TAMPA 2 – Recognizing Progress, Committing to the Future for Firefighter Health and Safety
Over 350 members of the fire and emergency services gathered in Tampa, Florida this week for a summit on firefighter health and safety. While the event commemorated the tenth anniversary of the historical summit that developed the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, the focus was on the future and advancing an agenda for the next ten years to reduce the number of deaths and injuries in the fire and emergency services.
The Tampa 2 summit was organized by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Many of the participants shared their knowledge of the first Tampa summit and offered their thoughts on the progress that has been made since the 2004 gathering. But in addition, there were many fire service officials who offered new perspectives. They represent the future leaders of the fire service. The assimilation of ideas expressed between different generations of officials was inspiring to hear.
All the major fire service organizations participated in the Tampa 2 summit, including the Congressional Fire Services Institute. Their representatives spoke in consonant voices. Much was said of the need for cultural change – whether in the career service or the volunteer service – and there was much consensus that the best place to start is inside the rig or at the kitchen table.
Among the many participants, acknowledgements should be extended to our federal partners from the United States Fire Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology for attending the summit. USFA Administrator Ernie Mitchell was a constant presence at the summit, participating in group discussions and delivering a presentation at a full session. Dr. Dan Madrzykowski, representing NIST, was also an active participant as were other federal officials.
The final message that comes out of Tampa 2 must resonate with individual firefighters – that’s where the rubber meets the road. As one of the major fire service organizations, CFSI will continue to do its part to deliver that message – a message that will continue to emphasize attitude, behavior, awareness, and commitment – until the next generation of fire service leaders reconvene for Tampa 3 in 2024.
The Congressional Fire Services Institute and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will be conducting a Town Hall forum on May 1st that will address some of the outcomes of the Tampa 2 summit. This forum will be held in conjunction with the 26th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner and Seminars Program. Please click here to learn more about the forum and the entire agenda for the dinner and seminars program.
By continuing to keep the focus on firefighter health and safety, together we can ensure that “Everyone Goes Home.”