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ResponderSafety.com is brought to you by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute. ResponderSafety.com is developed and supported by public safety leaders nationwide. Click here to read Mission...

Editors Column

Editors Column: Future Planning Meeting in Harrisburg, PA

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Editor’s Column

Long Range Planning Meeting in Harrisburg, PA

Your Cumberland Valley Volunteer Fireman’s Association (CVVFA) is concerned about the future. We know we occupy the present day. However, we know that there is a future out there which we want to be ready to meet. Thanks to Todd Leiss from the Pennsylvania Turnpike staff, we were able to conduct a series of meetings to begin the process for building a strategic plan to take us toward the future.

A group of thirty (30) folks from around the country came together at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Headquarters just south of Harrisburg. During a series of breakout sessions we assessed the successes and failures our Emergency Responder Safety Institute. We spoke about the certifications and training programs which have been developed and presented by the CVVFA around the nation.

One of our great successes comes from the development and delivery of highway safety training programs around the nation. Under the leadership of our Training Director Jack Sullivan, training programs have been created which teaches fire, police, EMS, and towing industry personnel the safest way to operate on the highways and byways of our nation.

Another issue which was discussed was the data availability for struck by and line of duty deaths (LODD’s). We are the only agency which is taking the time to gather these sorts of numbers. We are looking towards the future when someone might be able to devote the appropriate time and talent to creating such a database. Unfortunately, it is a matter of money. We are searching for the funds and hoping for the best.

We spent a great deal of time speaking about the need to perform public education and enforcement. One of the future needs we identified was placing our skills and requirements into the driver education programs around the nation. We need to reach our new drivers early on in their driving careers. Further, more veteran drivers need to be educated about how to drive in the vicinity of emergency vehicles, as well as towing vehicles.

The result of our efforts manifested itself in the creation of a basic series of facts, figures and programs which can become a part of a future long-range plan for our association. A critical elements of our discussions revolved around he concepts of mentoring and succession planning. If we are to move successfully into the future, we need to find new people to join us in our critical efforts. We then must mentor them to share the experience we have gained during our years in the highway safety world.

An important part of our discussions revolved around the fact that younger people are not joining with organizations such as ours. In some cases they are not asking people to join with us. This is wrong, We need to reach out to the younger folks and invite them to join with us. However, it is critical for us to be able to explain who we are and what we do to these folks.

My friends, I know why I joined CVVFA. I also know why I am a member of the Emergency Response Safety Institute. More than that, I know my role and duties as the editor at Respondersafety.com. I know what is required and I do what I must. However, I must be able to tell people what we do and why we do it. The terms must be simple, but they must also be fully explanatory.

We gathered a great volume of information about what we have done and what we have not done. We gathered data on what has been successful and what has not been successful. It was an eminently successful endeavor. We are now prepared to create a plan for how to move our various highway safety and training efforts forward. Stay tuned my friends.

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