Over the past 12 months I have been busy taking the NAHF to new levels. Since my inception as President, we have once again been recognized as a voice within the fire service. Below are some of the highlights of what we have accomplished.
- The NAHF was on the ground work with the Center for Disease Control on the Cancer Registry. We were instrumental in providing necessary feedback and information on how we should approach a national approach to the epidemic of cancer.
- The NAHF was on the ground work in working with the United States Fire Administration on reinventing the Executive Fire Officer Program. Today the EFO has a new format and this was done with the help of all of the Major fire service organizations to include the NAHF.
- The NAHF was on the ground work in providing feedback on how a new mental health bill presently in congress can help the fire service prevent the number of suicides facing the firefighters.
- Presently, several members of the NAHF participated in the National Fire Protection Association Forum for leadership. Members of the NAHF were able to provide valuable information to the NFPA on the future firefighter.
- Members of the NAHF participated in the National Volunteer Fire Council recruitment and retention grant that will help the volunteer fire service seek more personnel to this honorable profession.
- I was able to work with the International Association of Fire Chiefs on expanding on a new grant that will help with Diversity and Inclusiveness within the fire service.
- Last year, I was able to present on the value of mentoring young firefighters to take on a fire service leadership role.
In the near future, I will continue to work with all of the Major Fire Service Organizations on creating an MOU-Memorandum of Understanding on a new project called IDEAL. This project will last three years and will allow the NAHF to travel to all fifty states and teach large metropolitan fire departments and small fire departments on diversity and inclusiveness. The program will be a one day course that will teach the IDEAL concept, that we cannot reveal at this time. However, once we secure the funding, then we will be seeking volunteers to travel and present to the United States fire service.
Lastly, we are working with the Office of Public Engagement at the White House on how we can participate once again in White House Committees and activities.
In closing, I hope this little bit of information has given you a perspective on how we are growing as a voice in the fire service and how you can take a leadership role within the NAHF.
Manuel Fonseca, EFO, PM, M.Ed, MBA, EdD
President – National Association of Hispanic Firefighters
“Let’s Save Lives Together”