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Tuesday November 21, 2017

Damage to the NCSFA Office from Downtown Raleigh Fire

The Office of the NC State Firefighters’ Association suffered extensive damage due to a fire in a six story lightweight construction building being built across the street. It was a five alarm fire for the City of Raleigh and their crews did a fantastic job. The office has sustained significant water and some heat damage. All the windows on the Jones Street side were blown out by heat and all the offices on the Jones Street side had sprinklers activated.
We are going to have to find alternate office space for the time being. I suspect reparing the damage to this building will take more than 6 months. The Board and Staff of NCSFA would like to let you know that for a few days service will be intermittent, but we will get things back up to 100% as rapidly as possible. If you experience a delay in a response or have a critical need that cannot wait, here are a couple of cell numbers:
Tim Bradley – 919-376-5135
Ed Brinson – 919-605-0115
Thank you for your patience during this time.

News on Your Public Safety Answering Points (Communication Centers)

News on Your Public Safety Answering Points (Communication Centers)

 

Greg Hauser represents the NC Fire Service on the State 911 Board. In an effort to keep the fire service engaged and make local dispatch centers effective for the fire service, he suggest involvement at the local level by fire officers in the operation of the dispatch center. Here is an update on the 911 Board and some questions for you to consider.

 

Does Your Local PSAP (Public Safety Answering Points) Use EFD Protocols?

 

NCSFA Members are encouraged to find out if their local PSAP (911 Call Centers) uses dispatch standards and protocols. These protocols are extremely important and should be followed by all involved in emergency dispatch situations. There are many different types of protocols (Emergency Fire Dispatch ((EFD)), APCO, etc) and each may determine how fire services are dispatched.

 

PSAP Manager Training:

 

Training will soon be available for PSAP managers. This newly created program will focus on educating current PSAP about the history, trends, processes and technology in the Public Safety Communications industry. The training was created in cooperation with the 911 Education Committee and Richmond Community College. The program will be an 8-month program. To insure your department is getting the most from your dispatch centers, urge your PSAP manager to get involved.

 

State PSAP Allocations: Is the Strained Funding Model Degrading Your PSAP’s Effectiveness?

 

PSAP funding for allowable items is becoming strained in North Carolina. Have your Fire Service Command Staff become engaged with their PSAP managers to ensure dispatch services are not being degraded. If not funded properly, the County/agency may be responsible for finding the necessary funds to support the PSAP. This has the potential to degrade your PSAP’s ability to provide effective fire dispatch services.

 

Standards for PSAP’s

 

Nine (9) people were recently approved for the first class of reviewers and their PSAP training will begin in the coming year. Beginning in July 2017, all PSAP will be required to undergo an evaluation of their processes, procedures, technology and fall pack plans. Across NC only 2 PSAP’s are without approved backup plans, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Franklin County (Franklin County is very close to having their plan approved). The 911 Board Chair is looking into the five (5) PSAP’s that failed during Hurricane Matthew so that they can be turned into teaching opportunities. Finally, PSAP allocations were approved by the board and NCSFA members can go to http://it.nc.gov/nc911board to see their allotment.

Fund For Gatlinburg, TN First Responders

The Gatlinburg Firefighters Association has established the Gatlinburg Public Safety Employees Wildfire Relief Fund to aid those Gatlinburg Firefighters and Police Officers who lost their homes and contents in the fire, which in part spread from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into the eastern Tennessee resort city of Gatlinburg. The fire burned about 1,000 buildings in Sevier County, including hundreds in Gatlinburg, killed 13 people and injured about 85 people.

 

Donations should be made payable to The Gatlinburg Public Safety Employees Wildfire Relief Fund, Account # 1090021864. Donations may be mailed to

Smartbank, ATTN: Gatlinburg Public Safety Employees Wildfire Relief Fund,

PO Box 1910, Pigeon Forge Tennessee 37868.

Electronic transfers may be sent to Smartbank.  The routing number for this fund is 064209216.

For additional information contact Kandra McCarter Phone: (865) 936-7130; Daniel Lindbert (865) 430-8687 or David Puckett (865) 712-0726

 

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Legislative Issues Facing North Carolina Firefighters

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The Board of the North Carolina State Firemen’s Association recognizes the importance of being actively involved in Legislative issues affecting our members, as well as issues affecting the delivery of emergency services to our citizens. By building an informed advocacy network we have an increased ability to impact legislative decisions that impact our membership. Your involvement is a critical part of that advocacy, and keeping you informed of issues insures that we all work together for the betterment of the fire service. Regardless of whether an issue is State or Federal, in reality, “ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL”. Become involved by getting to know your representatives at home.

This is a report of the Legislative Committee of the NC Fireman’s Association and the NC Association of Fire Chiefs. It is intended to keep you up to date on legislation that may affect the fire service and related issues. It is not intended to be a legal description of legislation or its impact. Advocating for or against legislation is a democratic right, and individuals should use their best judgment in doing so. This information is provided to offer you our best estimated input and analysis of legislation of interest that may affect you.

Dates to remember: May 5th, 5:30PM – 8:00 PM Fire Service Hosted Legislative Reception
May 6th, 9:30, Fire Service Legislative Day
The following discusses both the NCSFA/NCAFC’s legislative priorities for North Carolina legislation, as well as current Federal initiatives that are being promoted by national organizations such as the National Volunteer Fire Council. These are issues and have not been introduced as legislation unless listed under State or Federal Bill tags. Any bills introduced either at the State or Federal level are listed above.

NCSFA/NCAFC 2015 Legislative Goals

  1. Priority #1: Define “Firefighter in Statute”.  The definition of the term “firefighter” has never been defined in statute, except for Article 86-25 of Chapter 58 which defines “eligible firefighter”. Eligible firefighter in GS 58-86-25 was written as criteria for receiving a year of eligibility is our Firefighter and Rescue Worker’s Pension Fund, which is actually more of a criteria for a benefit than a definition. However, since it is the only semblance of a definition for firefighter, it has become the gage in which to define firefighter in NC statute. The legislative committee of the NCSFA and NCAFC’s believe establishing a firm definition will benefit all of us and add clarity to the term “firefighter” in law.
  2. Priority #2: Make the use of Utility Vehicles by Fire and Rescue Departments on roadways legal. Currently NC law allows the use of ATV’s by fire, rescue, and law enforcement on certain highways in the official performance of their duties. However, the exemption does not list Utility Vehicles, which DMV defines as a separate class and would include Gators, Racers, etc. While we’re sure fire departments aren’t going to be ticketed for using these utility vehicles, it could cause legal implications if an accident were to occur and there wasn’t a legal exception for their use on highways.
  3. Priority #3: Monitor introduced legislation affecting the emergency services.   Last year much of our legislative work involved reacting to studies and legislation coming from other sources, and working to make them attractive for our membership. This year our involvement will also monitor and react to any legislation that appears to impact emergency services.  This priority will include working with other agencies that may want to submit changes we approve of, as well as any that might submit legislation we feel would have a negative impact.

Put on your Calendar Today….Legislative Reception and Legislative Day at the NC General Assembly

On the evening of May 5th, 2015 we will host our House and Senate members in a legislative reception, where we can share some food and fellowship in a casual environment. The next day we will go as a group to the Legislative Building and meet and greet them in a more formal setting and let them know what our goals are.  Our goal is to have at least one member from each legislative district in Raleigh, so we need our members from the East, West and Piedmont to attend.  Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend. Specific information will be posted on our web site as plans are finalized.

Joint Legislative Committee – The committee was established by both the NCSFA and NCAFC’s Executive Boards to begin addressing legislative issues that impact the Fire Service of North Carolina.  The Committee Members are:

•      Kevin S. Gordon, NCSFA – Chairperson
•      Brain Cox, NCSFA
•      Barry Overman, NCSFA
•      Anthony Penland, NCSFA
•      Tim Bradley, NCSFA
•      Debbie Clary, NCSFA
•      Ron Fowler, NCAFC
•      Jake Whisnant, NCAFC
•      Benny Nichols, NCAFC
•      Chris Nichols, NCAFC

For additional information contact:

Tim Bradley
Executive Director

Kevin S. Gordon
Executive Board

Debbie Clary
Governmental Affairs