Hello Kansas Fire Services.
I hope this message finds you and yours doing well. It has been a busy last few months for the Association. Most counties and organizations in the state have lifted or eased their gathering restrictions. In person events are finally being held again. We were very fortunate to host one of the first in-person fire service events.
In April, we had our 133rd Annual KSFFA Conference in Mulvane. I was pleasantly surprised to see such a good turnout. We had approximately 85 delegates and about 20 alternates. We also had an excellent turnout of vendors for this school. We cannot thank them enough for their gracious support, and we gladly welcome them all to our next event. We had two excellent speakers, including: Dr. Rich Gasaway and Fire Engineering Editor in Chief, Bobby Halton. Both did an excellent job of presenting under the conditions of a spread out audience. We also were fortunate enough to have representation by the Kansas State Council of Firefighters. I must publicly apologize for the oversight of not getting them or the Kanas State Association of Fire Chiefs on the agenda to speak. It was an oversight on my part as we were getting rushed to complete it in time. We will have you all included again in the future.
The KSFFA Auxiliary also held a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle to raise funds for future scholarships. They also presented several scholarships for the 2021 school year. You are more than welcome to reach out to the Auxiliary President, Donna Pittaway, if you would like to make a further donation to the scholarship fund. I cannot say enough about the hospitality of the Mulvane Fire crews. Director Gordon Fell and Captain Lowell Ester, along with their staff, were a huge help in getting things going locally on short notice. Also, staff at the Kansas Star Event Center were very helpful. And finally, we cannot say thanks to Mary Napier enough for handling all of our registration concerns and issues. Mary has a wealth of knowledge on handling large events, and she was a huge help for us during this event.
Other happenings in the Kansas Fire World... We did have a relatively active grass fire season across the state. Many areas saw limited moisture, which helped to feed fire concerns for several days. As always, the Kansas fire service crews came together to perform as necessary and take care of protecting our communities. Job well done.
Legislatively, we had a couple of issues. We did help with the steering on some PTSD language. Law enforcement is the lead on this topic, and we are supporting them in the effort. However, the end of the session brought no movement on it. Our tag fee bill passed both chambers, but then got rolled into a larger bill that was controversial. The Governor vetoed it. Finally in the late May veto session, our bill, along with several others, was passed out of both chambers favorably. One last issue that will need to be watched over the summer will be the summer interims and what is done with the latest round of economic stimulus funds given to the state. It may be a possibility local entities could use those funds for furthering infrastructure enhancements. The fire service needs to watch and see what funding opportunities may arise.
Final note from the conference is that all the Executive Board members were re-elected. It is our pleasure to serve you all again. We do appreciate your support of our efforts. See all of you at a school near you! Stay safe.
Kevin Flory, KSFFA President