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KSFFA President Article

January, 2013
In the wake of several recent tragedies please take the time to pray for the victims and their families of the senseless violence and unthinkable acts.  The KSFFA extends our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of Topeka police officers, Corporal David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly, who recently gave their lives in the line of duty.  We also need to keep all law enforcement, EMS and fire department responders who valiantly respond to these incidents in our hearts and prayers as well.
Another legislative season is gearing up and the KSFFA Executive Board along with our lobbyist John Federico are hard at work identifying issues that will affect the Kansas Fire Service.  This session promises to be an interesting one given the number of new faces in Topeka after the last elections.  We will again host our Legislative Reception on February 6, 2013 at Topeka’s historic fire station number 2 at 719 SW Van Buren Street beginning at 5pm to 7pm.  This is one block north of the State Capitol.  I highly encourage everyone who can attend to please be there by 4:30 so that we can be ready to welcome our legislators.  Last year was very well attended by about 75 legislators and 50 fire service personnel from across the state.  We do need to have a firefighter from every legislative district present because that is who the legislators really do want to see, someone from their home area.  Please attend this important event if at all possible.  With so many new faces in Topeka this year it is imperative we let them know who we are and how they can best serve us!  If I failed to mention, we will also have FREE FOOD!  Please do RSVP to  so that we will be able to have plenty to go around.  Also, if you have not signed up for our Legislative CapWiz tool to track legislation affecting the Kansas fire Service, I highly recommend you do so.  On our website, click the link KS Legislative CapWiz .  This is a free service to you and only generates email when we need you to take action or notice of legislation affecting us all.
Important events remind me of our upcoming KSFFA 125th Annual Conference in Topeka, Kansas on April 25, 26 and 27.  Please make plans now to attend the historic event.  The Soldier Township Fire Department is finalizing plans and information should be on our website  detailing the events and schedule for the conference.  Conference credentials packets are also being mailed from the KSFFA and will also have all the information you will need to register.  Every member department is allowed to have four voting delegates attend.  Alternate delegates and spouses are always welcome and I know there will be plenty of activities to keep everyone busy.  Our KSFFA Auxiliary will present the annual scholarship winners and also raise funds for the scholarship during the President’s auction at the banquet on Friday evening.  If you know of someone eligible for a KSFFA Auxiliary scholarship, please send them to our website under the “Info” tab and download the application form.  It is a simple form and process to benefit our family members and also firefighters who are furthering their education.  Again, please check our website for information on the 125th Annual Conference and all that will be offered.  I know we will have a record turnout for this historic event.
I want to thank those that have responded to our SAFER grant project of reimbursing departments for bunker gear for new volunteers.  So far, this has been a resounding success!  We still want you to participate if you have new volunteers.  Simply send an email to  and Pam will send you all the information you will need.  We also have money available for physicals and explorer programs along with resources to assist you in recruitment of volunteer firefighters.  Please let us know how we can help you!
When this article is published in the FIREWIRE the FRA Seminar in Salina on January 12 will have concluded with what I think will be record turnout. We changed the timing this year from 1pm to 5pm so that we would not lose momentum taking a lunch break. This might also allow firefighters that don’t normally attend due to the distance a chance to see what they have been missing. John Boyd from the Kansas Insurance Department will have an information packed presentation as usual and many vendors and insurance representatives will be on hand to deliver information and showcase products.
I close as I always do with the simple promise to keep each and every one of you as informed as I possibly can and to provide the very best service you deserve.  Your Executive Board is at your service and we do want to hear from you.  Our contact information is posted on the website   , we always welcome any suggestion and stand ready to answer any question or concern you may have.  I look forward to seeing you at a regional fire school or one of the events mentioned in this article.
JL Ellis, President KSFFA