As 2019 comes to a close, it can be seen plainly that this past year has enabled us to lay the foundation for a new and exciting future at the Firefighters and EMS Fund. We used this time to launch new tools such as the Fire Referendum Report and our new project that we will be updating on a continuous basis: our US Fire Statistics Data Tool we have gathered and implemented feedback from 1000s of sources as we always strive to improve, and we eagerly await the coming of the new year.
Fire Referendum Report
2019 saw the release of our first iteration of our referendum report. This report has been downloaded over 300 unique individuals and decision makers. We compiled and analyzed 62 referenda and ballot measures across 16 states from 2017 and 2018 in order to present a picture of the state of fire services around the country. The Fire Referendum Report is an exciting component of our vision and we eagerly look forward to continuing our research and providing the fire and first responder community with actionable data in the future.
Firefighters Support Alliance
This year we also launched a new project called the Firefighters Support Alliance or FSA. This project will enable Firefighters and EMS Fund to shed light on firefighting issues. Firefighters Support Alliance will focus on engaging the public to increase awareness about firefighter health issues and general knowledge of the firefighting profession. While the Firefighters and EMS Fund will focus on political activity specifically around ballot measures that will benefit Emergency Medical Responders in any way we possibly can.
US Fire Statistics Dashboard
Our latest project, the US Fire Statistics Dashboard is a new way to engage and increase awareness about the firefighting profession, here in the United States. This tool will display data from around the country, and be updated on a rolling basis to include new and pertinent background information about our nation’s fire departments.
Events and Conferences
Firefighters and EMS leadership took the opportunity to attend many industry events throughout the year in order to better understand industry issues and build relationships with industry luminaries and leaders.
- Fire Department Instructors Conference 2019
- Meeting with department members face-to-face at conferences like FDIC is one of the most effective ways for us to learn about future referendums and how we can help departments meet their legislative goals.
- In addition to meeting a great deal of firefighters, we were also fortunate enough to meet the leaders of a few non-profits that are really making a positive difference in the fire services industry, and we hope to collaborate with them in the near future.
- Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association Hill Day 2019
- We kicked off our membership in FEMSA by “blitzing: Capitol Hill in an effort to both thank Congress members for their support as well as lobby for important fire and EMS oriented initiatives. We were able to meet with over 15 different legislative offices to educate them on the impact and necessity of two essential fire department grants: Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant program (SAFER).
- National Fire Protection Association Conference and Expo 2019
- Firefighters and EMS Fund is proud to have attended the 2019 NFPA conference.. The conference afforded us the opportunity to gain knowledge in areas such as Post-Fire Skin Decontamination and Firefighters Health and Wellness.
- Fire Rescue International 2019
- We spent three days exhibiting at the Georgia World Congress Center, and attending symposiums. Over 10,000 fire and EMS professionals from around the globe attended the conference, with an additional 500 companies and organizations exhibiting as well.
- FEMSA Annual Conference
- Representatives from the Fire and EMS Fund were in attendance October 9 – 11 at the annual FEMSA (Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association) / FAMA (Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association) Conference in Toronto, ON. Celebrating over 50 years of serving the fire service industry and working to improve industry standards, the Annual Conference is designed to promote networking, thought leadership, and organizational improvement techniques to attendees.
Election Year Plans
With 2020 Being an election year, Firefighters and EMS Fund will take advantage of as many opportunities to support ballot measures that will benefit firefighters as possible.
Here are some of our highest priorities for the coming year:
- Preserving and establishing cancer and death benefits for first responders
- Aiding departments in their effort to replace outdated and worn out equipment
- Advocating for the passage of ballot measures that will address the critically low staffing levels of departments in need.
A Vision of the Future
This year Firefighters and EMS Fund released its first iteration of the Referendum report, and next year we want to release a version that digs even deeper. It is our goal to create a report that explains the why behind the pass and fail trends we are seeing in fire department ballot efforts and features actionable information that is relevant to decision makers and helps them understand their constituents better.
In 2020 we will see the firefighter support alliance project to go to work for voters. FSA will engage in public outreach and activities that increase awareness by providing materials that will help combat misconceptions about the firefighting profession. We are excited for all that is in store!
Are you a leader in your local fire department? Or is your local department suffering from these same problems? We’d love to shine a light on these issues and help you tell your story. Contact our Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story.