NVFC spring meeting

   The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Board of Directors held its annual spring meeting in Arlington, VA, on April 8-9. Sixty directors from 40 states gathered to conduct Council business, participate in committee meetings, hear from guest speakers, and present the NVFC’s annual achievement awards. Your NVFC Directors Justin Scamehorn and Joel Cerny from Nebraska were among the attendees.

   Below is a wrap-up of the NVFC activities from the 2022 spring meeting.

Council Business

   NVFC board members participated in committee meetings virtually the week prior to the spring meeting as well as in-person at the spring meeting. Committees address a range of topics critical to the fire and emergency services, including legislation; standards and codes; recruitment and retention; wildland; communications and technology; health, safety, and training; and more. The EMS/Rescue Section also held its biannual meeting. Justin Scamehorn serves on the Hazmat, Homeland Security, and Communication/Technology committees. Joel Cerny serves on the Health and Safety, Wildland Fire, and Recruitment and Retention committees.

   The board also took action on several items, including the following: 

   • The board voted to purchase bricks at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial to continue its project to have a designated NVFC section of the memorial walkway for directors who have passed.

   • The board approved five proposed amendments to its bylaws relating to updating membership categories, streamlining the elections procedures, adding language regarding executive sessions of the board, updating the process for the NVFC to review requests for research grant support, and updating the policy regarding the CEO’s annual evaluation.

   • The board voted to participate in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s two-pound challenge. This challenge asks board members, state association representatives, and NVFC members to either lose two pounds for each year they have been involved with the NVFC, walk more, spend two hours a week doing relaxation activities, or set a personal health and wellness goal during the challenge period of April 11 to June 11.  

   • The board voted to support the inclusion of non-hot zone firefighter 2 skills in the new support personnel section of NFPA 1010.

   • The board approved changing the name of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

   A silent auction held throughout the meeting also raised $865 for the NVFC’s Health and Safety Fund.


   A lineup of distinguished speakers addressed to the board, including the following:

   • Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, U.S. Fire Administrator, gave the keynote address, informing the board about current and future initiatives of the U.S. Fire Administration and answering questions from board members.

   • Chief David Povlitz of the Arlington County Fire Department welcomed the board to Arlington.

   • Ken Willette, executive director of the North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD) discussed NAFTD initiatives and ways the two organizations can work together.

   • Tina Godfrey from the FEMA Grants Office provided an update on the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grant programs.

   • Eriks Gabliks, superintendent of the National Fire Academy (NFA), talked about training available through the NFA.


   The NVFC and International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) received the Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award from the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation during the CFSI annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 7 prior to the start of the NVFC meeting. The award, sponsored by State Farm Insurance and VFIS, recognized the NVFC and VCOS for their efforts to reduce cancer and exposure risks among volunteer firefighters through the Lavender Ribbon Report initiative.

   The NVFC also presented its own annual fire service achievement awards during a special banquet at the spring meeting on April 8. Philip C. Stittleburg (WI) received the E. James Monihan Director Award, sponsored by Provident, for his outstanding service on the NVFC board. Kaylee Gianforte (NC) received the Junior Firefighter of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty, for her remarkable accomplishments in a youth fire service program. Chief John M. Buckman III (IN) received the Chief James P. Seavey Sr. Health & Wellness Leadership Award, co-sponsored by VFIS and Ward Diesel Filter Systems, for his work to further the health and safety of the volunteer fire service, particularly in the area of cancer prevention. Steven Klein (NY) received the Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by ADT, for his more than 50 years of service and dedication to further the fire service in his community and throughout his state. 

   The NVFC will present the Junior Firefighter Program of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty, to the Rowlett (TX) Explorer Post One during a local ceremony later this month to ensure all members of the program have the chance to attend.

Meeting Sponsors

   The NVFC thanks all of the sponsors and partners that helped make the spring meeting possible: Anheuser-Busch Foundation, California Casualty, Clarion Fire & Rescue Group, Columbia Southern University, ESIP, FirstNet Built with AT&T, Josh Cellars, Lincoln Financial Group, National Fire Protection Association, NPPGov, and Provident. We also thank the sponsors of the NVFC’s achievement awards: ADT, California Casualty, Provident, Ward Diesel Filter Systems, and VFIS.

Next Meeting

   The NVFC board is comprised of up to two representatives from 47 state fire and emergency services associations. The board meets as a whole twice each year. The next meeting will be hosted by the North Carolina State Firefighters’ Association and will take place Oct. 26-28 in Wilmington, NC.

In Conclusion

   Since this article is getting lengthy enough. Additional information from Joel and Justin’s individual committee meetings will follow in upcoming articles as well as discussions we had with Senators Deb Fisher and Ben Sasse, as well as with Congressman Smith. The meetings where very productive and there was a lot of great discussion. It was a true pleasure to have Darrel and Jerry with us representing the NSVFA. I’m sure their articles will contain a lot about the discussion’s we had as well.

   Thank you all for supporting Joel and myself as your NVFC directors.

   God Bless and Stay Safe.

Justin Scamehorn and 

Joel Cerny

NVFC Directors for 





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