Sunday, November 18, 2018

About The National Volunteer Fire Council

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable tools, resources, programs, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at



Suzie Hill Koklich

Alaska Director
National Volunteer Fire Council
P.O. Box 876
Valdez, Alaska  99686
(907) 835-4246
(907) 831-1975 Cell



The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) held its fall board meeting September 27-29 in Kearney, NE. Suzie Hill Koklich from the Alaska State Firefighters Association was among the attendees. The board meets twice a year to conduct Council business, hold committee meetings, and guide the direction of the Council. 

SUZIE - Dave Miller and I continue to actively participate in our committee assignments (Diversity & Inclusion, NVFC Foundation, Membership/Awards, Recruitment/ Retention) with Sara Garcia being introduced to the committees and their workings at the NVFC Spring meeting earlier this year as she steps in to take over the lead Alaska NVFC position. 

Highlights of the meeting included the following.

  • A response roundtable featuring Chris Barron (TX), Tim Diamond (FL), and Ron Roy (WA) was held regarding recent natural disasters including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and wildfires. Discussion focused on preparation before and response during the disasters as well as the current situation and needs in the impacted areas.

  • A series of guest speakers addressed the board on a variety of topics.

  1. Sebastian Elbaum, professor from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, spoke to the Wildland Committee about his research on using drones to set and monitor controlled burns.

  2. Jim Pauley, president and CEO of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discussed the NFPA's commitment to the volunteer fire service and support of the NVFC’s initiatives. He also talked about the NFPA’s National Center for Fire & Life Safety that is under construction in Alabama and encouraged everyone to download NFPA’s first responder App.

  3. Ed Mills, FirstNet Colorado outreach and education manager, gave an update on FirstNet and demonstrated technology including a thermal imaging device that plugs into a smartphone.

  4. Mark Terry, senior director of operations for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, provided an update on National EMS Certification.

  5. Robert Soto, lead trainer for Paradigm, gave a presentation regarding Paradigm’s training capabilities and methodologies, including the creation of Coordinated Response Exercise (CoRE), a discussion-based exercise meant to increase the interaction between emergency responders and pipeline operators.

  • The NVFC debuted its new Firefighter Strong newsletter, which features articles, tips, and resources to help responders and departments take proactive steps towards a safer, healthier department. The newsletter is being mailed to all U.S. fire departments, and a digital version is available on the NVFC web site at

  • Copies of the NVFC textbook Volunteer Fire Service Culture: Essential Strategies for Success were also distributed.

  • The board approved the Council’s budget for 2018 and made changes to its committee structure. In addition, an election was held for two vacant leadership positions. Jeff Cash (NC) was elected secretary/treasurer, and Reid Vaughn (AL) was elected to the Executive Committee. 

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Suze Hill Koklich

Globe Gear Giveaway

Congratulations to Gustavus (AK) Volunteer Fire Department for winning four sets of turnout gear in the Globe Gear Turnout Giveaway sponsored by Globe, DuPont Protection Solutions and the National Volunteer Fire Council. You can read more here.

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