for past partnerships sending surplus apparatus and equipment. This is an area I believe we can continue that relationship that was started by Chief Mark Wendelsdorf from Caldwell. The islands are constantly in need of apparatus (mainly firetrucks and brush trucks) as well as firefighting equipment. If you think you can assist, or any member departments in your District can assist, please email me. The Islands will pay for shipping (including apparatus).

Next Year FRI will be in Phoenix on August 16-21st. This is the first time the Western Division has hosted FRI in a long time. Please mark your calendars now, and pass on to your members. Some exciting changes coming, to include opportunity for college credits from certified classes taken at FRI, as well as several other new changes that will be announced in the near future.

Membership in the IAFC is up approximately 4%

There are some big changes coming to NFPA. Moving away from individual standards, and combining standards into segmented “books”. I’m working to get our NFPA rep to our next annual conference to review these changes. Standards themselves are not changing, but will be cataloged much differently.  Along with these changes, they are forming a new technical committee for a new PPE NFPA standard. If you have any individuals interested in participating please let me know.

On October 8th in Virginia there will be a FirstNEt roadmap meeting. We will try to get WFCA attendance to make sure concerns from the West are addressed. AT&T did announce they are reinvesting 15 billion dollars into FirstNet over the next 5 years. Approximately 192 million this year.

Several states in the West are now fully realizing GEMT; I agree with President Mykelbust this needs to be a priority for Idaho

The IAFC has had some issues recently identified that has led to significant personnel changes. Mark Light is no longer the IAFC Executive Director, along with several staff members being let go from their contracts. Essentially the IAFC discovered a 1.8 million dollar shortfall. This was thoroughly investigated to ensure no criminal conduct, and none was found. This shortfall was a result of:

  • Staff under-reporting grant performance and expenses
  • Outdated software that was not properly tracking budgets
  • An overall lack of oversight by IAFC contracted employees

Overall the IAFC is still in a very healthy financial position, and leadership (Board) have taken several steps to ensure this does not occur again. The IAFC is currently interviewing possible replacements for the Executive Director position.

The WFCA has formed a new partnership with ISO and Intterra to provide better analysis of Insurance data with Fire Service data, to include wildfire loss. This partnership will allow for better future planning in our collective mitigation efforts.

The WFCA led an effort to bring a data-sharing agreement between the USFS and IAFC. This data sharing agreement will help each side better understand wildfire response from a global perspective. This agreement is also the first step in better aligning the federal firefighting force with local jurisdictions, potentially leading to a combined deployment request system.

One of the hot button issues across Western states with regards to wildfire is related to public utilities infrastructure resiliency during a wildfire. Based on population growth in all of Idaho, including new developments in our wildfire prone areas, I think this is a good conversation for the Idaho Fire Chiefs to engage with public utilities. I am joining a conference call this week with CalFire and California Fire Chiefs and PG&E on this issue. PG&E (cause of Camp Fire in Paradise) is leading the discussion.

Speaking of Paradise, the WFCA led the effort to nominate Fire Chief David Hawkes for the IAFC Ben Franklin award. Chief Hawkes won this award and the interview can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NqJGSRL_wE

Mark Niemeyer, Vice-President, Idaho State Representative to WFCA
Fire Chief, 
Meridian Fire Department

IFCA Division Updates

Volunteer Division - For the first time at this year's Idaho Fire Chiefs Conference, the Volunteer Division - led by St. Maries Fire Chief Larry Naccarato - connected statewide Volunteer/Combination Departments in the State for a self-funded retirement program.  There was a representative from Lincoln Financial Group on hand to work with departments. The program materials are currently with the attorney's office (SMFPD) for review and approval.  Additionally, Chief Naccarato along with other representatives of the IFCA have been in discussions with SiteMed to see what they can offer to Idaho's Volunteer Departments.  SiteMed is a physician owned mobile health care company specializing in on-site wellness examinations including the SiteMed NFPA 1582 medical program. If you have questions about the self-funded retirement program or SiteMed, please contact Larry Naccarato, President, IFCA Volunteer Division.

FPO Division - Division President Bongiorno has contacted ICC and EST about training opportunities for fire inspectors.  He will forward findings to IFCA Members.  He wanted to report that the Division is still waiting for the 2018 Fire Code.  The School Safety Training has begun at the school level. His tour of the state yielded some good conversations for the Prevention Group. Lt. Harper and Chief Bongiorno presented to the Gem County LEPC Group in August to a great turnout.  Chief Bongiorno continues to be included an many multi-agency conference agendas to discuss the fire safety perspective regarding school safety.  Finally, Bongiorno is working on some guidelines for calculating the total economic impacts of fires.  Contact Joe with any questions.  

Joe Bongiorno CFI, CFEI, President, IFCA FPO Division

Deputy Chief – Fire Marshal, Meridian Fire

CWI Starts New Fire Service Technology Program

College of Western Idaho offers a new program fkboor individuals interested in becoming a full-time or volunteer firefighter or looking to formalize their structural fire training in an accredited program. The College of Western Idaho's Fire Service Technology program will prepare you for opportunities as a full-time or volunteer firefighter. The curriculum is based on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) requirements. Local fire department trainers and command staff assisted in development of the curriculum and will also instruct in the program.

The program focuses on teaching you to analyze and solve problems in firefighting based on real-world situations and scenarios. You will be presented with the highest level of classroom instruction, hands-on demonstrations, and will participate in live burns. In addition, you will enroll in a co-requisite physical fitness course designed specifically for firefighters.

Upon completion of the Fire Service program, you will have the opportunity to take the Firefighter 1 test.  for more information visit http://cwi.edu/program/fire-service-technology.


IFCA Thanks Our Crossed Bugles Sponsors For Their Generous Support!

We would like to thank our  Five Crossed Bugles Sponsor, Hughes Fire Equipment, for their very generous contribution to Idaho Fire Chief's Association!  Proudly Serving You While You Serve Your Communities!  The Hughes Fire Equipment family is dedicated to providing fire departments in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Alaska and Clark County Nevada, with high quality fire apparatus, experienced sales people and maintenance technicians, and the honesty and integrity that our customers deserve. We strive to provide all emergency response teams with well maintained, high quality equipment, as well as a committed team of maintenance and support staff. We work for our customers to ensure they have what they need to serve their communities safely and efficiently.  https://www.hughesfire.com/

We would like to thank our  Five Crossed Bugles Sponsor, Idaho Independent Intergovernmental Authority.  Offering Health Benefits for Local Governments.  The Idaho Independent Intergovernmental Authority (III-A) was formed in 2011 by Idaho local governments in response to rising health care rates. The Trust was created to allow agencies to pool resources and provide affordable health benefits for their employees. Each agency shares the cost associated with providing health benefits for employees.  The pool is governed by the III-A Board of Trustees.  http://www.iii-a.org/

We would like to thank our newest Five Crossed Bugles Sponsor, Verizon!  "Do more today and stay ready for the future - Verizon Response Ready solutions.  Verizon offers custom public safety plans for first responders backed by our Responder Core and Verizon Response Ready solutions to provide priority data access without speed drops at any time.  During states of emergency, Verizon will lift speed caps affecting first responders and public safety customers.


Thank you to our New Three Crossed Bugles Sponsor, FirstNet Built with AT&T!  First to respond. First to get through.  
The FirstNet mission is to deploy, operate, maintain, and improve the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. This reliable, highly secure, interoperable, and innovative public safety communications platform will bring 21st century tools to public safety agencies and first responders, allowing them to get more information quickly and helping them to make faster and better decisions.  Visit https://www.firstnet.com


Thanks To Our 5 Star Sponsors For Their Support!



Visit Our Corporate Vendor Directory Online!

Idaho Fire Chiefs Association would like to thank our Corporate Members for their generosity and support to the Organization throughout the year! Please visit the Corporate Member Directory online and select iChiefs Members for your equipment, resources and services providers!



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