Tribute to George H.W. Bush By Bill Webb, CFSI Executive Director

Yesterday, leaders of this great nation of ours and from around the world gathered together in the National Cathedral to pay their final respects to the 41st President of the United States: George Herbert Walker Bush. As I was watching the service on television, I was absorbing every word expressed by the four speakers who shared their personal thoughts on the greatness of our 41st President. I thought to myself that every young, aspiring leader should be watching the service.

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CFSI and NFFF Accepting Nominations for the Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award: Award Recognizes Organizations for Advancing Firefighter Health and Safety

Starting today, the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will be accepting nominations for the CFSI/NFFF Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award. The deadline for submissions is December 6, 2018.

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Senator Lisa Murkowski Selected as Co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus

The leadership of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus has selected Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) to serve as a co-chair.  Senator Murkowski assumes the position following the recent passing of Senator John McCain (AZ), a founding co-chair of the Fire Caucus.  

Since joining the Senate in 2002, Senator Murkowski has been a tireless advocate for the nation’s fire and emergency services.  Throughout her career, she has supported the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs.  She fought for the reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and was the lead co-sponsor of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act.    

“From my earliest days in the Senate I have built strong relationships with Alaska Fire Chiefs and firefighters – professional, volunteer and wildland. On a national level, I have led on many issues of importance to the fire service. I am proud to accept the invitation to Co-Chair the congressional Fire Services Caucus- a vacancy that was left open after my good friend, Senator John McCain, recently passed. Senator McCain set a high bar, but I am committed to building upon his good work to create a safer future for our firefighters and the communities they risk their lives to protect.”

“Without fail, Senator Murkowski has stood with the nation’s fire service on so many of our issues,“ said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute.  “Her level of dedication and commitment to America’s firefighters makes her the logical choice to succeed the late-Senator John McCain as a Fire Caucus Co-Chair. I applaud the decision of the leadership of the Fire Caucus in selecting the Senator to join their ranks.  I have no doubt she will continue the tradition of strong, bipartisan leadership that has made the Fire Caucus so successful.”

The Congressional Fire Services Caucus leadership is composed of eight members – four each from the Senate and House.  Maintaining the bipartisan spirit of the Caucus, leadership is split evenly between party lines with four Democrats and four Republicans.  The other co-chairs include Senator Susan Collins (ME), Senator Tom Carper (DE), Senator Jon Tester (MT), Congressman Peter King (NY-3), Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Congressman David Reichert (WA-8), and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9).

The Fire Caucus is among the largest caucuses in Congress with nearly 240 members.  Members join to learn more about our nation’s fire and emergency services and the federal government’s role in addressing the needs of our nation’s fire and emergency services.  A list of current members is located on CFSI’s website.  If your member is not on the list, please have them contact CFSI and learn the value in becoming a member.  


Nominations for Fire Service Leadership Award: CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award Recognizes Individual Leadership

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) is now accepting nominations for the 2019 CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. Sponsored jointly by CFSI and Motorola Solutions, the award recognizes individual leadership in advancing fire and life safety initiatives. The award presentation will take place on April 25, 2019 at the 31st Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, DC.

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Congressional Fire Services Caucus Conducts 5th Annual Flag Presentation with National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

(October 5, 2018) – On Thursday, October 4th, the leadership of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus presented 103 American flags to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.  The flags, which had been flown over the United States Capitol Building at the request of the Fire Caucus, will be presented to the survivors of the firefighters being honored at the 37th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, October 7th in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  

Senator Jon Tester (MT), a co-chair of the Fire Caucus, presided over the official transfer of the flags to Chief Dennis Compton, the chair of National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Board of Directors.  Senator Tester was joined by the Senate Chaplain, Admiral Barry Black, as well as senior staff from the office of Senator Susan Collins (ME), the current chair of the Fire Caucus. Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute and Vice-Chair of the NFFF Board, served as the Master of Ceremonies.  

103 firefighters will be honored at the Memorial Service, 80 who died in the line-of-duty in 2017, and 23 from previous years.  17 of the firefighters being honored died as a result of 9/11-related illness.

Details about the 37th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, including how to view, can be found on the NFFF website.  

Congress Approves FAA Reauthorization, Includes Disaster Reform Provisions

(October 5, 2018) – On Wednesday, October 3rd, the Senate approved H.R. 302, the FAA Reauthorization Act.  The bill, which authorizes the Federal Aviation Administration for five-years, includes a number of provisions to reform how the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) responds to, and prepares for, disasters.  

The legislation provides incentives for states and localities to adopt building codes to protect their communities and ensures that Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) funds can be used towards building code development and enforcement.  The bill also allows FEMA to provide Hazard Mitigation Assistance to areas affected by wildland fires.

H.R. 302 was approved by the House on September 26th.  The bill will now be sent to the White House for the President’s signature.  

Senate Passes Resolution Declaring September “Campus Fire Safety Month”

(October 5, 2018) – On September 28th, the Senate unanimously approved S. Res. 663, a resolution declaring September 2018 as “Campus Fire Safety Month.”  The resolution was sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (ME), the chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.  

Res. 662 encourages institutions of higher education to provide educational programs about fire safety to all college students, evaluate the level of fire safety being provided in both on-campus and off-campus student housing, and ensure fire-safe living environments through education, installation of fire suppression and detection systems, and the enforcement of fire and building codes.