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  • Until We Meet Again

  • As most of you know by now, our friend and major contributor to the American Fire Service has left us. Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines (retired Chief from Fairfax County,VA) passed away on Sunday, April 12, 2015.

    I met Glenn when he was still active in Fairfax. He and Burt Phelps were my instructors when I took my first 6 day class at the National Fire Academy 25 years ago. We stayed in touch in between my trips to Emmitsburg and had many talks about the fire service in general. Even then he was thinking on a national level. We’d cover the gamut from staffing, to safety, to you name it. His uncanny ability to listen to every single word and say nothing was a virtue. He’d collect his thoughts, look me right in the eye and then give me his pearls of wisdom. He always prefaced his words with “I don’t know much about this but I think that…..” Did I mention he was extremely humble too? As time went on Glenn moved into a contract position with the USFA and spear-headed the Fire Act program. I clearly remember going to read the applications the first year (2001) and working with a group for 6 days in a classroom in Building J. He was there every minute making sure we crossed every T and dotted every I. The thing was, we were there batting clean-up (the 4th week) and the staff was tired. By the end of day 5, we were all weary and bleary-eyed. He stood in front of the room and repeatedly cheered us on and told us that the last application was as important as the first. He was quietly relentless and kept us going.

    His dry sense of humor was precious. Sometimes you didn’t know if he was serious or pulling your leg until he gave you that famous Gaines smile. You had to watch him carefully, because sometimes he’d give you the smile as he walked away.

    As time went on, we’d see each other when I was teaching a class at the NFA. I always asked him to stop by my class and talk to the students. I’d tell him, “I like when USFA royalty stops by.” He’d turn red and say, “I’ll be there, just tell me what time”, and he never failed to appear. We got a bit closer when I took the Chief of Operations position on the Command Staff for the Memorial Weekend for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Glenn was a huge supporter of the NFFF and never missed a national ceremony. We’d take time to catch up at the NFFF planning meetings and during the weekend itself. Always on an even keel and never rattled even when things seemed to be “unraveling” at FEMA and the USFA. He’d tell me his strategy on how he was going to tackle the latest Federal debacle (usually the budget), and I’d offer to help him as much as I could though the NFA Alumni Association. He’d turn me down, but put me on stand-by. I’d follow up with him but he seemed to always work it out with Dr. Onieal and staff at his side. He got it done with his team. I never heard him say “I did it.” It was always “we did it.”

    He genuinely cared about his people when he served in Fairfax, about the people at the USFA/NFA, about the American firefighter, about the fire service survivors and about the American people. He simply cared.

    We’ve lost a national treasure. Glenn was a firefighter’s firefighter and a chief’s chief. Good bye my friend, rest in peace. Until we meet again...

    Ronnie K

  • NFA/NFP Contract Support Group Presented Award

  • Photo of Tracy Boyd, Site Manager for GTI/ZAI, being presented the NFAAA BOard of Director's Award of Excellence by Ron Kanterman.
    NFAAA Administrator, Ron Kanterman presented the Board of Director's Award of Excellence to the NFA/NFP Contract Support Group on February 12, 2014. These are one of the "behind the scenes" groups that makes our stay at the NFA what it is. They support the classrooms, printing, supplies and a host of other things. Ceremonies were held in the office of Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. Pictured with Ron is Tracy Boyd, Site Manager for GTI Federal. Also in attendance were Supt. Denis Onieal, Deputy Supts. Kiefer and Neale, NFP’s, P&I Branch, Section Chief, Sandy Facinoli and other USFA staff members along with bosses from GTI and ZAI, a partnering contractor. Nice work everyone and thanks from the NFAAA!

  • 2013 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend

  • Photos of the 2013 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend

    This year, the fire service honored our fallen in a beautiful ceremony held at the PNC Sports Arena at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. Due to the Government shutdown, the hallowed grounds of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was inaccessible for the Sunday Service; however, the families were able to view the Memorial for a brief period of time Saturday afternoon. This was granted due to the efforts of the Honorable Steny Hoyer and Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell.

    The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation staff, the Command Post members, the Ops Teams, and hundreds of volunteers that came from all parts of the country truly performed nothing less than a miracle to pull off what was thought to be the impossible. Months of planning meetings and the Incident Action Plan were voided due to the NETC closure. The new IAP changed minute by minute, but nevertheless, it was a magnificent performance by all. Sleepless nights and long, grueling days of planning and moving proved once again, that nothing is impossible to the fire service when honoring those who answered their last call. The 81 fallen heroes were memorialized with the same dignity and respect as always, and their loved ones proud to be there to see their beloved firefighter honored.

    Yes…even with all of the last minute changes:

    • The Honor Flag was received with grace and displayed.
    • The families were welcomed in the usual, graceful NFFF customary way.
    • Grief counseling sessions were performed.
    • Children’s activities were set up.
    • Families were escorted to the Memorial grounds.
    • The Saturday evening Luminary Service was held at the Basilica.
    • Bells tolled across America during the Sunday service; and
    • Each family respectfully and lovingly received a flag and rose when their firefighter’s name was called.
    What other organization except you, the fire service, could have pulled off such a monumental feat? Be very proud of who you are and what you do…you were represented well brothers and sisters!

  • NFA Offers 2 for 1 Classes

  • The NFA has a new offering where you can take two 6 day courses back to back during one trip to the campus on one stipend, It's the best bargain this side of Washington, DC! They have paired like courses within the specific curricula so you can get two for one within your area of interest.

    Click here for more details and spread the word!

  • Congratulations to the 2012 Outstanding Research Award Recipients!

  • The Board of Directors and the Members of the NFAAA would like to offer the following EFO graduates a collective "tip-o-the-helmet" on a job well done in being the recipients of the 2012 Outstanding Research Award:

    Battalion Chief David Cohen
    Mountain Brook Fire Dept., AL

    Captain Lauren Johnson
    Dallas Fire Rescue, TX

    Administrator Scott Somers
    Mesa Fire & Medical Department, AZ

    Battalion Chief Steven Brooker
    Cal Fire/Riverside Fire Department, CA

    Mr. Christopher Watson
    Austin Fire Department, TX

    Asst. Chief Michael Dell'Orfano
    South Metro Fire Rescue Authority, CO

  • Buckle Up and Slow Down

  • As the 2012 LODD statistics are released, there was an unprecedented rise in vehicle accidents and crashes. We had more than double the amount of incidents in 2012 than in the past year or two. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation's Life Safety Initiatives, Everyone Goes Home® program discusses driving safety in depth. On behalf of the NFAAA Board of Directors, I am charging all of you with making a concerted effort to get your people to buckle up and slow down this year. SEATBELTS, SPEED & INTERSECTIONS!

    For the entire USFA 2012 LODD Summary report, click here.

    Thanks, be safe, and have a happy and healthy New Year.

    Chief Ron Kanterman
    Administrator for the NFAAA Board of Directors

  • Important Changes to the NFA
    Applications Process

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is in the process of eliminating the use of the Social Security Number (SSN) when applying for FEMA training.

    National Fire Academy students interested in applying for FY 2013 on-campus (10-/6-/2-day) and off-campus (10- and 6-day) courses will need to register for an interim Student Identification Number (SID) that will be used in place of the SSN. This number can be obtained through the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) Training Administration System (CTAS).

    Click here to learn more about the new applications process.

  • Fires in Police Cars

  • NFAAA Board member Captain John Fugate of the Houston Arson Bureau has posted a fire investigation report regarding fires in the trunks of police patrol cars all over the U.S. Can you guess what may have been the cause? (Hint-They ruled out electrical wiring, warning light package and the radio system.) To download the report, click here.

  • NFAAA Members Help Make 31st Annual Memorial Weekend A Success

  • Revolving photos of a young boy being presented with an American Flag and rose and the Sea of Blue at the 2012 Memorial Weekend This year, NFAAA members along with 1,000 other volunteers worked to help make the 31st annual Memorial Weekend an incredible success. There are hundreds of moving parts that make the weekend what it is and we were very much a part of it. We honored 85 fallen firefighters from 2011 whose names were enshrined onto the National Memorial. Sunday's service was relocated to Mount St. Mary's College due to inclement weather. In short, we moved the campus to the Mount and then back after the ceremony proving once again, that the American Fire Service can do anything!

    Click here to see more images from this incredible weekend!

  • 9/11 Remembered

  • Photo of the NFAAA's wreath displayed at the National Fallen Firefighters MemorialAll of us made a solemn promise to never forget the 9/11/01 murders of our brothers and all others that took place at the WTC in New York, at the Pentagon in Virginia, and on a field in Shanksville, PA. In honoring our promise again this year, the NFAAA provided a wreath that was placed at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. A moving, "student run" service included bagpipes, speeches, and a moment of silence. The NFAAA has provided a wreath every year since 9/11/02 and will continue to do so in the future.

  • USFA Publications Center presented with the
    Board of Directors - Award of Excellence

  • Carole Dingle, Tom Sweeney, Jr. and Publications Center Manager Patti Odbert receive the NFAAA Board of Directors-Award of Excellence from Chief Ron Kanterman On June 8, 2012, NFAAA Administrator, Chief Ron Kanterman went to the NFA to present the inaugural "Board of Directors-Award of Excellence" to the USFA Publications Center. Pictured left to right are Carole Dingle, Tom Sweeney Jr., Patti Odbert, Publications Center Manager, and Chief Kanterman. Also in attendance were U.S. Deputy Fire Administrator, Chief Glenn Gaines, NFA Superintendent, Dr. Denis Onieal, Deputy Superintendents, Rob Neale and Dr. Kirby Kiefer, and executives of the contract companies the staff work for, along with other members of the USFA.

  • Minutes of the 2014 Board and General Membership Meetings in Indianapolis, IN

  • Members of the National Fire Academy Alumni Association (NFAAA) and the NFAAA Board of Directors recently gathered in Indianapolis, IN to hold their annual meetings. Click here to review the official minutes from these meetings.

  • Minutes of the 2013 Board and General Membership Meetings in Indianapolis, IN

  • Members of the National Fire Academy Alumni Association (NFAAA) and the NFAAA Board of Directors recently gathered in Indianapolis, IN to hold their annual meetings. Click here to review the official minutes from these meetings.

  • Minutes of the 2012 Board and General Membership Meetings in Indianapolis, IN

  • Members of the National Fire Academy Alumni Association (NFAAA) and the NFAAA Board of Directors recently gathered in Indianapolis, IN to hold their annual meetings. Click here to review the official minutes from these meetings.