Fall is here, and soon we will be gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our friends and family. Let's take the time to enjoy these special moments and create new memories.

I am delighted to announce that the National Institute for Public Safety Health has completed its cancer survey. I kindly ask for your participation in this survey, as it holds immense importance for the Indiana Volunteer Fire Service and our Association.

The 2023 Indiana Legislative session marked a significant milestone for the Indiana volunteer fire service. The passing of HB1454 now enables volunteer fire departments, township fire departments, fire territories, and fire districts to seek additional funding from their county council. This breakthrough will greatly benefit the volunteer fire service, as county councils have the authority to approve resolutions providing local option income tax (LOIT) funds to eligible volunteer fire departments.

Moreover, this year, the state's budget has allocated 10 million dollars for turnout gear and self-contained breathing apparatus for volunteer fire departments. To access the interest form, please visit the IDHS website or search for "Next Level Firefighter" on Google.

I would like to inform you that the Ivy Tech First Responder scholarship has recently expired. I want to express my gratitude to President Ellspermann and her staff for their support in providing this scholarship opportunity to our members and for their assistance to the volunteer fire service over the past four years.

The state's Fire Chief Leadership Academy for 2023 has concluded. The next set of classes will take place from June 19-23 and August 5-9 in 2024. I strongly encourage all volunteer fire chiefs to explore and sign up for one of these classes.

Now is the time to start considering nominations for several state awards, which will be presented at the State Convention. Take a moment to nominate a deserving individual for one of these awards. Visit to make your nomination. The 2024 State Convention will be hosted at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel in June. Our convention committee is diligently working on preparations for this event.

During the Indiana Fallen Firefighters Annual Remembrance in September, we added twelve names to the Indiana Law Enforcement and Firefighter Memorial at our State Capitol. These brave individuals made the ultimate sacrifice for their departments and communities:

  • Louis E. Wiesler, Lafayette Fire Department - 1979
  • Jan P. Dawes, Van Buren Township Vol. Fire Department - 1988
  • Bill L. Walters, Waterloo-Grant Township Vol. Fire Department - 2021
  • Ronald K. Derrickson, Straughn Vol. Fire Department - 2021
  • Joe A. Strucker, Jr., Fairland Fire Department - 2021
  • Duane E. Erwin, Elberfield Fire Territory - 2021
  • Bruce W. DeArk, Jeffersonville Fire Department - 2022
  • Mark W. Rapp Sr., Indianapolis Fire Department - 2022
  • Terry L. Cassidy, Sparta Township Fire Department - 2022
  • Richard "Hank" Potter, Wayne Township Fire Department - 2022
  • Brian F. Gainey, Indianapolis Airport Fire Department - 2022
  • Joshua P. Ramirez, Pike Township Fire Department - 2022

If you have never visited the state memorial west of the statehouse, I urge you to take the time to do so during your next visit to Indianapolis.

In conclusion, I encourage all our members to attend a district meeting in your area. Please consult the calendar at to find the meeting schedule for your district.


Stay safe!