KSFFA Presidents Article February 2018

Good day Kansas Fire Service. 2017 had a rough ending as we lost FF Jason Garrett from Kansas City Kansas Fire Department. Then the New Year started with the loss of FF John Randle from Wamego Fire Department. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and co-workers. Loss is never an easy thing, but losing our loved ones in a work related death is even harder. To those members of the Wamego and Kansas City Kansas Fire Departments, just know your broader fire service family is there to support you in whatever you may need. As an Association we will be there to support you and the families.
Looking ahead to the New Year, we look at what challenges may arise for the fire service. I would like to make this year, the year we as a fire service focus on improving our members’ health and safety. I would challenge each of you in your departments to look around your department and see what you as an individual can do to improve your department. Commit to finding one safety item that you can improve on personally. Make it become a habit. Whether it is washing your nomex hood every Sunday, washing your PPE after every fire, or making a cognizant effort to decon yourself after every fire, do it repetitively so it becomes that habit for you. Encourage others to do so as well. As we plant those seeds within our membership, it becomes how we operate. This is how you as an individual can start to spread a safety culture in your department.
Next I challenge you to find a training item to focus on. Within your department find something that has been seen as a weak link on past calls. Focus on how we make that better and how we can improve it. Take those steps to do so. And again, repeat it. Call after call. Once we do this, it becomes that habit that we want. This is how we alter actions of our members on the fireground or incident scene. Change comes in small steps. Pick the easy items and work your way up to the more difficult ones. This is how we foster that improvement in our department.
The last thing I will leave you with is to be a good participant in the fire service. Be informed. There will be items that develop in the fire service in the coming year that will be different than years past. We all know that change is inevitable. Don’t be left in the dark because we choose not to hear out our neighbors or listen to those who are talking about change. Many things will be on the horizon this year. Wildland response, Cancer reduction and prevention, Post-Traumatic Stress Injury prevention, Credentialing, First Net communications system, are but a few of the items that will be topic of discussion in the coming year. Don’t sit back and complain about the changes. Be involved in the processes. Find your representatives in those discussions and express your concerns. But as you express those concerns, bring a solution for that concern. That is how we as the fire service get to present that unified voice to make positive changes for all.
I hope you all have a safe and productive New Year. We look forward to seeing you all at an upcoming school. SCAFFA in Topeka in March is bringing in Dr. Dave Griffin to speak. Some of you may have seen him at the KSAFC conference last year in Garden City. He will be delivering an impactful keynote presentation on the Charleston Super Store incident and his role in it. He will then follow it up with a four hours class on PTSD and how to change it into Post Traumatic Growth. We will be hosting schools in Grainfield and Lindsborg as well. And don’t forgot our annual conference hosted by Holcomb Community Fire Department in Garden City April 26-28th. See you all there!

Kevin Flory, KSFFA President

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

 

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