CFSI/MedicAlert Foundation Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Awards were presented to three organizations at the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) 26th National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner and Seminars Program. From left: Chris Neal of the CFSI Board of Directors; Memphis, TN, Fire Department Lieutenant James Strickland, Deputy Fire Chief and Firehouse® Contributing Editor Gary Ludwig, Fire Chief Alvin Benson and Lieutenant James Logan; and Andrew Wigglesworth, CEO and president of the MedicAlert Foundation. Also honored with EMS awards were the Howard County, MD, Department of Fire & Rescue Services and the Cullman County, AL, Association of Volunteer Fire Departments.
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of CFSI
There is a lot to report this month about the fire service. First, we feature our Firehouse® Magazine Heroism Awards Program in this month’s issue. Congratulations to those whose names were submitted for consideration this year. We thank Managing Editor Elizabeth Neroulas and Contributing Editor Paul Hashagen for administering the program, along with our judges: Deputy Chief William Goldfeder of the Loveland-Symmes, OH, Fire Department and Firehouse® contributing editor; Chief Charles Hood of the San Antonio, TX, Fire Department; and Chief Edward “Loy” Senter Jr. of Chesterfield Fire & EMS in Virginia. The awards would not be possible without the generosity and support of our subscribers and the program’s corporate sponsors, who are listed on pages 62 and 63.
Also, we present part one of our multi-part National Run Survey, which begins on page 64. We thank the departments that provided these important statistics to share with the fire service.
In his Fire Politics column, Chief Dennis Compton reports from the 26th National Fire & Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, DC. Several friends of Firehouse® were honored, including the Memphis, TN, Fire Department and our EMS columnist, Gary Ludwig, and Chief William Goddard of the Howard County, MD, Department of Fire & Rescue Services, who was on the Chiefs Panel at Firehouse Expo 2013.
We also give a tip of the helmet to Dennis Compton, who has been the master of ceremonies at the CFSI dinner since our Hal Bruno passed away in 2011. He and the CFSI staff and a select committee create the program and award recipients. Congratulations to all involved. With so many new faces on Capitol Hill, it is imperative to get your members in the House and Senate to join the Congressional Fire Services Caucus and support the fire service. This way, they can back the issues that are important to all of us.
A fire chief in Arizona forwarded a picture of an engine company whose apparatus fell into a sinkhole while members were on a food-shopping errand. A newspaper reader commented about the photo, asking whether with today’s budget constraints it is acceptable to drive a city vehicle to go food shopping, and suggesting that perhaps the members could bring their meals from home instead of using apparatus to shop for groceries. Obviously, the reader is unaware that fire companies do this so that they can respond instantly to emergency calls that may come in while they are preparing or eating their meals.
That being said, we pay tribute this month to the individuals and departments who performed above and beyond as recognized by the CFSI, the members being honored in our heroism program for performing rescues in a variety of emergencies, including some who were critically injured attempting to rescue brother firefighters. Given the high volume of work fire departments do every day, as reported in our National Run Survey, I am sure other newspaper readers would have different comments to make, especially if they need the fire department’s services immediately.
HARVEY EISNER is editor-in-chief of Firehouse® and a retired assistant chief of the Tenafly, NJ, Fire Department, which he joined in 1975 and served as chief of department for 12 years. He also was a firefighter in the Stillwater, OK, Fire Department for three years while attending Oklahoma State University. Eisner is an honorary assistant chief of the FDNY and program director for the Firehouse Expo and Firehouse World conferences. He has covered many major fires and disasters and interviewed numerous fire service leaders for Firehouse®. He edited the books WTC – In Their Own Words and Hot Shots, published by Cygnus.