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Setting Priorities for 2023 Fire Meetings and Conferences

During this time of year, I start moving my recurring calendar appointments to ensure they cover the next year. It’s also a useful time for setting priorities for the coming year.

Many fire departments regularly review the schedules of industry meetings and conferences to ensure that everyone has enough information to build their next year’s calendars. In addition, committees and organizations review their members’ meeting attendance to determine their level of industry involvement over the past year and send notices to attend certain meetings or conferences.

This time of year is a good opportunity to determine your involvement in industry meetings and conferences and work on setting priorities. It’s also an opportunity to see what can be removed from your activity calendar to free up your schedule.

Why Setting Priorities for 2023 Is a Necessity

Attending conferences is useful, but setting your priorities is equally important.

As the world of fire and emergency management services (EMS) continues to evolve, more and more industry organizations have been created. These organizations typically have at least one or more conferences per year. But with all of these meetings and conferences taking place, setting priorities is important.

For instance, my 2022 meeting/conference calendar included these events:

  • January – International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) company officers section in-person board meeting
  • March – Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association winter symposium and legislative meeting
  • April – Congressional Fire Services Institute annual dinner and legislative meetings
  • April – Institution of Fire Engineers – USA Branch annual general meeting
  • May – Center for Public Safety Excellence accreditation course
  • June – IAFC strategic planning session
  • June – Institution of Fire Engineers Caribbean and South America Branch conference
  • July – Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association annual conference
  • August – Fire Rescue International Conference
  • September – National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer class
  • September – Firehouse Expo
  • October – Institution of Fire Engineers International General Assembly Meeting and Fire Conference 2022
  • November – Institution of Fire Engineers – USA Branch annual board meeting
  • December – IAFC Fire Rescue International Program planning committee meeting
  • December – Executive Fire Officer course

In addition to all of these meetings and conferences, I have around six standing monthly meetings. I’m not complaining, however; I enjoy all of these events very much and always network with new people at each event.

However, you can see from my bulleted list that there are a large number of different events that occur in the fire service and EMS. In addition, I do not belong to other existing fire and EMS organizations, or I would be asked to attend even more events!

RELATED: Recent Fire Conferences Showing Some Interesting Trends

Determining Your Bandwidth for Attending Any Type of Meeting

A few years ago, I recognized that I had exceeded my bandwidth for meeting attendance and began to streamline my involvement. To accomplish this goal, I looked at the organizations I had been involved with for many years and if my involvement had become stagnant.

Next, I reviewed what industry meetings or conferences would assist me as I progressed through the final years of my time in the fire department versus the organizations I was involved with in my past. Lastly, I checked what meetings and conferences aligned with my current role in the fire department.

As a result of this assessment, I gave up my involvement in the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Team, as well as my participation in the Safety and Health Committee of the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association. Departing the FEMA US&R team spared me from approximately 12 monthly meetings as well as three to four day trips. In addition, leaving freed my brain from having to keep up my knowledge of an entire federal system with its own legislation, policies, procedures and politics that involve 28 sub-organizations.

RELATED: Knowing Your Community Is Critical in Disaster Management

Your Organizational Involvement Should Support Your Professional Development

As I mentioned in my methods for pruning my activities and setting priorities, I focused on what groups, associations, and activities would best support me at my current level in the fire department hierarchy. I am highly fortunate to be involved in these organizations, but they must also support my daily activities. This mindset is only fair to my own community and my fire department, which provide support to me.

I can say that I have found a few instances this year to indicate that forming connections at meetings and conferences benefit our organization. For example, our community learned that a large country music festival would be coming to our town. After learning that this festival was based on a current music festival from a community in South Carolina, I contacted the fire chief of that community’s fire department who I knew through IAFC.

The South Carolina fire chief was able to provide a history of the event, incident action plans (IAPs) and other useful information. As a result, our fire department and other community organizations saved a large amount of time and effort by avoiding the need to re-invent a program that was already working somewhere else.

As we enter 2023, how will you focus on setting priorities? What work will you take on, but more importantly, what activities will you prune from your busy schedule?

Setting Priorities for 2023 Fire Meetings and Conferences is written by Dr. Randall W. Hanifen for

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What Will YOUR Family Do When Chinese Communists Disrupt America’s Food Supply?​

Survival Cave Food is here.

In these uncertain times, safeguarding your family’s well-being is paramount. As patriots deeply concerned about the international situation, particularly the potential for disruptions to the world’s food supply orchestrated by the Communist Party of China, you understand the urgency of preparedness. At Survival Cave Food, we share your concerns and offer a solution to ensure your loved ones are well-equipped to weather any storm.

Why Survival Cave Food?

Our commitment to providing the best survival foods stems from a deep understanding of the current geopolitical landscape. With the very real possibility of the Communist Party of China disrupting the global food supply chain, time is of the essence. Traditional grocery stores will see their shelves emptied within two days, while supply centers will be barren within a week. Survival Cave Food offers a range of premium emergency food solutions, meticulously crafted to provide long-term sustenance and security.

A Reliable Source in Unpredictable Times

With our focus on nutritious, long-lasting options, Survival Cave Food stands as your #1 source for the best survival foods. Our freeze-dried meals and high-quality canned meats ensure you have access to essential nutrients, even in the face of potential disruptions caused by international tensions or conflicts. Rest easy knowing your pantry is stocked with dependable options designed to sustain you through any crisis.

Supporting Your Journey of Self-Sufficiency

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At Survival Cave Food, we take pride in our American-made products. Our canned meats are not just meals; they’re lifelines crafted with care and integrity. Whether you’re stocking up for emergencies, planning outdoor adventures, or simply seeking convenient, nutritious options for your family, our products deliver on quality and reliability.

Join the Movement

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Order Now and Prepare with Confidence

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2A UNDER ATTACK! Credit Card Company To Start Tracking Gun Sales

2A UNDER ATTACK! Credit Card Company To Start Tracking Gun Sales

( – Discover will be the first credit card company to track gun transactions made by its customers starting in April 2023.

On September 11, 2022, Breitbart News reported Visa gave in to pressure from groups that want stricter gun laws and New York Democrats and agreed to use a new sales classification system to find transactions involving guns and ammunition.

According to the Associated Press, MasterCard and other significant credit companies have also agreed to alert authorities to gun transactions.

The Independent Journal Review (IJR) wrote an article on March 2, 2023, that said Discover will be the first credit card company to track gun purchases, starting in April.

IJR stated, “Starting in April, anyone using a Discover card to make a transaction in a gun store will have that purchase recorded.”

According to reports, Discover cards are used by more than 55 million people, so just one business has a lot of information about gun transactions.

Reuters says that Discover Financial Services was the first of its competitors to make a public announcement about when the initiative.

This is meant to help police investigate gun-related crimes, will start in February 2023.

Discover would “allow its network to track purchases at gun retailers come April,” making it the first among its peers.

According to Discover,

“We remain committed on maintaining our commitment to preserving and supporting legal purchases on our network while protecting cardholder privacy.”

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) authorized the code in September 2022.

A spokesman for the ISO said, “Users in the industry will decide whether or not to use the new merchant category code.”

Do credit card companies track gun purchases?

Copyright 2023,

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Evacuation Planning for Families

Emergencies can be highly unpredictable. You could be well-prepared for a crisis, but if there’s an earthquake and the house comes crumbling down… whatever food and water supplies you’ve stored will be destroyed.

Evacuation Planning for Families

Emergencies can be highly unpredictable. You could be well-prepared for a crisis, but if there’s an earthquake and the house comes crumbling down… whatever food and water supplies you’ve stored will be destroyed. The structural integrity of the house will be compromised, and you’ll not be able to stay there, you’ll have no choice but to evacuate. Based on this scenario, every prepper needs to have an evacuation plan. This article will give you a few points to bear in mind when formulating your plan.

  • Proximity
    During a catastrophe, roads may be impassable. The area could be flooded. Your car may be damaged, etc. How close will your shelter be?
    Do you have family, friends or even neighbors who are nearby and could take you in? Is it within walking distance or will you need a vehicle to get there?
  • Is your family aware?
    A plan is only good when everyone is onboard and knows what’s going on. What if your spouse is at work? If the kids are at a friend’s house, do they know what to do? Will everyone meet at home and evacuate, or will they meet you at the secondary location?
    During a crisis, there’s often little time to think. Contacting your family members may not be possible if they don’t have access to a phone. Any of these scenarios could happen, and they usually do. So, stay prepared and rehearse well.
  • Be detailed
    Ensure that all family members from the children to the adults have a laminated card with a list of all the family members and their contact information. If anyone is alone and injured, first responders will know how to reach the next of kin.
    If there’s panic and everyone is scrambling for their lives, as would happen in a tsunami, you may lose sight of a family member or two when the situation is chaotic. With these details, there’s a much higher chance of finding them sooner and getting to a safe place as a family as soon as possible.
  • Communication
    During a crisis there must be a plan of communication. If everyone is calling the same person for information, calls may not go through or be delayed. One way to do it if you have children, will be for one or two children to call the mother while another child calls the father.
    If calls don’t work, ask them to try texting. It will be good to have codes that everyone remembers so that you do not have to send long texts to get your message across.
  • Kits
    It goes without saying that every family member needs a bug out bag or a grab bag that they can grab and go in an emergency. The grab bag will contain supplies such as food, water and other items that will help you get through the next 72-hours without much hassle.
  • Pets
    If you have pets, you will need to evacuate them too. While you can’t move an aquarium, you can save your cat, dog, hamster or rabbit away from danger. You’ll need food supplies for them in your grab bag, and a portable carrier to transport the pet.
    It’s good to bring a tent or small shelter for them to stay warm and dry in. Evacuation shelters may not allow pets. If you must leave them outside, they’ll be sheltered, and you can still check on them at regular intervals.

Observe these tips when creating your evacuation plan. It’s imperative that you have a good plan and a good support network. Get to know the people around your neighborhood well. These are the people who will most likely be able to help you in an emergency, and vice-versa. No man is an island.

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