Weather or Whether…

   Time for a little American English grammar fun. 

   Whether you like the weather will likely be determined whether you can weather the weather we are having. So, whether you need to sow your field, feed your sow, or sew your sail before the sale, I hope your weather cooperates. 

   National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) meetings were last month in Washington DC. I met with staffers from the offices of Senator Thune and Rounds and Representative Dusty to discuss current fire service issues in South Dakota the national level. It is nice to have strong support from our congressional members. They understand the issues and try to follow the status of items as they develop. 

   I received an update from them about the fiscal budget that the various fire service grants were included. Some of the grants were scheduled to sunset in 2025. Likewise, the 50/50 volunteer fire assistance grants were continued to be supported. Some of these opportunities were cut by 10 percent a couple years ago. So, this was great news for all the states. Be sure to utilize these grants. Some are only a couple quick pages to apply for. 

   The hot topic was the proposed 22 NFPA standards becoming OSHA regulations. OSHA 1910.156 PROPOSED RULE would have serious considerations for volunteer services. Since the meetings, the NVFC had a webinar with OSHA personnel to discuss the proposal and tried to clarify some of the reasoning and ramifications for the proposal. The main concern is the possible costs for volunteer services to accomplish the requirements, if they go through. Check the NVFC website for some of the information and link for submitting questions or factual information to OSHA.

   The director of the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) spoke about the upcoming new national reporting system that will be coming out in the next year. The National Emergency Response Information System (NERIS) will be rolled out nationwide in a few months. The system is being tested by select emergency agencies across the country. The legacy NFIRS system will remain in use for an extended period to allow departments to get spooled up on the NERIS system, third-party programs to update their software, and allow for any glitches that may be discovered during the transition. 

More information can be found at https://www.usfa.


   South Dakota will be hosting the NVFC Fall 2025 meetings in Rapid City. If you are interested in what the NVFC does for you, this will be a great opportunity for you to attend.

   At district schools this spring, it was reported some departments still need to return the letter of acceptance for the state fire grant from last year. If your department has had a change in leadership and you’re unsure if your department has everything turned in, contact Doug Hinkle and the Fire Marshal Office. 

   You still have time to register for State Fire School in Watertown, 13-15 June. Some classes are already full.

SDFA General Membership meeting will be Friday morning, 14 June, at 0730. 

   If you have had a former or current member of your department pass away, we will be honoring them at the Memorial Service on Friday evening, 5:30 p.m., at State Fire School. The ceremony will take place at Lake Area Technical College Events Center (located upstairs from the vendor area). If you have individuals that were listed in the paper or would like to include at the memorial, please send names and photos to NE Director Mark Stoks, Family or department members are encouraged to be part of the flower placement ceremony.

   I hope all the mothers out there had an enjoyable Mother’s Day in May, and remember Father’s Day coming in June.

   Be Safe,

Charlie Kludt,

SDFA President











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Jeff Gargano - Editor
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