CFFJAC 11th Biennial Conference
As it approached three decades of leadership in fire service training and recruitment, the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFFJAC) looked to the future in 2011.
The CFFJAC 11th Biennial Conference, held this November in Cathedral City, saw the roll out of two creative new initiatives aimed at building a better, more qualified and more diverse fire service.
The CFFJAC’s Commission on Recruiting Women for the Fire Service unveiled a new mentoring program, designed to help the next generation of firefighters succeed in this demanding job. Conference participants also got the opportunity to review the latest module in CFFJAC’s groundbreaking Terrorism Consequence Management (TCM) online training program.
Nearly 300 chiefs, labor presidents, training officers and Sub-JAC members participated in the conference – all united in the CFFJAC's ongoing mission of creating excellence in the fire service.
"The level of participation in this conference is a great thing for the future of our profession," said CFFJAC Chair Dan Terry. "At a time of great challenges, it is inspiring to see labor and management coming together with one goal -- creating excellence in the fire service."
Befitting a conference built around “moving forward together,” conference participants had the opportunity to hear from a “futurist”. Author and speaker David Zach spoke of the technological challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. Other speakers included former NFL player Everson Walls, who spoke of service and self-sacrifice. A former Pro-Bowler, Walls earned notice for donating a kidney to a gravely-ill friend and former player.
Another highlight of the conference was the presentation of the “Partnership for Success” award to Alameda County Fire Department and Alameda County Firefighters Local 55. The award is presented at every CFFJAC Conference to honor departments that demonstrate a special commitment to the labor-management partnership at the heart of the CFFJAC’s mission.
In addition to introducing the Mentoring and TCM programs, workshop sessions also focused on our technological future and the inter-generational challenges facing the fire service with the rise of “Generation Y”.
Highlighting the pre-conference agenda was the biennial golf tournament and banquet benefitting the California Firefighters Memorial. This year’s guest speaker was Dwight Hicks, a former defensive star with the San Francisco 49ers and the Toronto Argonauts. The well-attended golf tournament and banquet brought a record contribution to the California Fire Foundation.