Congressional Fire Service Institute Holds Educational Symposium in DC
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By Alison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest
The American government is a system that is largely impacted by interest groups that push their policy initiatives to members of Congress. Interest groups are one of the many ways that members of Congress learn about the various policies impacting communities throughout the country. They heavily rely on interest groups to explain where the issues are so they can create policies to make a difference.
The Congressional Fire Service Institute is one of these interest groups that has gone a long way in a short time to promote various issues associated with the fire service. Created in 1989, the Congressional Fire Service Institute has worked to educate members of Congress about fire service issues.
This special-interest group is very involved with the Congressional Fire Services Caucus in the United States House of Representatives and has been influential in bringing forth policies to Congress that would make a lasting impression on fire services throughout the country. Their work has largely supported American fire departments.
Congressional Fire Service Institute Holds National Symposium and Dinner in DC
On April 18-19, 2018, the Congressional Fire Service Institute held its 30th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner in Washington, D.C. The symposium included a variety of seminars for educational purposes.
These educational seminars are integral to helping those in fire and emergency services expand their knowledge about a variety of rescue and public safety issues, while contemplating new perspectives to managing such incidents. Without educational symposiums like this one, it is difficult for the profession to continue to grow and prosper.
Several Firefighters and Organizations Honored during DC Dinner
On April 19, CFSI held a dinner to honor several firefighters and organizations for their work in the fire profession. The keynote speaker of the dinner was the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen M. Nielsen.
Her discussions helped to bridge the federal level to the local level of government, solidifying the notion that those in emergency services are on the same team at every level of government. The dinner also honored many important firefighters and organizations for their work in the fire service. The awards included:
- Steve Austin, International Association of Arson Investigators -- recipient of the Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award
- Anthony R. "Tony" O'Neil, National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications -- recipient of the Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award
- The International Society of Fire Service Instructors and the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute -- recipients of the CFSI/NFFF Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award
- City of Alpena (MI) Fire Department and the Illinois Fire Service Institute at the Illini Emergency Medical Services, University of Illinois -- recipients of the CFSI Masimo Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award
- Mike Weller, National Fire Academy -- recipient of the CFSI/IFSTA at OSU Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for Leadership in Fire Safety Education
Ultimately, it is important for people in any interest group to hold award dinners like this one, because it honors their work on a national level. Symposiums and dinners do so much to continue the conversation about the importance of the fire service and the various policy initiatives that need Congressional support.