Safety Matters Newsletter               December 2016 Edition
The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author. They do not reflect in any way those of the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association unless specifically stated.
FFMIA logo
From the President

WOW, what a difference a year makes.  The conference was well attended with over two hundred registrants and with up to four educational sessions occurring at the same time.  If you missed the conference, you missed some good learning opportunities and great fellowship.

The Daytona Speedway provided an exceptional tour.  The tour began with the designers highlighting their thought process behind the Performance Based Design and alternative means and methods used to design the project.  The challenges of undertaking the project and bring it to completion while continuing to operate the speedway was insightful.  The tour of the facility which included the "race control" provided exceptional viewing opportunities that made even a non-race fan like me excited about attending the next Daytona 500.  If you missed this year's conference, plan on attending November 5th -9th, 2017 in Innisbrook next year.
During the conference, the State Fire College conducted a listening session providing an updated draft of the Fire Inspector Curriculum.  There is a rule hearing workshop planned at Fire Rescue East related to the curriculum.  Please provide input to the college on your vision of the Fire Inspector curriculum and training for the future Fire Inspector.  It's been over twenty years since it has been updated and may be that long before it is looked at again.

OTY Awards
The awards night named our annual award winners.  Congratulations to Fire Marshal of the Year Ted Ross, Tice Fire Protection District and Fire Inspector of the Year Jackie De La Osa, North Collier Fire Control & Rescue District.  Another special recognition (which was a surprise) was bestowed on Karl Thompson.  It had been four years since the last recognition, and it has only been bestowed on seventeen others thru the history of FFMIA.  Karl was awarded the special distinction of "Fellow" of FFMIA.  Karl has an impressive resume and was overwhelmingly approved by the Fellows and BOD for the distinction.  Congratulations to Karl!!! Thank you for your continued work around the state and nationally for life safety.  

Holiday Safety
The Christmas lights are up all around and that means Christmas Tree Stands are set up and hosting a flurry of activity.  The weather is cooler (thank goodness), the malls are busier, and there are more vehicles traveling the roadways.  This time of year brings increased risk of fires in residential structures (homes).  According to NFPA, an average of 210 Christmas tree fires are reported each year from 2010 -2014 with sixty one percent of these occurring during the month of December.  NFPA further stated that these fires caused 6 civilian deaths, 16 civilian injuries and $16.2 million dollars in property damage per year.  Additionally, decorative lighting with low voltage was involved in 35% of home Christmas tree fires.  This is the time of year to be even more aware of these hazards as the celebration of the season continues.  Be vigilant, see something, say something....

On Behalf of the Board of Directors Merry Christmas!!

FFMIA logo
From the Executive Director's Desk

All I can say about the 2016 FFMIA annual Conference is WOW! If you missed it, plan on attending next year. We will be at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor from November 5-9, 2017. This year we had over 220 paid attendees. Twenty (20) exhibitors and fourteen (14) sponsorships allowed us to take this year to a new level. We thank everyone for your outstanding show of support and look forward to an even better event in 2017. By the way, this will be the 40 th anniversary of the founding of FFMIA. It is sure to be a great event!

Help Wanted
One area that we need your help in is registration for events. It has been noted that many folks wait until the last minute to register for events. This puts a strain on our instructors who work hard to be prepared for classes and assure they have adequate handout materials. It is also tough on our regional directors and staff who are trying to find accommodations based on the number of attendees anticipated. Most classes are noticed 30 days or so in advance. Please try to register for classes well in advance of the week they are offered.

A big thank you goes out to all who have renewed membership and are becoming better acquainted with our Wild Apricot membership management system. This is the second year that we have sent membership renewal notices out electronically and the response has primarily been positive. Many of you have contacted me and we have been able to walk through a few simple steps to guide you where you needed to be. As we grow as an organization, this type of automation will become even more essential for our time management controls. Please pass along my thanks to any administrative staff who assists in this arena, but may not receive this message.

Finally, as the holidays approach Tammy and I want to wish each and every one of you a very safe and happy holiday season. We are blessed to be able to continue to serve the FFMIA family and we look forward to a very successful 2017.

Sincerely yours in a fire safe State of Florida,

Jon Pasqualone
Executive Director

October's fire prevention month is now over, however, we all know we continuously provide fire safety throughout the year. Now we look forward to the holidays with family and friends. Let's make this season a time for reminding our communities about safety while cooking, decorating and keeping warm. Even though the holidays are right around the corner, your FAFLSE board and task force members are working hard to provide the best 2017 conference ever.   Save the date: June 20-23. Soon the updated scholarship form, public educator of the year form and registration will be placed on our website. Take a look at the new website design. It's much easier to navigate and more attractive. With that, I wish you all a very happy holiday season.

Article submitted by:
Barbara Weyel
Children's Burn Camp a Huge Success 

Well this was my first official burn camp as the Camp Director for Camp
Tequesta, which was held at the Florida Elk's Youth Camp in Umatilla from Thursday, November 9th to Sunday, November 12th.
This year the theme was "Rewind", we took past camp themes and combined them into the planned events over the 4 days. We added some new activities this year which include a hayride thanks to Craig Brotheim, retired Fire Marshal from South Trail Fire District and Gary Furdell,
Fire Protection Specialists from AHCA. This turned out to be the hit of the camp for the campers and the buddies were also thankful that they did not have to walk those long distances. Bob Salvaggio, Plan Reviewer with the City of Naples Fire Department along with his wife Tami were a hit among the adults. Tami a professional therapist, offered massages to the hard working volunteers with excellent results and many thanks.
Saturday is normally our open day where we receive visits from the Shand's Helicopter along with our brothers and sisters from the Fire and Iron out of Pasco and Pinellas Counties. Fire and Iron is consistently one of our largest contributor's year after year. Sophie Noelle a 16 year old up and coming country singer was nice enough to come and entertain everyone during our lunch, she was fantastic!! Susan Lindenmuth, PIO from Estero Fire Rescue brought Ember their Fire Service Public Relations Dalmatian to visit with the campers, the kids loved her. On Saturday, our last night of camp we surprised the kids with an Improv show from the SAK Theater Company out of Orlando. The actors involved the audience which made for funny and interesting acts.
I would not be remised if I did not thank the backbone of the Children's Burn Foundation and Camp Tequesta, the Volunteers who without them this foundation would not exist. The entire organization is made up of Volunteers and other then some small administrative costs, the entire amount of monies raised goes right back into the camp.
My goal for 2017 is to work towards getting the camp accredited, this will elevate the organization to the next level and should help when contributors are looking at the benefits of the organization. I will also be reaching out to the fire service and other areas of the community trying to market the organization so that other families with burn survivors will have an opportunity to attend this yearly event.
If you should know of a burn survivor or ever come across one during your daily fire service duties, please do not hesitate to contact the organization at or call me directly.
Article Submitted By,
Chuck Akers, Camp Director
Camp Tequesta

A quick overview of things you may have missed from the 68th Annual Conference:

It was a great week in Daytona Beach. Over 240 people were in attendance throughout the week. We had a very successful vendor showcase with 20 vendors present. The raffle was a great success and a lot of fun. Field trip to the Daytona International Speedway was met with the actual architect for the project along with key decision makers on race day event staff. The educational sessions were well received and well attended. Fireworks were presented with great weather. A new Fellow (Karl Thompson) was welcomed. Overall it was a great week!
  • Legislative Position Paper- Passed - To be posted on web site soon
  • Budget - Passed - All services remain the same with a slight increase in revenue/expenditures due to successful conferences
  • By-Laws Amendments - Passed - Significant change in appointment of a Statewide Regional Director - More to come on that
  • Dues Increase - The Board of Directors authorized a $10 increase in annual regular membership dues Effective 1/1/18. The new dues will be $75. In 2018.
Congratulations to:

Chief Ted Ross - Tice Fire District
Fire Marshal of the Year
Jackie de la Osa - North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District
Fire Inspector of the Year

Article submitted by:

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