To Burn or Not to Burn

Author: Chief Brent VanKeulen, Deputy Director, Western Fire Chiefs Association
Published: 10/28/2021
Burn season is open; however, in many areas the process to obtain a burn permit is antiquated, inefficient or even non-existent. This lack of information about who is burning and where is risky. The Burn Permits App, a product of the Western Fire Chiefs Association and powered by Public Fire Safety (PFS), is an automated burn permit process that gathers critical information about the burn. With this new app, fire departments will know who is going to burn, where and when.     read more

Building Trust by Caring for your Troops: Help Firefighters Bridge the Gap to Medicare Eligibility

Author: Chief Brent VanKeulen, Deputy Director, Western Fire Chiefs Association
Published: 10/25/2021
Leading effectively requires that others will follow and support you. I have found that focusing on a simple theme or word that represents a leadership principle helps me in the application of more complex frameworks. “Trust” is one such word that has guided the span of my leadership career from a newbie company officer to a fire chief. I learned that leaders must trust, be trustworthy, and care for their people—from hiring to retiring—to ensure their organization thrives.     read more

Airgain, HPUE, MegaRange™ And Public Safety

Author: Jeffrey D. Johnson, CEO, Western Fire Chiefs Association
Published: 6/16/2021
How first responders communicate is evolving faster now versus any point since the advent of two-way radios. One of the most amazing innovations is HPUE (High Power User Equipment) now available on FirstNet® (and no other network). HPUE is branded as MegaRange and fulfills a public safety demand for a more powerful cellular device. At 5x the power of a regular cell phone, these devices fully realize the vision that FirstNet’s founders had for our network which is built for and by public safety responders. The AirgainConnect antenna-modem transmits higher power to reduce blank spots and increase coverage in remote areas, parking structures, tunnels, and dense downtown areas.     read more

Constellis is seeking firefighters and EMS responders to help vaccinate Pennsylvania

Author: Constellis
Published: 3/09/2021
Constellis, a worldwide integrated risk services and logistics provider, is seeking firefighters and EMS responders to help vaccinate Pennsylvania. There is an immediate need for paramedics, EMT’s, nurses, and support personnel. Firefighters and EMS responders from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, New York, and Virginia will be considered for assignments. Full- and part-time positions are available immediately at 28 sites throughout Pennsylvania.     read more

COVID-19 and Wildfire Webinar Series: Episode 3

Author: Chief Kim Zagaris, WFCA Wildfire Policy and Technology Advisor
Published: 1/07/2021
As we enter 2021, Western Fire Chiefs Association and Intterra team-up again to bring you the final episode in the 3-part webinar series about COVID-19 and wildfire. This candid roundtable discussion will focus on the issues, offer guidance and lessons learned, and provide tips for how to proceed with next fire season. You can expect these leaders will impart real-world experience and insight throughout the episode, giving you needed information to better navigate these unfamiliar times.     read more

FM Global Donates $150,000 to Wildfire

Author: Scott Miller, President, Western Fire Chiefs Association
Published: 10/22/2020
The Wildfire Initiative, a program of the Western Fire Chiefs Association, is pleased to announce the generous donation of $150,000 made by FM Global to help with immediate relief and long-term support of the fire service battling wildfires across Washington, Oregon, and California. Recognizing that the affected states are in the best position to allocate the funds, FM Global requested that WFCA and the Wildfire Initiative suggest categories of use ranging from firefighter safety equipment, strategic planning for prevention, notification and evacuation, research and development, infrastructure, and community protection and education.     read more

Guest Editorial: T-Mobile Supports Taking 'September 11th Radio Spectrum' Away. Public Safety, Let Them Know They’re Wrong… Again

Author: Chuck Dowd, Assistant Chief (Retired), NYPD
Published: 9/30/2020
Shortly after the September 11th terror attacks, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assigned critically needed radio frequencies (4.9 GHz) nationwide to first responders. T-Mobile, in recent FCC filings, now supports taking it away from public safety for commercial use. Public safety -- protect your spectrum! Sign the on-line petition.     read more

COVID-19 and Wildfire Webinar Series: Episode 2 on Tuesday, Sept. 29

Author: Chief Kim Zagaris, WFCA Wildfire Policy and Technology Advisor
Published: 9/21/2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a number of ongoing challenges for the fire service. Daily operations have been impacted in unprecedented ways including increased demand for PPE on calls, social distancing requirements, and quarantining guidelines. Wildfire season is currently in full swing, and the COVID pandemic has created additional issues for federal, state, and local agencies. Intterra and WFCA are coming together again on Tuesday, Sept. 29 to offer Episode 2 aimed at offering real solutions for fire service teams.     read more

WFCA & Ting are advancing pre-fire electrical data

Author: Bob Roper, Senior Policy Advisor, Western Fire Chiefs Association
Published: 9/04/2020
Fire sprinklers and smoke detectors act as a "silent sentry" against active interior structure fires. How would you like a tool that monitors an entire home for hidden electrical wiring defects and helps prevent fires before they start - notifying you of the potential hazard via a cell phone app? In wildfire prone areas, wouldn't it be great to have monitoring for defective service and/or transmission electrical lines before they might cause a wildfire? This technology advancement may be here today with even newer data tools in the near future.     read more

Tactical Pause on Sept. 2 – Focus on Risk Management

Author: National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group
Published: 9/01/2020
We are in the height of the 2020 Western fire season and we have been reminded that the wildland fire environment is dangerous whether you are on the ground or in the air. Along with the increase in fire activity, there has been an increase in close calls, serious accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Please honor those that have fallen, most recently our aviators, by actively managing risk. It is now the beginning of September and long-term fatigue is setting in, which exacerbates the complexity of a fire season made even more difficult by COVID-19. We ask you to take a tactical pause at some point on Wednesday, September 2nd, to discuss current risks to which you are exposed.     read more

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