Greetings from IFAMA,

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Just had to get that out of my system before starting this editorial. We only waited for 108-years for the Cubs to win a World Series, but whos counting! Just glad that all those Cub Fans and Wrigleyvillians finally got their day to bask in glory!

The same is true for us here at IFAMA. We have had another great year of meetings, training, and providing the ability for many Technicians to take EVT Tests. As far as I am concerned, IFAMA wins the World Series every year! Here is our year in review;

On January 9th. we kicked off our first meeting of the year at the MABAS Readiness Center in Wheeling. Our Sponsors were Jeff Heidenreich from Terminal Supply, and Dave Newlin and Stephanie Nuccio from Surge Industrial Chemicals. The turn-out for this meeting was terrific and we had 12-Technicians taking 17-EVT Tests in the afternoon. Thank you again to Jay Reardon and his staff for the great hospitality bestowed on all of our IFAMA members! Next up was our April 26th. meeting at CE Niehoff in Evanston. Our training was provided by Pete Sremac and Paul Oberski. We were really worried that we would overwhelm their training room capacity, but by the grace of God, we had exactly the correct amount of people attending with all seats filled and no one standing. What a miracle! Here we had 19-Technicians taking 25-EVT Tests. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself!

June 21st. brought on our down state mid-year meeting of the year hosted by the Bloomington FD. The venue there was presented by Craig Hamrick of Banner Fire. Craig did a review of aerial hydraulics to enable Technicians to be able to pass their F8 EVT Exams. Here we had 6-Technicians taking 7-EVT Tests.

Our July 19th. meeting was a combined meeting of the Municipal Fleet Managers Association (MFMA) and our IFAMA Members. This was a historical first of having a joint meeting together. Sort of like having the American League play a game against the National League if you don't mind my reference to baseball again. Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Ok I will stop. The purpose of us getting together was because some of our members also belong to MFMA and the training we proposed would affect both groups. This meeting was held at the Elk Grove Municipal Building. The topic here was Pierce TAK4 Independent Front Suspensions. Dave Archer and Mike Dufrane from Pierce Mfg. were on hand to explain the history of TAK4 and all the developments along the way. Because this meeting was originally scheduled for Interstate Power Systems in Carol Stream (was Inland Power Group), we decided to let the EVT Testing be done there. There were 10-Technicians taking 15-EVT Tests on that afternoon.

Last but not least was our ANNUAL IFCA-IFAMA Meeting in Peoria Oct. 10-14th. Another IFAMA first was a welding class held at Illinois Central College in East Peoria. Dr. W. Richard Polanin handled this training exercise at his state-of-the-art facility. We also had Gary Stroik from Allison Transmissions, Ian Weber from Snap-On Tools, Dennis Wilcox from Weldon, Brian Scott from Kussmaul, Larry Anderson from Air One, and Lairy Normand from W.S. Darley. Rounding out our training was our own Jeff Bober from West Dundee FD doing an E-O and F-2 Review for those wishing to pass those EVT exams. Speaking of EVT Exams, a very special mention and thank you goes out to our Liaison Officer Brian Pepich who proctored over 64-EVT Tests to 47-Members over this past year. Without Brian's willingness to do this job for us, our industry would not have the Specialized Technicians we enjoy having today. Hey-Hey Brian Pepich! I almost forgot the gentleman from SWS Intelligent Lighting who also provided a block of training for us. All in all, even though our enrollment was not what we would have liked it to be, all things worked out and we once again were able to provide good and solid training to our members. We could certainly not close out our year without remembering one of our dearest IFAMA members, Mike Ludemann. Mike passed away back on 2-21-16 and left behind a major void in our Technician ranks. Mike was a Technician at Plainfield FPD, a Master EVT and was our EVT of the Year for 2010. There was no one who did not like Mike and he was always on hand to help in any capacity he was asked to help in. Nothing was too tough for Mike to tackle. We will miss him and his many talents for many years to come!

A very special thanks goes out to Chief Chuck Lauss and DC Edward Olehy for once again allowing us to use their Station 8 for our Darley Pump Training. We also had two other individuals who came to our rescue in the 11th. hour. The first one was Paul Darley , President of W.S. Darley who took an out of rotation spot for us to do our pump test training. Also at the last minute we found out that there would be no one available to Proctor our EVT Exams on Friday Oct. 14. This is when I made a special call to Chief Greg Walters of Peoria Heights who also teaches Fire Science at Illinois Central College. When I tell you that Chief Walters never hesitated even a little in accepting to proctor those exams, I mean that he immediately accepted that responsibility. In the end Chief Walters administered 43-EVT Tests to 25-IFAMA Members. So for this year, our MVP award is split by Paul Darley and Greg Walters for making our Peoria event another huge success. Did I forget to mention, Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

Respectfully yours in the Fire Service Industry,

Larry J. Polas (I love baseball!)

IFAMA President

God Bless America