Presidents Article April 2018

Good Day Kansas Fire Service.  This has been a busy couple of months.    As a whole, the fire service saw an early start of the wildfire season in the state.  The last week of February and first week of March saw several large fires across the state.  Thanks to your hardwork and diligent efforts, those fires we able to be limited in size and damage.    We do thank our partners on the Kansas National Guard side for their assistance across the state with helicopters and Bambi buckets.   In several fires, those were the exact help that was needed to contain those fires.

As we continue this wildfire season, we as local departments need to evaluate our messaging to the public.  We are the leaders in our communities in this state.  A message from us about the need for defensible spaces and how to mitigate wildfire risk would go a long ways in helping us out in future years.   Anywhere a residence is exposed to a wildfire risk is a place for the fire department to deliver that message.  Whether it is a community on the edge of grasslands or a single farmstead in the middle of a section of grassland, it will cause us the same problems.    As part of our annual public education messaging, we should be sure to include a portion dedicated to wildfire risk reduction.  Look to the Kansas Forest Service or the IAFC Ready Set Go program for educational materials and guidance in building a community messaging program.

On another front, we are still following several items in the legislature.    As of the writing of this article, we are looking at a bill on KPF cancer presumption that was brought forward by the State Council of Firefighters.  We have supported this bill and offered some broader language to try and define other infectious diseases we may encounter in the fire service.  While this bill only addresses KPF members, it will be a good ground work going forward to look at inclusion of other KPERS members and eventually the entire fire service down the road.   Other items still in committees are the bill to repeal the residential sprinkler prohibition, emergency vehicle weight restrictions at 80,000 pounds, sprinkler industry act, and a bill pertaining to mesothelioma exposure reporting.  We continue to watch all these bills and see what progress they may make this session.

I will leave you all with an invite to attend the conference on April 26, 27, and 28 in Garden City hosted by the Holcomb Community Fire Department.  Chief Knight and his crew have setup a great program and we look forward to seeing the trainings they will provide us.  This is your opportunity to let the Executive Board know what direction you want to see the Kansas Fire Service go.  It is also your chance to run for office.  We will be having elections for several seats to include the open seat for SW Trustee.  We look forward to seeing you all there.    Stay safe out there!

Kevin Flory, KSFFA President


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page


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