Mid-Year meeting in Cedar Falls April 6

   Hello, 2024 is under way and it’s starting off to be a good year. The mild winter weather is welcome to most but hard on the communities that have winter events and welcome the snowmobiling community into their towns. I know my snowmobile hasn’t made it out of the shed yet and it’s not looking like it will this year. The last couple months I’ve had the opportunity to present some years of service awards to our dedicated members. I traveled to Hubbard, Battle Creek, and last weekend I presented some right here at home to three of my own firefighters totaling up 115 years of service. Congratulations to everyone celebrating a milestone this year. 

   The budget meeting this year did not bring good news as we continue to struggle to make ends meet. We are caught in a constant battle of keeping expenses and dues down, but the expenses continue to rise and the dues will have to do the same. I would like to see the membership rise but the numbers of volunteers throughout the state is declining little by little. The deficit we’re looking at this year $37,000. At $17 dues that’s roughly 108 fire departments at 20 members each to make up for that shortfall. We will continue to recruit new members but there is no way we can get enough to even out our deficit. The other option is cut costs. I have looked through this budget many times and it’s not possible to provide the current services and programs to our members at the income the $17 dues provide. There will be a dues increase proposed and voted on at Mid-Year. I ask that you please support the dues increase and if you have questions reach out to a board member to discuss it.   

   Firefighter Day on the hill went well as we had some good conversations with both leaders and many of our legislators at the Chili Cook Off. We continue to push the Length of Service Awards Program for volunteer emergency responders. We also proposed the need for full time instructors at the training bureau to fill the need of good instructors to serve our firefighters. Throughout the session we will watch, support or contest all the bills that pertain to emergency responding. Please follow along and express your opinion when you have one. It’s you the IFA members that we represent and it’s important that we do what’s right for you. 

   Mid-Year is just a month away and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Chuck Raska,

IFA Past President 





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