IAFC - VCOS Section

IAFC - VCOS Section VCOS is the largest special interest section of the IAFC that provides education and resources to the leaders of volunteer and combination fire departments

To represent the interests of all volunteer and combination fire/rescue/EMS agencies. We will be a dynamic organization, characterized by our integrity, customer focus and membership development, with value placed on people and the superior utilization of technology. We will excel by creating educational programs, through unrivaled networking, and by helping VCOS members further their success and reach their potential.

Mission: To provide chiefs and chief officers who manage volunteers within a volunteer or combination fire, rescue or EMS delivery system with information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism.

07/09/2019

We are now accepting applications for the VCOS and VFIS - Firefighter & EMS Retention and Recruitment Award. https://buff.ly/2YI0vln

Did you know that the VCOS has collected many SOPs/SOGs to be used by volunteer and combination departments as models an...
07/07/2019
Capabilities & Competencies

Did you know that the VCOS has collected many SOPs/SOGs to be used by volunteer and combination departments as models and samples? Check them all out at

The existing national standards prescribe a one-size-fits-all training curriculum for structural firefighters. States may or may not follow the national standards or may modify the national standard to fit their individual situation. Some states have reciprocity and some do not.

Make sure you are taking care of your members by implementing the 11 best practices for cancer prevention. Check out all...
07/06/2019
Cancer Prevention Resources

Make sure you are taking care of your members by implementing the 11 best practices for cancer prevention. Check out all our cancer prevention resources at https://buff.ly/302Mwrw.

The VCOS is working to provide fire departments with the tools and resources they need to make a cultural shift to ensure the prevention of firefighter cancer. Below you will find information, statistics and resources on the 11 best practices to prevent firefighter cancer.

We are looking for an outstanding leader of a volunteer or combination department. If you know someone, please nominate ...
07/05/2019
John M. Buckman III Leadership Award

We are looking for an outstanding leader of a volunteer or combination department. If you know someone, please nominate them for the Chief John M. Buckman III Leadership Award, sponsored by Provident Insurance.

The award recognizes a chief officer of a volunteer or combination fire department who stands out on the local or regional level as a true professional who has demonstrated leadership, integrity, and outstanding values within the fire service. The annual award is presented each November at the VCOS....

We are wishing you and our 1st responders, military members and veterans a happy and safe 4th of July.
07/04/2019

We are wishing you and our 1st responders, military members and veterans a happy and safe 4th of July.

In our summer newsletter, we had an article on recent FLSA Lawsuits. Make sure your department is compliant with our Fed...
07/03/2019
Federal Compliance Toolkit

In our summer newsletter, we had an article on recent FLSA Lawsuits. Make sure your department is compliant with our Federal Compliance Toolkit.

The Federal Regulators Toolkit to assist fire departments with taxes and employee benefits.

07/03/2019
Register Now | Fire-Rescue International 2019

Still deciding? Take it from your peers - Phenomenal level of training. Perfectly sized conference and expo. Relevant vendors. Great opportunity to network and reconnect. #FRI2019 is just around the corner and early bird rates END TODAY! Register now: https://buff.ly/2Jl4CgZ

FRI is the premier fire service leadership conference in the world. Nowhere else will you find a gathering such as this. See you August 7 - 10, 2019 in Atlan...

John M. Buckman III Leadership Award
07/02/2019
John M. Buckman III Leadership Award

John M. Buckman III Leadership Award

The award recognizes a chief officer of a volunteer or combination fire department who stands out on the local or regional level as a true professional who has demonstrated leadership, integrity, and outstanding values within the fire service. The annual award is presented each November at the VCOS....

We live to serve others, and we don’t always take a step back to think about how we would react if the emergency invol...
07/02/2019
Do you have a PAIP in place for when the emergency involves your own service?

We live to serve others, and we don’t always take a step back to think about how we would react if the emergency involved our own service. Hopefully you will never have to react, but it is worth it to review some of these takeaways before you need them.

A tragic incident in which a NY firefighter was killed by ambulance should have your department reviewing post-accident/incident plans, EVOC and safety

When we lost Chief Seavey last year, it was felt by the VCOS and the fire service. We promised to carry on the fight for...
06/28/2019
Chief James P. Seavey, Sr. Scholarship Accepting Applications through August 9

When we lost Chief Seavey last year, it was felt by the VCOS and the fire service. We promised to carry on the fight for him. The Chief James P. Seavey, Sr. Scholarship is one way we are continuing to carry out his mission and honor his memory. We hope you will apply for this scholarship.

The program aims to provide changemakers the tools necessary to become national leaders in the fire and emergency service and the IAFC. read more

Only 3 days left to nominate your training officer for the VCOS and TargetSolutions Training Officer Award. It closes Ju...
06/27/2019

Only 3 days left to nominate your training officer for the VCOS and TargetSolutions Training Officer Award. It closes June 30. https://buff.ly/2PTJwJg

Have you seen our summer newsletter? Make sure you read our spotlight on the City of Calimesa Fire Department and the ar...
06/26/2019
VCOS News Summer 2019

Have you seen our summer newsletter? Make sure you read our spotlight on the City of Calimesa Fire Department and the article on FLSA compliance and recent lawsuits.

The Official Newsletter of the Volunteer & Combination Officers Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs

06/25/2019
Volunteer Workforce Solutions

This is another great podcast by IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs on how to become a 5 bugle chief.

The IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs has a new podcast on becoming a 5 bugle chief. This provides some great tips and discusses how setting your successors up for success can make a huge difference to them.

The Chief James P. Seavey, Sr. Scholarship to Symposium in the Sun is now accepting applications. https://buff.ly/30gpy0...
06/25/2019

The Chief James P. Seavey, Sr. Scholarship to Symposium in the Sun is now accepting applications. https://buff.ly/30gpy0l

06/24/2019

A possible link between World Trade Center dust and prostate cancer in first responders has been found by researchers. https://buff.ly/2RxqvwY

It is the last week for you to nominate your training officer for the VCOS and TargetSolutions Training Officer Award. I...
06/24/2019
2019 Training Officer Recognition Award

It is the last week for you to nominate your training officer for the VCOS and TargetSolutions Training Officer Award. It closes June 30.

The Training Officer Recognition Award The VCOS and TargetSolutions are pleased to announce the Training Officer Recognition Award, which is designed to acknowledge exemplary conduct befitting of a training officer. The award will recognize an individual who has demonstrated a significant role in fi...

Our summer newsletter is now available. It features updates on all of our recent activities, how to protect yourself fro...
06/21/2019

Our summer newsletter is now available. It features updates on all of our recent activities, how to protect yourself from an FLSA lawsuit and a spotlight on City of Calimesa Fire Department. https://buff.ly/2UNLsoW

The State of the Volunteer Fire Service Report provides actionable things you can implement in your department to help i...
06/20/2019
The State of the Volunteer Fire Service Report

The State of the Volunteer Fire Service Report provides actionable things you can implement in your department to help improve retention, recruitment and leadership of the volunteers of today and tomorrow.

This report provides a solutions-based framework that offers combination and volunteer departments a means to improve their leaderships’ ability to recruit, retain and manage the volunteers of the future.

As a part of #SafetyStandDown Week, IAFC - VCOS Section and National Volunteer Fire Council will be presenting the Laven...
06/20/2019
Join us June 20 at 2pm ET for a webinar on specifics actions you and your crew can take to prevent firefighter cancer.

As a part of #SafetyStandDown Week, IAFC - VCOS Section and National Volunteer Fire Council will be presenting the Lavender Ribbon Report: 11 Best Practices for Preventing Cancer today June 20th at 2pm ET!

Register for the webinar here:

Cancer is a serious threat facing today’s fire service, but there are easy and low-cost ways you can lower your risks. This webinar will help you turn the 11 best practices for firefighter cancer prevention as outlined in the Lavender Ribbon Report into specific actions. Presenters Brian McQueen f...

The VCOS and TargetSolutions Training Officer Award closes June 30. Hurry and nominate your deserving training officer t...
06/19/2019
2019 Training Officer Recognition Award

The VCOS and TargetSolutions Training Officer Award closes June 30. Hurry and nominate your deserving training officer to let them know how much you appreciate their hard work.

The Training Officer Recognition Award The VCOS and TargetSolutions are pleased to announce the Training Officer Recognition Award, which is designed to acknowledge exemplary conduct befitting of a training officer. The award will recognize an individual who has demonstrated a significant role in fi...

As a part of Safety Stand Down Week Chief John M. Buckman III of IAFC - VCOS Section will be presenting the Lavender Rib...
06/18/2019
Join us June 20 at 2pm ET for a webinar on specifics actions you and your crew can take to prevent firefighter cancer.

As a part of Safety Stand Down Week Chief John M. Buckman III of IAFC - VCOS Section will be presenting the Lavender Ribbon Report: 11 best practices for preventing cancer with Chief Brian McQueen of National Volunteer Fire Council June 20 at 2pm ET

Cancer is a serious threat facing today’s fire service, but there are easy and low-cost ways you can lower your risks. This webinar will help you turn the 11 best practices for firefighter cancer prevention as outlined in the Lavender Ribbon Report into specific actions. Presenters Brian McQueen f...

Check out our customizable recruitment material, if you are looking for a fresh new look to help bring in volunteers.
06/18/2019
Fillable Marketing Materials for Volunteer Recruitment

Check out our customizable recruitment material, if you are looking for a fresh new look to help bring in volunteers.

The following fillable marketing materials have been designed to assist volunteer and combination fire departments in their recruitment efforts by providing an easy to use template for various marketing items. These items are free for any volunteer or combination fire department to use.

Beyond the VCOS and National Volunteer Fire Council 11 best practices for preventing cancer, the message that needs to b...
06/18/2019
Q&A: Taking a stand against firefighter occupational cancer

Beyond the VCOS and National Volunteer Fire Council 11 best practices for preventing cancer, the message that needs to be sent and heard is that each person, in each department, needs to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING they can to minimize their exposure to the products of combustion.

Chief Trauernicht is looking for 'firefighters brave enough to be champions of the cause”

06/17/2019
VCOS Scholarship Programs

The Emerging Leader and Emerging Leader Alumni Scholarships to Symposium in the Sun are now accepting applications. Thank you to the sponsors of these 2 scholarships the Gasaway Consulting Group, LLC and the Emerging Leader Scholarship Alumni.

The Gasaway Consulting Group, LLC is sponsoring a $1,500 Emerging Leader Scholarship to assist with registration and travel expenses for the VCOS Symposium in the Sun. "I am a big proponent of the concept of paying it forward," noted GCG President Dr. Richard B. Gasaway. "The VCOS and the Symposium...

It is critical that we learn from the lessons of our peers.  The Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System has received num...
06/16/2019
Exploding vehicle struts: A hidden hazard

It is critical that we learn from the lessons of our peers. The Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System has received numerous stories dealing with compressed gas struts where the gas and fluid inside the strut becomes overheated during a vehicle fire, resulting in an explosion of the strut assembly. Here are some tips to prevent this from happening to you and your members.

Five Near-Miss reports highlight unique danger present during vehicle fires

Cultural change starts with the leadership. If leadership allows a culture of unsafe practices without intervention, it ...
06/15/2019
Examining the role of culture in firefighter deaths

Cultural change starts with the leadership. If leadership allows a culture of unsafe practices without intervention, it sends a message to subordinates that the behaviors are permissible.

Can NIOSH capture the impact of department culture rooted in unsafe actions?

Great photo commemorating US Flag Day.
06/14/2019

Great photo commemorating US Flag Day.

Happy Flag Day! #flagday

Your training officer works hard to ensure that your members are ready to respond to all-hazards. Nominate them for the ...
06/14/2019
2019 Training Officer Recognition Award

Your training officer works hard to ensure that your members are ready to respond to all-hazards. Nominate them for the VCOS and @TargetSolutions Training Officer Award, which is designed to acknowledge exemplary conduct befitting of a training officer.

The Training Officer Recognition Award The VCOS and TargetSolutions are pleased to announce the Training Officer Recognition Award, which is designed to acknowledge exemplary conduct befitting of a training officer. The award will recognize an individual who has demonstrated a significant role in fi...

Help us commemorate Flag Day tomorrow. Here are some ways you can participate.
06/13/2019
Fire Service Urged to Commemorate Flag Day

Help us commemorate Flag Day tomorrow. Here are some ways you can participate.

Chief Dan Eggleston, IAFC president and chairman of the board, is urging the fire and emergency service to join the National Flag Foundation (NFF) and other national organizations to commemorate Flag Day, Friday, June 14. 

These increasingly common large fires and monster storms are more stark reminders that our all-hazards response firefigh...
06/13/2019
Preparing for the effects of changing weather patterns

These increasingly common large fires and monster storms are more stark reminders that our all-hazards response firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and emergency managers need to continually focus on disaster response and preparedness of all kinds.

Key considerations related to disaster response, training, infrastructure, policy and recovery efforts

The fire service is the only true all-hazard response units across the United States. While we are proud of our response...
06/12/2019
Revisiting the 4 roles of firefighters in disasters

The fire service is the only true all-hazard response units across the United States. While we are proud of our response heritage to both man-made and natural disasters, it may be time for all of us to take a step back and contemplate our roles in four key areas: disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery.

Extreme weather events prompt a fresh look at the roles of firefighters in preparation, response, mitigation and recovery

We challenge leaders everywhere to take bold and decisive action when necessary to handle problems or issues that come u...
06/11/2019
Crossing that bridge: Leadership requires action

We challenge leaders everywhere to take bold and decisive action when necessary to handle problems or issues that come up at their departments and not pass them on to their successors. #BeTheChange

Problem-solving is crippled when leaders fail to take bold and decisive action

If you want to allow your members after many years of service to have a happy, healthy retirement, the preparation start...
06/10/2019
Safety: The Uphill Battle

If you want to allow your members after many years of service to have a happy, healthy retirement, the preparation starts now, and it means not shortchanging your people. An effective, impactful health and safety program cannot lead itself.

Every member of the fire service has a role in Community Risk Reduction. Don't exclude the other members of your department by simply changing the name of Fire Prevention to Community Risk Reduction. read more

Being inclusive is something we all have to be constantly working on. Assistant Chief Jo-Ann Lorber provides great tips ...
06/10/2019

Being inclusive is something we all have to be constantly working on. Assistant Chief Jo-Ann Lorber provides great tips on building an inclusive culture in her latest IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs article.

To create an inclusive environment, we must start with inclusive behaviors. We can make policies, write SOPs/SOGs, and develop initiatives to support such an environment, but an inclusive environment can only be created by the collective use of behaviors that foster inclusive interactions. https://buff.ly/31pV2RU

IAFC - VCOS Section's cover photo
06/10/2019

IAFC - VCOS Section's cover photo

Innovation is a major part of businesses. This is something that needs to be adapted by the fire service. Here is a grea...
06/10/2019
3 Ways To Future-Proof Your Organization

Innovation is a major part of businesses. This is something that needs to be adapted by the fire service. Here is a great article on business innovation that can be utilized to help your department be prepared for the future.

The pace of disruptive technological advancements is quickly changing business models and reshaping the way people work. But it’s not enough to keep up with current technological advancements — the most successful companies are anticipating new breakthroughs to elevate their business.

Are you ready for Safety Stand Down week? Check out all our cancer prevention resources to help prepare yourself. https:...
06/09/2019
Cancer Prevention Resources

Are you ready for Safety Stand Down week? Check out all our cancer prevention resources to help prepare yourself. https://buff.ly/302Mwrw #BeatFFCancer

The VCOS is working to provide fire departments with the tools and resources they need to make a cultural shift to ensure the prevention of firefighter cancer. Below you will find information, statistics and resources on the 11 best practices to prevent firefighter cancer.

Did you miss out on our FRI Scholarship? Nominate your training officer for the VCOS and @TargetSolutions Training Offic...
06/08/2019
2019 Training Officer Recognition Award

Did you miss out on our FRI Scholarship? Nominate your training officer for the VCOS and @TargetSolutions Training Officer Award, so they don't have to miss out on the amazing education sessions of FRI.

The Training Officer Recognition Award The VCOS and TargetSolutions are pleased to announce the Training Officer Recognition Award, which is designed to acknowledge exemplary conduct befitting of a training officer. The award will recognize an individual who has demonstrated a significant role in fi...

Physical wellness should be an important part of your culture. This article provides some great steps to build and creat...
06/07/2019
How to implement a fire-EMS fitness program

Physical wellness should be an important part of your culture. This article provides some great steps to build and create program and make it a part of your culture.

5 keys to jump-starting a fitness program that will serve members “from hire to retire”

Tomorrow is your last day to apply for the VCOS FRI Scholarship. Don't miss out on a great chance to attend one of the b...
06/06/2019

Tomorrow is your last day to apply for the VCOS FRI Scholarship. Don't miss out on a great chance to attend one of the best fire and emergency events of the year. https://buff.ly/30gpy0l

VCOS and @IAFC elections close June 7. Remember to vote before time runs out. #VOTE https://buff.ly/2BWK4sc
06/05/2019

VCOS and @IAFC elections close June 7. Remember to vote before time runs out. #VOTE https://buff.ly/2BWK4sc

This is a must listen to podcast on cancer prevention. #BeatFFCancer For more information on cancer prevention, check ou...
06/05/2019

This is a must listen to podcast on cancer prevention. #BeatFFCancer For more information on cancer prevention, check out VCOS.org/BeatFFCancer.

We're pleased to announce the launch of the new iCHIEFS Podcasts!

Each month co-hosts Tom Jenkins, Rogers, Arkansas Fire Chief and 2017-2018 IAFC president, and Sheldon Gilbert, ESCI chief executive officer, will discuss hot-button issues with leaders in the fire and emergency service.

Listen to Episode 1 as we explore reducing cancer risk for firefighters in conjunction with Safety Stand Down Week, June 16-22. Listen Now: https://buff.ly/2wydYjs

On the podcast, you'll hear Chief Nathan Trauernicht, University of California-Davis, and Chief Louie Bright (Ret.), Dallas Fire-Rescue share their experiences addressing firefighter cancer and strategies they employed to reduce risk.

#firefighter #firesafety #safetystanddown

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Chantilly, VA
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Our section is devoted on the representation and education of Volunteer and Combination Officers in the fire service.

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(703) 273-9735

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