What the NVFC does for its members

   As with every article I hope this one continues to find everyone healthy and safe. With this article I will follow up more on what the NVFC does for its members as well as the state associations of which belong to the NVFC. 

   But quickly there has been a slight change to the committees of which I serve on. At the conference in Norfolk, I mentioned that the one committee I served on had yet to meet since I became a Director the previous year, during my report with Joel. I feel it’s my responsibility to make the most of my opportunities and to best serve this state by serving on committees that matter and make a difference to you, our members. I also feel it’s important that between Joel and myself we serve on as many committees as possible and not doubling up on a committee. 

   So, I switched to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. They are a very active committee trying to promote diversity in the fire service. They work directly with Women in Fire to provide information and assistance to women who may be finding themselves discriminated against in the Fire Service. Yes, this mentality still exists even in Nebraska. They work hard to promote all minorities and work towards making the fire service a diverse atmosphere. In my future articles I will follow up more on this committee as well as the other two I serve on, HAZMAT and HOME-LAND SECURITY committees.

   But more on the benefits provided by the NVFC, we have a big one coming up soon.

   The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) will host its inaugural Regional Wildland Symposium on Mar. 17-18 in Box Elder, SD. This wildland fire focused event will bring together fire and EMS personnel from across the region and country to participate in valuable classroom training and idea exchange. Space is limited – register now through the NVFC website.

   The symposium will provide an opportunity to learn from interactive classroom training and share ideas and best practices with wildland firefighters and other stakeholders from across the Plains region. Attendees will have their choice of breakout sessions to attend, with sessions addressing key topics in wildland fire mitigation and response. The event registration fee of $129 covers two days of training with breakout sessions, keynote speakers, and general sessions, as well as a networking reception, vendor expo, and most meals. The agenda is below.

   To help more first responders attend, a travel stipend of up to $600 is available that will reimburse expenses related to the conference, including hotel, transportation, and the registration fee. But hurry, the deadline to apply for a stipend is Jan. 1. View criteria and apply now. To be eligible for the travel stipend, you must be a member of the NVFC. Not a member? Learn about member benefits and join for just $21.

Friday, March 17

   Opening Session and Keynote

   Breakout Sessions 1: Increasing Response Effectiveness in the WUI for Volunteer Departments

   Community Wildfire Mitigation

   Breakout Sessions 2: Better Staging

   Show Me the Money!: How to Find Funding

   Networking Lunch hosted by the NVFC

   Breakout Sessions 3: Windy Fire, South Dakota   

   Using Your Community’s Vulnerabilities to Raise Wildfire Awareness

   Networking Reception and Mini-Expo

Saturday, March 18

   Breakout Sessions 4: Prairie Tactics: If Not You, Then Who?

   Wildland Fires and Traffic Management   

   Breakout Sessions 5: This is How We Do It on the Farm

   Internal Size-Up for Wildland Firefighters

   Panel Session: Finding Resources for Wildland Fire Mitigation and Response

   This panel discussion will feature conversation on how and where to find funding and other resources to support wildland fire mitigation programs and response.

Synthesis and Closing Session

   Optional Add-on: Excursion to Mount Rushmore

   Learn more about the Regional Wildland Symposium, register, and apply for a stipend at www.nvfc.org/symposium. Questions? Contact Rachel Buczynski, conference planner, at Rachel@nvfc.org


   NVFC Releases Training Track in the Virtual Classroom for New Emergency Service Volunteers

   A lot goes into training a new recruit for their role in a volunteer fire or EMS department. To help departments with the classroom training portion and to prepare new volunteers for service, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has created a track in its Virtual Classroom designed specifically for new recruits.

   The New Recruit Track is a carefully curated selection of seven courses that cover critical introductory topics for new emergency responders ranging from health and safety; diversity, equity, and inclusion; personal growth within the fire service; risk management; and finding a balance between work, life, and volunteering. Departments are encouraged to use the track as part of their mandatory onboarding process to ensure that these essential topics are covered early and consistently in the recruits’ experience.

   The courses included in the New Recruit Track are as follows:         

   • The Fire Service – A History

   • Bridging the Gap: A Diversity & Inclusion Training

   • Stress & Life Management: Finding Your Life Balance as a Volunteer

   • The Way Forward: Ending Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence in the Fire Service

   • Volunteer Fire Service Culture – Essential Strategies for Success (Modules 2 & 3)

   • Risk Management Principles for New Volunteers

   • From Recruit to White Helmet

   Attendees will be provided with a certificate at the end of each course as well as a final certificate indicating completion of the full track.

   NVFC Releases New Course on Women and Minority Leaders

   The NVFC has released a new course in the Virtual Classroom titled Leading Unfiltered: Women & Minority Leadership in the Fire Service. Chief Shelly Carter and Dr. Candice McDonald provide an overview of the current state of women and minorities in the volunteer fire service, ways to promote leadership opportunities for qualified women and minorities, and methods for being an intentional champion of women and minorities in leadership positions. This course is being offered free for a limited time. (This is something that the committee I switched to helped to provide.)

Justin Scamehorn,







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Jeff Gargano - Editor
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Humboldt, IA 50548

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