VFPA Spring Legislative Up-date / Petition Support Needed!
The VFPA Legislative and Code Committee found itself working overtime (just not getting paid the overtime rate!) this past legislative session. Many bills were presented before the House and Senate that not only directly effected the fire and ems community, but also the world of fire and building related code enforcement. VFPA took many positions and attempted to communicate either the negative or positive impact on the code enforcement community should these bills move forward. While successful in some attempts, others did not prove fruitful.
Recently, the 2015 edition of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC) was published in the Virginia Register on April 30, 2018. This marks the beginning of final action phase, and the beginning of a 60-day final adoption period. VFPA has worked with our fire and ems stakeholders to identify potential concerns in this process. These concerns have been listed on the homepage of our website for your review. The VFPA Legislative and Code Committee wishes to encourage Virginia’s Fire Service and Code Enforcement Communities to remain involved in this process and encourage those concerned with the proposed regulations to provide a written comment to the BHCD (the regulatory authority) via their agency contact person Kyle Flanders, Senior Policy Analyst, Department of Housing and Community Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing address: Main Street Centre, 600 East Main Street, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23219. VFPA has started a online petition for interested parties to sign in support of stopping this process. This was discussed at length at the 2018 Annual Conference and Meeting in VA Beach. A copy of the presentation, petition and support materials can be found below. To sign the online petition, please visit: View and Sign the Online Petition Here
Additionally, after a 2014 mulch fire at an apartment complex that caused more than $1 million in damages, the city of Harrisonburg passed an ordinance requiring any combustible landscaping material, including mulch or wood chips, to be removed at least 18 inches away from a building. The ordinance was opposed by business owners, who said it would impose financial and operational hardships. After the General Assembly passed a bill that would have invalidated the ordinance, the city reworked it to prohibit reapplying mulch or other flammable materials. The current Harrisonburg ordinance was upheld in a court decision.
Two bills were proposed in the House and Senate this past session which would allow any previously existing apartment, condominium, business, school, or hotel to continue to add mulch to an existing landcover, regardless of how close it is to a building. We are pleased that the Governor has vetoed this bill!
Virginia Fire Chiefs Association Releases Position on Egress Planning for Active Shooter Events
Members of VFPA have been working with the Virginia Fire Chief Association to develop a list of recommendations to address the egress issues facing educational facilities for active shooter and hostile events. To view the full document, click: Emergency Egress plan reponse for schools Shootings.pdf
National Fire Academy Announces Virginia Weekend
To learn more, click the link below:
VFPA Welcomes the Newly Appointed VDFP Executive Director
Governor-Elect Ralph Northam has selected Mike Reilly to join his administration as the next Executive Director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.
Michael T. Reilly previously served over 36 years with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, retiring in February 2015 at the rank of Deputy Chief. As Deputy Chief, Michael held command level positions as Operations Chief, Chief Training Officer and Chief of the Fire Marshal’s Office. In addition, Michael also served for over 25 years as the Safety Officer with FEMA and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance’s U.S. Urban Search And Rescue Team. As Safety Officer, he responded to missions around the world including: the Pentagon on 9/11, the 1999 Taiwan and Turkey earthquakes, the U.S. Embassy bombing in Kenya, among many others. In April of 2015, Michael was recalled to Active Duty, retiring in April 2017 from reserve military duty at the rank of CWO-4, and was the Senior Reserve Special Agent with the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) with 30 years’ experience. He conducted criminal investigations and protective service operations as the CGIS small arms instructor and liaison with I.C.E. and the NOVA Environmental Crimes Task Force. While the Fire Marshal for Fairfax County, Michael provided expert testimony to legislative bodies on the impacts of bills and resolutions. He also served on the Virginia Fire Services Board for eight years after being appointed by Governor Mark Warner in 2004 and Governor Kaine in 2008.
The VFPA is looking forward in working with Chief Riley and wishes him the best of luck in this endeavor!
Jack A. Proctor VBCA Releases 2018 Training Schedule
The Jack A. Proctor Virginia Building Code Academy (VBCA) just released it's 2018 training schedule. View Schedule Here
All classes are posted and open for registration on the VBCA On-Line Registration System at https://dmz1.dhcd.virginia.gov/BFR/Main/LogOn.aspx. To meet the increased demand the VBCA has increased the Core offerings to six times a year. Core will run once every eight to 10 weeks with classes offered twice in each semester location. In addition the VBCA is pleased to announce its newest certification class, Elevator Inspection, to the permanent schedule. This three-day class is specific to those seeking certification as an elevator inspector however is open to all looking to increase their knowledge of this area. For more information on this or any other class please contact the VBCA office at VBCA@dhcd.virginia.gov or visit the VBCA On-Line Registration System https://dmz1.dhcd.virginia.gov/BFR/Main/LogOn.aspx.
Life Member Ernest H. Little
Honored at 2017 Fall Conference
President Elaine Gall presented Life Member Ernie Little with a Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication and support of the mission, vision and goals of the VFPA and his service to the Commonwealths Fire Services.
Ernie has served the Commonwealths Fire Service for over 47 years, starting as a volunteer member of the Sterling Fire Department in Loudoun County, VA in 1970. Ernie became a paid member of the Prince William Fire and Rescue Department in 1974. Serving Prince William for 38 years, Ernie retired at the rank of Battalion Chief. Taking only 16 months off, Ernie returned to work as Plans Examiner for the Prince William County Fire Marshals Office and continues to serve the Department.
Ernie joined VFPA in 1975 and served the Board of Directors as secretary and long-term treasure. Due to his dedication and support of the VFPA, Ernie was granted "Life Membership" in May of 2015. Ernie has been involved in the development and delivery of the VDFP/VFMA Fire Inspector Program and has instructed various fire inspection and plans review programs across the Commonwealth.
Jeremy is the fire marshal and fire official for the city of Winchester Fire Rescue Department. Jeremy has worked for the city for the past 16 years and has progressed through the ranks from Firefighter/EMS Specialist, Sergeant, Assistant Fire Marshal, and Fire Marshal. Jeremy started his fire rescue service career as a volunteer in Frederick County, Virginia at Greenwood Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company where he currently holds the position of Assistant Chief.
Jeremy first got involved with VFPA in 2012 when he was elected as a Delegate at-Large to the Board of Directors. Jeremy was elected to the position of Secretary in 2013 and began the process of upgrading and revitalizing the association‘s website. He held the position of secretary until being elected as 2nd Vice President in the spring of 2017.
Latest Edition of VFPA News
The Virginia Fire Prevention is excited to present "VFPA News"; a quarterly newsletter to keep the membership of VFPA and Virginia's Fire Service and Code Enforcement Communities up-to-date on the activities of VFPA and partnering organizations. Please feel free to share this with your co-workers, email list, suppression personnel, building department, etc.! Even print a copy and place it on the bulletin board, coffee stand, break room table... Help us spread the word of VFPA!