CSFA President's Message
As your Centennial Year winds down, there is a bright future for CSFA
As we near the end of 2022 it’s a great time to reflect on all that has taken place in CSFA’s Centennial Year, and to set our sights on the promising future for our all-inclusive fire service trade association. We are working hard to ensure our upcoming transition period is a time of appreciating our rich history and traditions, while at the same time embracing the opportunity to reinvent our organizational structure.
At our 2022 CSFA Centennial Conference that was held in April in the founding member’s home city, San Diego, it was decided that it was time for CSFA to change its governance structure from its traditional structure of a president and eight directors, to a leaner board of directors that will now be an executive board of five members. This leaner board structure will enhance engagement, communication, mentorship, succession planning, and will support new ideas in the evolving world of public safety.
I’m excited to report that we have many impactful fire service members who are raising the caliber of what CSFA does in the near future. Our direction is clear thanks to hearing from our members, and focusing our strategic planning on enhancing training and education, and seeking out new benefits. We have taken over management and oversight of our SAFER Grant, and have professional staff members who will ensure we’re being fiscally responsible and meeting expectations. The other part of our new oversight is ensuring we deliver high quality training from California fire service instructors, who are well versed in many fire service disciplines, but have a working knowledge of our complex state.
We’ve had multiple planning meetings and discussions regarding our first annual CSFA Training and Education Expo, (CTEX). We will move on from our former title of CSFA Conference to promote our openness and commitment to providing top notch training and education for the entire California fire service, and move on from a structure that did not allow for mass appeal or participation. Our 2023 CSFA CTEX will be held on April 16-20, 2023 at the beautiful Pechanga Resort in Temecula, California.
Our new CTEX event and our organizational changes would not be possible without the selfless efforts of our committed CSFA leaders, including our engaged committees. I encourage you to checkout who is serving on our committees, and invite you to take an active role in embracing content and sharing information with your peers. Our engaged committees include the Training and Education Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, LEDS (Leadership, Equity, Diversity and Service) Committee, Retirement Committee, Fire and Life Safety Committee, Tribal Committee, and more. We’re producing written content, and video content that will be available to view on our website, and on our CSFA Fire and Rescue YouTube channel.
Recently we toured parts of our diverse state and captured interviews with leaders that represented all aspects of the California fire service. Some of the servant leaders included Oakland Fire Chief Reggie Freeman, Oakland FD LT. Nicole McCall, Alameda County Fire Division Chief Heather Marques, Visalia FD Captain Ray Ramirez, Long Beach FD Battalion Chiefs Jason Hosea and Aaron Miles, Downey Fire Dispatch Supervisor Tracy Gonzales, El Segundo FD Fire Chief Deena Lee, Colton FD Captain David Santos, and many other members who believe in the CSFA vision of paying it forward! Look out for our CSFA Spotlight Video Series that captures many of these courageous conversations.
As your president, I take my responsibility seriously and believe that you deserve engaged leadership that needs to embrace our opportunity to serve and make a difference. This organization does not need people who can’t deliver director reports, attend scheduled meetings or who haven’t committed to the forward growth of CSFA for years. You deserve and should expect an organization that listens to your needs, and understands it’s about the entire trade association, and not about a few special interests that can’t embrace necessary change.
We have a strong future in front of us, and it’s because of our members, and your commitment to ensuring we have an all-inclusive California fire service that moves forward together. I thank you for your support and your commitment to working together, and assisting us in sharing to every fire service professional that they have a united team at CSFA.
Fire Chief, Eddie Sell