Where there's smoke....

   Well, where has the time gone? Nearly 23 years ago I was elected as your Secretary. I served in that capacity for over 19 years, then as 1st Vice-President for 3 years and now as your President for a year. I don’t intend on running for election to that post in April, but Dan Romine is retiring from his job as Treasurer of the association and I intend to run for that position. We are thankful for Dan’s decades of service to our organization and the firefighters of Kansas. Past President Joe Thibodeau told me many years ago that when you get tired of attending and teaching at regional fire schools it was time to quit. Well, I haven’t yet gotten tired of those schools - in fact I look forward to them each month. Over the past several months we are seeing greater attendance at the regional schools and we are seeing lots of new firefighters joining the ranks - both paid and volunteer. It is exciting to see! My goal as an “older” firefighter is to make sure that we get lots more young firefighters into our profession and help them to become “older” firefighters some day. So, bottom line is that I intend to keep serving if you will have me. I am looking forward to several more years! 

   As I am writing this article, I have just testified in the Kansas Senate on a bill to make sure that COBRA benefits are extended to the families of line of duty firefighters that are employed by fire districts. (The law already applies to cities, counties and townships) The bill passed out of the House unanimously. I also stayed on the virtual hearing long enough to hear the presentation on the DROP program which is so badly needed by those firefighters and law enforcement officers that are members of K P & F. The association is also nearing completion of a grant application for a SAFER grant from FEMA that we hope will lead to successful recruitment of more volunteer firefighters in our state. If approved the grant would provide turnout gear, educational opportunities, physicals, and financial incentives for our citizens to join the ranks of the volunteer fire service. 

   It is always an exciting time to be a member of a public service organization. I can’t think of anything that a person could do with their life that would be more rewarding than what we do in the fire service. I am grateful for all of the years you have given to me to serve on your association board and to represent you at the state and national levels. I am hopeful that I can continue to serve into the future. I am also so thankful for all of my many friends in our business, for how they have treated me and my family, and for the job that you do each and every day, because where there’s smoke... 






Blaze Publications, Inc.

Jeff Gargano - Editor
P.O. Box 122
Humboldt, IA 50548

News and Advertising: News and advertising deadlines are the 15th of each month for the next month's issue.


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