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  1. #1
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post 1 Vote Keeps NVFC Alive in Maryland......

    The Maryland State Firemen's Association is still a participant in the National Volunteer Fire Council, but only by one vote. At a regular meeting of the MSFA Executive Committee on Feb. 9, 2003, In a discussion on maintaining membership in other Fire Service "umbrella" organizations, (An annual thing about approving dues payments, selecting delegates, Etc.) A motion was made to Not remain a participant in the NVFC. Numerous members from across the state spoke out on their opinions about the total lack of support for issues facing the Maryland Fire Service and the complete lack of leadership (again, individual opinions) on things that are critical to the very survival of Volunteers in America. After a long discussion, a vote was taken, and the MSFA is still a member of the NVFC but by a ONE VOTE MARGIN. Some people in Maryland, including myself are looking at the idea of forming a Nationwide group that will do something constructive for America's Volunteers. Anyone out there have anything to add??? Any takers from other states for forming another group??? Post here and we'll get things going.. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com


  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1 Vote Keeps NVFC Alive in Maryland......

    Originally posted by hwoods
    A motion was made to Not remain a participant in the NVFC. Numerous members from across the state spoke out on their opinions about the total lack of support for issues facing the Maryland Fire Service and the complete lack of leadership (again, individual opinions) on things that are critical to the very survival of Volunteers in America.
    What exactly are the problems with the NVFC? I know they have been very vocal about one Maryland issue: Resolution 43. It seems to me that the NVFC is primarily a lobbying organization, making sure that volunteers' interests are represented. Without them, the main firefighters voice that would be heard in congress is the IAFF. I would like to see them expand into more outreach education classes or an FDIC type event with free classes for members, etc. but that takes money. How many volunteers are dues paying members of the NVFC? Certainly not a majority of us, I can just about guarantee that.

    Some people in Maryland, including myself are looking at the idea of forming a Nationwide group that will do something constructive for America's Volunteers. Anyone out there have anything to add??? Any takers from other states for forming another group???
    Post some specific examples of what you or others feel the NVFC is doing wrong or not doing and how a brand new group just starting out could improve the situation.

    I'm not trying to start an argument with you Chief, I'm just of the opinion that the NVFC does a pretty decent job for the most part. Tell me why I'm wrong.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  3. #3
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post Well, Here are a Couple of Items...

    1. We in Maryland DO NOT think that the NVFC has done squat on the Resolution 43 problem. When a Vice President of the MSFA goes to a meeting to discuss the problem, but has to sit in the hallway for a time, and not in the meeting, That's a problem.
    2. When the US Govt., thru the Forest Service, BLM, BIA, Fish & Wildlife Service, and other agencies replace their firefighting vehicles, where do they go? I could use one, but I can't get one. Many are shipped out of the country or disposed of in other means, ALL of which preclude VFD's from getting any. That's a Problem.
    3. There needs to be a wholesale restructuring of the FEMA grant program to provide volunteers with equipment FIRST. A VFD in Texas has 2 Pickup trucks AS THEIR ENTIRE FLEET while some other departments get funding for exercise equipment. That's a Problem.

    What is being done to insure that the VFDs in America get a fair
    share of the money for anti-terrorism training and equipment. I
    have a great respect for the military, but they are not first
    responders by any stretch of the imagination. They mobilize and
    deploy in DAYS, We do it in minutes.

    There is a National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualif-
    ications who do a terrific job on certifying training and educ-
    ation, but, your NBFSPQ certificate may be good here, but not
    everywhere. That is Wrong! But nothing is being done about it.

    Firefighters in Florida (or their departments) have to pay for
    training. Why isn't it provided free like in Md. Va. Pa. Etc?

    Those are just a few things that came to mind, but, there are more. Many of us who are actively fighting fires, riding an ambulance, repairng worn out equipment with used parts from a junkyard, selling raffle tickets, and all those other things we have to do to survive out here, feel ignored and abandoned by those who wish to be some kind of wheeler-dealers, wandering from one rubber chicken dinner to another. We hear all kinds of Lip Service, but not one damn thing gets done for America's Volunteers. I'll get back to this when my BP subsides a bit. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Default Woodsy; I love you man!

    Woodsy:
    As you know, I have been very vocal in the past. I made a promise to myself to stop posting emotional and sarcastic posts, so I will PM you on my thoughts.
    But, you can add me to your committee to get REAL representation for the volunteers in this country. The volunteers in this great nation of ours should not take the back seat to anybody!
    To everyone else; if you're tired of being the silent majority, now is the time to speak up.
    I'm with you, Woodsy. But then, you knew that!
    CR
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    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  5. #5
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    hwoods,

    You bring up very valid points and I agree wholeheartedly with every one of them.

    Wouldn't it be better to get more involved in the NVFC and try and change things than to start a new organization from scratch?

    I still stand by my point that all of this will take money and that the NVFC doesn't have nearly the amount of dues paying members that it should.

    I support your effort for change and if you can show how a new volunteers organization would do this better than revamping our current one, I'll be one of the first to sign up and fork over my money.

    Also, I didn't mean to make you hypertensive this morning, just looking for some answers
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  6. #6
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile No Problem.....

    No offense taken, my BP is a joke around here, and sometimes I forget that everyone isn't in on it. I'm 61, and it's 116 over 72, the kids at the station claim I have ice water for blood. OK, back to the business at hand. In my opinion, the NVFC doesn't want any help from anyone not in the small circle that run things. In a conversation with one of their people a while back, I told them that I was not one to complain and then sit back, but that I was close to DC, Had a new class A uniform, and would be happy to take a message to anyone that could help our cause. Testifying at hearings in the house or senate, lobbying individual members, or whatever else I could do, would be done whenever needed. I was told OK, Great, drop a note to the office and we'll be looking forward to having your help. I never heard another word, my letter to the office was not even acknowledged. In a word, No, I don't think much can be done with what is in place now. I know starting an undertaking like this, from scratch, is going to be incredibly difficult, but we have nothing to lose, since we have no support now. I'm from Maryland, Chief Reason is from Ill. so that means we need to hear from 48 more. Also, I don't think money is that important at this point, using email and such other technology as we have available, we can start something small and then build on it. And Thank You for asking some hard questions, as that way we can hash things out, and come to an understanding of why there is dissent in the first place. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  7. #7
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    I agree. Volunteers are not represented well.
    Kinda like the F.F. Arson tv deal that made us look
    terrible. NVFC's response on that was a joke.

    Anyway vote #2 from IL
    Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    Make that 3 from the flatlanders.
    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

  9. #9
    Member pgvfd1's Avatar
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    Default

    How is the leadership of the NVFC selected? Are they appointed? Are they voted on? Do they have to apply like a job and are selected by a panel?

    I think before we go about starting something new, maybe we should check out getting more representation and possibly moving into some of the leadership positions at the NVFC. What do you think the people who are there now would say/do when the masses start coming to take over? Maybe theyíd get off their duffs and start giving us the representation we want and deserve!

    One problem I see is the complacent attitude of volunteers. You would think with over 800,000 volunteers in the Country that we would have one hell of an organization looking out for our interests.

    Harve, youíve got the ball rolling and I will help you push it, you know me, Iím always up for a good challenge just say the word. But first let me get caught up on the FC meeting minutes, god I hate reliving some of those meetings!

    Also Harve, I think with all the work you are doing with the GDVFA, AVFD, PGCVFRA, PGCFC, MSFA, all the numerous committees you serve on with all of these organizations and now the NVFC, I think you are really triplets and all of you are doing all of this work under one name.

    Peace and stay safe!
    "When I was a child I spoke as a child, understood as a child, thought as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things."

  10. #10
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    I have been a member of the NVFC for a long time. For the most part, I have been very pleased with the representation the volunteers get at the National level.

    I agree with WTFD10 that they have been vocal in condemning the IAFF on the Resolution 43 issue. I am sure if there was an easy solution to this difficult problem the NVFC would be happy to hear it.

    I also agree with WTFD10 that volunteers need to get more active with the NVFC instead of using their energy in other places. How many of you are dues paying members? How many of you have been to an NVFC Conference? The IAFF has the power it does because of strong participation, its large cash flow and large staff in Washington.

    - Harold

  11. #11
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile OK..

    Harold, I'm sure there are those that would like to see this thread deteriorate to a name calling mess so the WT would shut it down. I refuse to get into personalities, but I respectfully disagree, and I would refer you to my statement above about my offer to help that was ignored. And I would add that there are those of us who are close to our Nations Capitol, as well as our State Capitols, who are more than willing to help but we have been shut out. The TRUTH of this matter is that there are some of us who are going to get out on the field and play. We may be on your team, or we may just be the team that's playing against you. I don't want to see America's Volunteers become fragmented, but that's where we are headed unless those of us that are represented by the discussions on these pages, as well as organizations like the Maryland State Firemens Assn., become part of the decision making process. I, for one, want to be represented by those who pound on tables, scream, form picket lines, and otherwise DO SOMETHING. Issuing statements to the media days AFTER something happens, Taking a walk when it's time to stand up and be counted, and just generally wimping out on everything is a worthless waste of time. Represent me agressively, represent the things that are important to "Back step firefighters" Represent us 24/7, and do it with people who actively fight fires at home when they are home. If you can't do that then make room in your organization for those of us who can, AND WILL. If that's not acceptable, we'll do it ourselves. Anyone wishing to communicate, I'm at pgchief18@firehousemail.com or 240.508.8663(cell) 410.798.0764(home) 301.805.2400(FD) Thanks for your time.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    large cash flow
    EXACTLY!

    I can get newsletters from the other organizations that I belong to. I can get legislative updates from my representatives in Washington.
    I can get a sense for the tone of the nation's fire service from the many people who post here.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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    About the only time we can even get the departments in our county to meet is the annual pass-out-the-state-money meeting.

    I understand your frustration Harve, but (at least in my part of the world) we're going to have to get better organized at the local level first, and let that filter up to the state and national levels.

    Not saying it's a bad idea by any means....just my opinion.

    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  14. #14
    Forum Member DualReverse's Avatar
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    Default Chief 18....

    Good of you to bring up the issues regarding the NVFC- though certainly I realize the importance of the organization, and feel it is in terrible need of an overhaul, is there anything the MSFA can do to push the NVFC to do more?

    You guys in and around DC are among the most active volunteers in the country...Some volunteer stations around there do more than a lot of paid stations...But this isn't about career versus volunteer. What it is about, and I applaud you for bringing this up, is how to get the NVFC as a national umbrella organization to do more for it's members. Especially in this era of encouraged volunteerism, the NVFC oughta be doing more to help it's own.

    Let's face it. In many areas of the country, the economic viability of a paid staff is unreachable and volunteers must therefore provide coverage. A community citzen deserves the same amount of care, regardless if the truck says FD, VFD, RS, F&R, or anything else...

    Do you feel anything can be done?

    (Long live ECU9)

  15. #15
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile Sure.....

    YES! Something can, and will, be done to get better representation for volunteers everywhere. Since starting this discussion last Sunday night, I have heard from people from at least 10 states, by posting here, email, and even 2 phone calls. Most, I think 90%, stated that more needs to be done, and about 80 % feel that forming a new organization is the way to go. To be representative of all volunteers, we would need representation from each state, with the members in each state forming a state chapter of a national organization. Such an organization must be structured so that ALL meetings are open to EVERYONE, and ANYONE may speak on a matter before the body. The organization absolutely must reflect the very concepts that this great nation was founded upon, DEMOCRACY and EQUALITY for everyone. I will not be party to anything less. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Default Woodsy: Illinois stands ready.

    Woodsy:
    Good to hear you are getting some interest. Hey, you have to crawl before you can walk. Right?
    I like the ones who ask "why re-invent the wheel". Why not? Sure, it will take alot of work, but with computers, man, word just travelled at the speed of byte!
    Oh, by the way, what did you think of my name for the organization? Should make a great T-shirt.
    Keep in touch.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  17. #17
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Why not? Starting a wholly separate organization to do the same thing that one is SUPPOSED to do. To me, it just shows how unorganized the volunteer fire service is. There is an organization in place, granted they are not doing as much (if anything) as we would like, and instead of working with it and/or changing it, we will simply ignore it and recreate it in another way. Just doesn't make sense to me. Instead of one united volunteer service, you now have 2 that some belong to this one, some belong to that one. 2 half's are not always as powerful as 1 whole. I think we'd be better off changing the current organization and getting it to be more responsive and acting on what we want.

    my 2 cents.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  18. #18
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    Sorry Woodsy, but I would have to agree with Bones. We as volunteers would be stronger if we stuck together. A revamping of the NVFC sounds like it is in order. Like you said this is America. Nothing personal, but do you really think that our nations leaders are going to listen to some new kid off the block (new organization) who starts trying to throw its weight around. I don't. Useing the NVFC, who already has the connections, would be a better route then trying to start out fresh.

  19. #19
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking I just heard from lox and bagels..... oops. bones and....

    I couldn't pass that up.... Honestly, thank you for your opinions, if all the posts that came up were 101% "lets do it" without asking questions, we'd be in a mess. I honestly don't think we are going to change the NVFC. They have too much at stake, too much turf to try to protect, to allow dissent to emerge within the organization. One thing that helped start this thing rolling was the way people who are not part of the clique are treated. Our Vice President from the MSFA went to Denver to attend a meeting (or meetings) with the NVFC to get help for VOLUNTEERS in Maryland who were being attacked (no, that's not too strong a word) by the IAFF for the high crime of helping their neighbors as volunteer firefighters. The VP from Md. HAD TO SIT IN THE HALL WHILE THE MEETING WAS IN SESSION. That's one thing. Then there was the belated wimp-out response to the TV story on arson among VFD's. A huge thing is the way the Fire Act Grant program is operating. I've already cotacted my two senators and the house members from Maryland to tell them why I think the program should be overhauled. And the list is long... Thanks, gentlemen. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  20. #20
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    CR and hwoods, I will confess that my NVFC knowledge is very limited. We simply have not had a need for any of their "assistance" in my area. I have a company drill coming up Wed night and will talk with others about this. If, as you say, they can't be changed, then they need to be replaced. I will try to educate myself a little more on them and be able to give better opinions (hopefully).

    Best of luck.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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