2012 Legislative Update from Karl Malott

The legislation known as the “crash tax” HB 647 passed the House committee last week completely unopposed. The Fire Chiefs gave testimony for over an hour and a half to oppose this legislation but the insurance lobby carried a very strong front and seemed to have the passage of this bill in the bag before it ever hit committee. It still has to pass the house floor and go over to the Senate to be heard so our only hope at this point is that the legislature may end before it finishes the process.

The legislation, HB577, to move the award of the firefighter/EMS medal of honor from the date of the national law enforcement recognition week to the annual Idaho Fallen Firefighter Memorial has passed the House and will be heard in the Senate State affairs committee on Wednesday March 21. It seems like it will go through unopposed.

The legislation, HB610, which would allow for properties greater than 1,500 acres to be deannexed from a fire district at the will of the owner doesn’t look like it will be moving forward. I spoke of the Fire Chiefs concern regarding this bill with the sponsor, Representative Mike Moyle. He was trying to fix a problem for a constituent and didn’t want to run legislation that created bigger problems. I gave him some proposed changes this morning that were written by William Gigray attorney for many of the fire districts I this area and I think he will hold the legislation until next year when we can work in some changes that will allow for deannexation but only by agreement of the Fire Commissioners.

The legislation for presumptive cancer passed the Senate floor this week and will hopefully get a committee hearing next week sometime. The hour of the legislature is getting very tight for controversial legislation so, hopefully, it will be successful in the House.

The legislation for elevators and escalators has passed and been signed into law by the governor. It exempts Elevators and Escalators installed prior to July 1, 2004 from required safety upgrades if the cost of those upgrades is greater than $5,000.

The talk around the Capitol is that the session will probably end around March 30th but could be sooner or later depending on leadership.

(Posted: 3-19-12)

IFCA Member Chief Ron Sampert Honored

By BRIAN WALKER/Staff writerThe Coeur d' Alene PressPOST FALLS

(Posted: 3-21-12)

Kootenai County Fire Chief and former IFCA Board Member Ron Sampert is not retiring unnoticed.

Sampert, who has served the local fire service for 38 years and has been Kootenai County Fire and Rescue's chief since it formed in 2001, recently received the Idaho Distinguished Service Medal.

In a separate ceremony, he was named KCFR's Outstanding Firefighter during the American Legion banquet.

"Chief Sampert's commitment to providing the best possible emergency services to the citizens of Kootenai County is evident in every aspect of KCFR," said Samantha Babich, KCFR's director of administration, during the Legion dinner.

"He knows that success never really belongs to only one man. But we know that many of our successes may have never happened without his vision and leadership."

Sampert received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Bureau of Homeland Security. Also, on behalf of Gov. Butch Otter, he was presented the governor's Challenge Coin reserved for members of the military and public employees who have distinguished themselves.

Sampert is being replaced as KCFR's chief this month by Warren Merritt, who has served with the Bellevue (Wash.) Fire Department since 1980, including the past six years as deputy chief of operations.

President Gabriel Welcomes New IDL Director

The following is a recent letter sent to the new Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) Director, Tom Schultz, by IFCA President Kenny Gabriel:Dear Director Schultz:

Dear Director Schultz:

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the membership of the Idaho Fire Chiefs Association I would like to congratulate you on your recent appoint of Director of Idaho Department of Lands (IDL). We have always enjoyed a great working relationship with IDL and are looking forward to enhancing that as time goes on.

If I, or any member of the Board or Association can be of assistance, please let us know. We are proud to be your partners in the Fire Service in Idaho.

Yours in Public Safety,

Kenneth G. Gabriel


(Posted: 3-15-12)

EST Announces NFA Courses for Idaho

EST Training Coordinator Jim Hitch has informed us of the following NFA classes that were approved for the next fiscal year. Thank you for your requests. If you have any questions please contact Jim Hitch at 208-334-3216 office / 208-429-5534 direct line / 888-242-0210 toll free / 208-334-2365 fax / 509-595-0454 cell or email at jhitch@pte.idaho.gov

F458 - Preparation for Initial Company Operations
Date: October 13, 2012 - October 14, 2012
Location: Bellevue, ID

F729 - Incident Safety Officer (Revised)
Date: October 20, 2012 - October 21, 2012
Location: Moscow, ID

F729 - Incident Safety Officer (Revised)
Date: November 3, 2012 - November 4, 2012
Location: Pocatello, ID

F610 - Introduction to Wildland and Wildland/Urban Interface
Firefighting for the Structural Company Officer
Date: November 10, 2012 - November 11, 2012
Location: Gooding, ID

F805 - Leadership III for Fire and EMS: Strategies for Supervisory Success
Date: November 10, 2012 - November 11, 2012
Location: Hayden, ID

F290 - Training Operations in Small Departments
Date: January 19, 2013 - January 20, 2013
Location: Naples, ID

F803 - Leadership I for Fire and EMS: Strategies for Company Success
Date: February 2, 2013 - February 3, 2013
Location: Emmett, ID

F455 - Strategy and Tactics for Initial Company Operations
Date: February 23, 2013 - February 24, 2013
Location: Lewiston, ID

F455 - Strategy and Tactics for Initial Company Operations
Date: March 2, 2013 - March 3, 2013
Location: Blackfoot, ID

NOTE: This information will be re-posted to the Scheduled Events web page.

(Posted: 2-28-12)

IFSAC Certification Now Good For Life!

Training Oficer's Division President, David Gates, reports that the Fire Service in Idaho took a significant step forward in its relations with State Emergency Services Training (EST). At this week’s EST Advisory Committee meeting EST officials agreed to remove the continuing education component and thus the need to recertify in order to maintain IFSAC certificates. Yes, you read it right, there will no longer be a need to recertify - your certifications are now good for life!

The following points were what helped moved EST in support of this decision.

  1. There are no mandated(legislated) training requirements in the state of Idaho.
  2. There is no real over site as it simply took a chief signing a document that their members had conducted the appropriate amount of training.
  3. That it placed unnecessary and an unreasonable burden on the fire service and EST.
  4. That Idaho was only 1 of 4 that currently had a CE component to maintain certification.
  5. This would free up valuable time within EST for other more important functions.
  6. Idaho is a poor rural state and should not be leading the nation in training demands.
  7. All delegates of the committee unanimously agreed with removing the requirement.

This is a huge win and I would like to personally thank Ann Stephens and Jim Hitch of EST for their support and understanding in this matter. Lastly, I have a request to move the next TO Division meeting from its normally scheduled March 2 @ 3pm MST to March 5 @ 3pm MST to accommodate an Officer Development Course taking place up North.

(Posted: 2-10-12)

Training Officers Division Meeting

TO Division President David Gates reminds all TO Division members that their annual Face-to-Face meeting will be held at the IFCA Annual Conference at The Grove Hotel in Boise on May 9th, 2012 at 7pm MDT in The Ivy Room.

Kootenai County Hires New Fire Chief

Kootenai County Fire and Rescue has hired Warren Merritt as its new Fire Chief. Merritt replaces Ron Sampert who retired in December. Merritt was Deputy Chief of Operations with the Bellevue (WA) FD.

Merritt began his fire career as a volunteer firefighter for King County Fire District No. 10 in 1974. Prior to his promotion to deputy chief at Bellevue in 2005, he served 13 years as a battalion chief in three of Bellevue's fire divisions. Merritt has a bachelor's degree in public safety administration, an associate's degree in fire science, a Chief Fire Officer designation and an Executive Fire Office designation.

"Warren has proven that he is committed to continuous growth and self-improvement and we believe that he will be instrumental in helping move Kootenai County Fire and Rescue to the next level of professionalism and quality service delivery," said Keith Hutcheson, chairman of KCFR's board. "Mr. Merritt comes to us with both outstanding credentials and a reputation of fire service excellence."

Four panels consisting of local officials, firefighters, community members and the board interviewed five finalists this week. Hutcheson said all four panels agreed on Merritt. KCFR contracted with Prothman, the same recruiting company Post Falls used in its search for a city administrator, for $18,500 in the national search. "This was the community's pick, not just the KCFR board's pick," Hutcheson said. Sampert, who was among the panelists on the search committee, agreed Merritt was the right choice. "Going into this (search process), I felt it was important for the fire district to find somebody who could do more than me," Sampert said. "He's tasted every step of the ranks of the fire department, and I believe he has what it takes to take us to the next level."

The IFCA extends its congratulations to Chief Warren Merritt and welcomes him to Idaho.

(Posted: 2-10-12)

Internet Power...

Idahofirechiefs.com, the website of the IFCA, garnered a total of 88,399 hits and visitors from Jan.1, 2011 to Jan. 1, 2012. The IFCA Office has regularly received email from visitors to the site complimenting the information presented and the freshness of the content. Association Manager Diana Brown says "It is a lot of work keeping the content current and relevant as best as we can. We have had several school teachers write us complimenting the Resources Links section where 'hot-links' have been posted for over 100 fire and life safety sites. Students doing reports on fire and life safety projects can find facts and answers quickly from many reliable sources." An improvement being planned in 2012 is an RSS feed so any new info posted on the website homepage can be promptly viewed by subscribers on their smartphones or computers. The IFCA compliments iFocus, our web host, for their outstanding support and service.

Job Postings:

(Closes: 4-12-12)
Fire Chief
McCall (ID) FD

More info and/or to apply send inquiries to:

(Closes: 4-20-12)
Division Chief of Operations
Boise (ID) Fire Department
More info or to apply:
Flyer: /Assets/dept_1/PM/pdf/Boise FD DC of Ops job 4-2-12.pdf pdf Document

(Closes: 5-1-12)
Division Chief of Operations
Timberlakes (ID) Fire District
More info: vknapp@northernlakesfire.com or call 208-772-3044
Application / job description: http://www.timberlakefire.com/

(Closes: 5-4-12)
Division Chief of Operations
Northern Lakes (ID) Fire District
More info: vknapp@northernlakesfire.com or call 208-772-3044
Flyer: /Assets/dept_1/PM/pdf/Northern Lakes FD DC of Ops 4-6-12.pdf pdf Document

2011 - 2013 IFCA Strategic Plan

The IFCA's Strategic Plan can be viewed at this link: 2011-2013 Strategic Plan Support WFCA's Fire-Rescue GPO

Saving money should be at the top of every chief's list of things-to-do. The power of group purchasing and pre-qualified contracts saves departments time and money when purchasing a wide range of fire equipment and items of everyday use. We encourage all of our members to take advantage of the WFCA's Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) program. A percentage of your purchase benefits the IFCA.

Saving money should be at the top of every chief's list of things-to-do. The power of group purchasing and pre-qualified contracts saves departments time and money when purchasing a wide range of fire equipment and items of everyday use. We encourage all of our members to take advantage of the WFCA's Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) program. A percentage of your purchase benefits the IFCA.

FREE subscription to the Idaho Daily Dispatch

Receive email news briefs on state and national fire/EMS news, job openings, used fire equipment, courses and more delivered to your desktop every weekday. This is an excellent way to stay "in the know" and to improve your situaltional awareness. To subscribe just use this link:

www.dailydispatch.com, or to place an ad go to: http://www.dailydispatch.com/

(Posted: 2-4-11)

Other IFCA News . . .

(For daily news reports from Idaho and around the Nation please subscribe to the Idaho Daily Dispatch - see link above and also in the top right of this home page under Quick Links.)



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