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Every member of the fire service, and every national fire service organization, is important to the success of the CFSI in exercising collective influence at the federal level. Frankly, the fire service will not be successful if we fail to stay united or if our messages differ when they are communicated to elected, appointed, and career federal officials. The fire service and the public it serves will be the beneficiaries of the work we do and the goals we achieve through the CFSI, especially if we achieve them together.
One of the most important things we can do politically as members of the fire service throughout the country is to ensure that the CFSI continues to be successful. In doing so, the CFSI can continue to serve as the house where we come together on issues of common interest and concern. If the fire service doesn't make sure that happens, nobody else will.
DENNIS COMPTON, a FirehouseÂ® contributing editor, is a well-known speaker and the author of several books, including the When in Doubt, Lead series. He is also co-editor of the current edition of the ICMA textbook Managing Fire and Rescue Services. Compton was the fire chief in Mesa, AZ, for five years and assistant fire chief in Phoenix, AZ, where he served for 27 years. Compton is the past chair of the Executive Board of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) and past chair of the Congressional Fire Services Institute's National Advisory Committee. He is also chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board of Directors and the chairman of the Home Safety Council Board of Directors.