Important Membership updates July 12, 2020

07/12/2020

New Hampshire State Firemen’s Association

To: All Members

Reference: Update on your association

From: Glenn Davis, President

Dear Members,

I am writing to you today as I can’t recall the last time a message was written directly to the Members from your president and I believe it is long overdue.

What’s New and what’s changed?

We all know that the NHSFA provides an injury/disability and death benefit insurance policy however there is so much more!

For roughly a year now we have been participating in a new group organized by Marshall Parisi called the five families. The group includes the NH Chiefs, PFFNH, The Fire Academy, the Marshall’s office, and NHSFA, Their leaders, and their #2’s. This group originally started as a think tank for the NH fire service in general and allowed us to meet and have open conversations and input on a variety of topics such as legislation, life safety, training, COVID -19, hazard pay stipend, etc.

Finally, after all these years our association has a seat at the table and is recognized for what we are and that is by far the largest, and longest-serving fire organization in the state and I would add they have been receptive of our opinions and that is has been very productive and a pleasure to have input with the other Fire service leaders of our state.

We have been adding advocate members if you haven’t, you should visit the web site we have been working on added member benefits with some of these advocate members for instance Bank of New Hampshire is offering a special program for our members that helps reduce loan costs on mortgages and refinance options.  The advocate membership financially supports or association is not free so please patronize them whenever possible.

License plates: The license plate Firefighter Decal program has been a huge benefit to the memorial you may not be aware but the legislation allowing this requires all money raised go to a nonprofit and the NH fallen firefighters memorial fits that classification.

Speaking of the memorial, we have been fortunate enough to secure donations from NH Gaming commission donation program which has assisted us with keeping the eternal flame lighted and some minor maintenance. The memorial as it is in desperate need of refurbishment (it is 14 years old now) You may not be aware but the NHSFA is the entity that has kept this memorial looking good and going strong all these years. We are asking other organizations for financial support as it is for all NH firefighters. This year’s memorial service program has yet to be decided on as we are waiting like all of us on the pandemic. Undoubtedly it will have a different look this year than it has in years past. We will certainly keep you apprised of the situation once we know what it’s going to look like.

Membership is down slightly from a few years ago and currently, we have just shy of 3700 members. Our percentage of loss is comparative to the decline of firefighters across the state. As you know our members come from, career, combination, and volunteer departments, and every firefighter in the state are encouraged to join, even if your department does not participate (I know hard to believe but there are a few) you can join individually online at nhsfa.org anytime.

Our Secretary Karen Eichler and our Treasurer Chief Rick Eichler (ret) have been at their posts since 2005. Rick and Karen announced earlier this summer there not intending to continue their posts as they, in their retirement have interests in traveling and spending time with their grandchildren. I would like to personally thank them for their years of dedicated and trusted service to our association, without them we would not be where we are today.    Rick and Karen on behalf of our members Thank you!!!

With their retirement comes to change, currently, we are investigating several options to satisfy several pressing needs that are becoming more apparent as we continue to increase member benefits and modify our operations to meet the needs of today’s members. Some of the avenues being looked at are hiring a firm or possibly an Executive Director to manage and strengthen the membership (both firefighter’s and advocate) get the annual book up and running, and possibly get back to some form of a convention.

Unfortunately, time marches on, and before you know it twenty years have gone by. That by the way is how long it’s been since we have had an adjustment in our dues. Our expenses have been trimmed everywhere possible, the executive board now meets at fire stations or as of lately by Zoom instead of restaurants or function halls, (this saves mileage and meals) Our insurance costs has remained steady for the last several years however our membership is down so the cost per member has increased. (Currently, $19.04 of your $20 membership goes to Insurance) The memorial costs again paid for by NHSFA are increasing and having a lack of interested volunteers we are in need of paying a firm or person to assist us with the day to day operations of our organization. We originally were thinking $10.00 per person, however, have backed it down to $8.00 per person. The 2020 renewal cost will be $28.00 (to be voted on by the board at our 7/16 meeting). Should any of our member’s departments or associations experience a hardship with this increase please contact me directly.

Our annual meeting is scheduled for 10/17/2020 at the Town & Country in Gorham (providing we can do so safely & you are encouraged to attend) Inclosing

We need you! There are several elected positions currently vacant or their terms are expiring (mine included), as mentioned earlier the Secretary and treasurer spots are opening up and will need to be filled. Please join us for a board meeting to learn more about what happens behind the scenes.

Our next meeting is by Zoom on 7/16/2020 @ 1800 email myself president@nhsfa.org to be invited no later than 7/15/2020 @ 1800 or as always with any questions or concerns.

Stay well, Stay safe!

 

Glenn M Davis

President

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