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Editors Column

Editor's Column: It's Been a Really Strange Year

Friday, May 8, 2020

I do not know about you, but my life has been upended, and to quote James Bond, “…shaken, not stirred.”  Just a few short weeks ago, life was fairly straightforward.  You got up; you had your breakfast and you moved on to the list of things that you had laid out as your plan for the day.  At least that’s how it was for my family, my bands, and my fire company. We had the year laid out and we were beginning to work our way through 2020. 

That was then my friends.  This is now.  The Corona virus 19 pandemic hit the United States and WHAM!!  Every part of our lives has changed in ways which I never could have foreseen. Every part of everyone’s lives have been uprooted and smashed back into the ground like a gigantic earthquake.

Let me suggest that we are living through some very interesting times.  I would like to begin this visit with you by sharing some of the some of the good things which have happened to our organization.  There is enough time for the adjustments which we have all had to make because of the Corona-19 virus-related issues which each of us is facing. 

I would like to begin by sharing with you the good news that Steve Austin, our Project Manager, has been selected as a member of the 2020 class of the Firehouse Magazine Hall of Fame.  Steve was selected for his decades of passionate support of the fire service in a wide variety of important operational areas.  It should be noted that among the many awards which Steve has received over the years, he received the Congressional Fire Service Caucus Mason Langford Award a couple of years ago. He is due to be inducted at the July meeting in Nashville.  This is a great honor for Steve and our organization.

In my case, I was due to become a member of the Hall of Legends, Legacies, and Leaders of the National Fire Heritage Center, I was dues to be installed at the FDIC in Indianapolis last month.  As we all know, that did not happen.  My wife and two daughters were supposed to be there. But heck my friends, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

As you probably know by now, the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Fireman’s Association (CVVFA)  meeting, in July, has been cancelled, as have our Booster meetings.  Now is a time of significant challenge to our nation.  Each of our own local organizations has had to deal with the fall out from the pandemic.  My fire company has cancelled all of our drills and meetings.  And our fire district meetings have been moved on line using Facebook.  It sure is a differ4ent way of doing business.  I just received word as I was writing this column that out fire company will be holding a Zoom meeting on Wednesday evening.  We are using the technology to get the job done.

On the positive side, the International Association of Fire Chief’s Annual Stand Down is or great importance to us.  This year’s topic is Roadway Safety. Here is where the CVVFA  can play a critical part.  We want the fire and emergency services to know that our Responder Safety Learning Network has a wide variety of on-line courses available in the highway safety arena. 

We have adopted a motto for this critical time in our nation’s history which is simple and on point. We are calling it: Online Training for Firefighters on Highway Operations in the age of "Social Distancing" We would urge you all to go to our website and log in to the learning network.  Hopefully, you are a member.  If not, we would urge you to join with us and begin your knowledge journey in the highway safety world.

You can log in and begin working through our wide variety of highway safety related courses.  You can do this quickly and easily from the comfort of your won home.  Remember that we are all continuing to respond to a variety of regular and highway-related incidents.  The Learning Network can equip you with the skills necessary to remain safety put there on the highways and byways of our nation.

2020 will not be remembered as a great year.  Who can say when things will begin moving in a more normal direction?  But regardless of this, we still have to carry on our regular operations as we move through the crisis period.  We can help you meet your training needs on line.  Please join with us.  Let us help you to continue training your personnel in the on-line environment.  Please take care and stay safe.   

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