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THE GONG-FALL 2012
Greetings from IFAMA!
On behalf of all of us at IFAMA, I would like to start this newsletter by thanking everyone at IFCA for all of their support and recognition they have given our association. It is only because of our being a part of IFCA that we continue to prosper and grow. At the end of 2011 our membership was at 125. This year as we close the books on 2012, our membership stands at 170. In the 25-year history of IFAMA, our membership has never been as large as it is today. We continue to have a great team leading our organization who insures that IFAMA stays focused in the right direction. Here is a quick rundown of IFAMA events that took place in 2012.
Our first meeting of the year took place on January 24th. at the MABAS Readiness Center in Wheeling. We had our regular business meeting followed by Jay Reardon welcoming us all to MABAS HQ. Our good friend and IFAMA member John Rikje set this meeting up for us and we could not have been more pleased with being there. Tours of the facility were given followed by training by Gerry Hernblom of Alfred Industries on care and maintenance of the MABAS decon units. Lunch was provided and EVT tests followed throughout the afternoon.
Our second meeting of the year took place on April 24th. at the new Minooka FD. As is our standard procedure, we had our business meeting first followed by our trainers. Henry Bene from Chicago Parts & Sound gave us a presentation on Ford aftermarket products followed by Ford Customer Service Aftermarket Account Manager Pat Biondo and Fleet Zone Manager Jane Evans. Quite a bit of information was delivered that the average person would normally not be made aware of. The room was very quiet during these presentations and it appeared that everyone was taking a lot of notes. The information given in that meeting was very educational and helpful to all. Of course, lunch and EVT tests brought up the afternoon session.
Last year was the first time IFAMA had a semi-annual downstate meeting. We managed to do this again in 2012. On June 19th we had our second meeting, again at the Decatur FD Training Facility courtesy of Chief Matthew Sekosky. Our business meeting came first, followed by training from Chris Laga-Regional & OEM Account Manager for The Penray Companies, Inc. This presentation was geared towards cooling and fuel system maintenance, which are two of the most overlooked maintenance issues in the transportation industry today. The next bloc of training came compliments of Paul Cimaroli from Transportation Support Group. Paul was able to secure Steve Benz of Truck Diagnostics to put on a presentation about software and diagnostic equipment, along with custom made diagnostic packages geared towards individual fleets. Transportation Support Group is the Master Distributor for Dearborn Diagnostic Equipment, who manufactures the cables and modems to interface with OEM equipment. Lunch and EVT testing followed. No hiccups this year on the Jimmy John’s lunch. In fact they were early!
Our third quarterly meeting took place on July 24th. hosted by Federal Signal Corporation in University Park. Jody Joy, Sales Manager / Fire-Ambulance OEM’s and also an IFAMA member, discussed new products available and troubleshooting tips along with plant tours of their very spacious facility. Because the weather was absolutely perfect, a cook-out lunch was served under tents set up behind their facility. This was the second time we have had a meeting at Federal Signal and we hope to continue our relationship there. Thanks again to Jody Joy and all at FS who made this a special day for our members. And let’s not forget that there were EVT tests in the afternoon. The reason for pointing this out will come later.
Our final gathering of the year was our week long training and testing seminar in Peoria to coincide with the annual IFCA Conference. Once again our Training Committee led by our Vice-President came through with some very sophisticated training for our members. Sutphen did aerial training at Peoria Station 8 along with Waterous doing pump training at the same location. Training that took place at the Civic Center and the Sheraton Four Points were C.E. Niehoff-Charging Systems, Castrol B.P.-Coolant & Oil, Donaldson-Filters, Red Dot-HVAC Systems, Bridgestone-Tires, and MES-SCBA Maintenance. Last of all, our friends at Inland Group Carol Stream lined up a trainer to give us Detroit Diesel DD13 (new engine) training. Also to mention is that Global Emergency Products came through with a new Pierce aerial demo with that new engine to further round out the classroom portion of the training. And let us not forget that our friends at Peoria FD not only provided their Station 8 (AGAIN!)for Sutphen and Waterous training but also made room at their HQ Station for the Pierce aerial to do the hands- on portion of the Detroit Diesel training. Without the support of the Peoria FD and in particular, AC Gary Van Voorhis, IFAMA could no way deliver the level of training we have been able to consistently provide. Many, many thanks go out to all at Peoria FD for their generous support! There are a few items that have been overlooked while trying to describe the training IFAMA has provided throughout the year. Our longtime IFAMA member and Liaison between IFAMA and IFCA, Brian Pepich, has once again proctored all of our EVT testing for 2012 with the exception of the testing in Peoria. Brian has traveled to Wheeling, Minooka, University Park, and Decatur this year and proctored EVT exams from 1PM to 5PM at all of those meetings. Other than his personal satisfaction of knowing that he is providing a service to the fire industry to insure that technicians are properly certified to do Emergency Vehicle repairs, there is no financial compensation for his outstanding and dependable services. It certainly would not hurt any of us to make sure Brian Pepich knows what a valuable asset he is to all of us.
The last item is our annual EVT of the Year award that went to Tim Thompson of the Roselle FD and PW departments. You can read his nominations and see Tim receiving his award at IFAMA.NET. A major congratulation goes out to Tim Thompson for winning this very prestigious recognition.
Thanks again to all the Chiefs who supported our organization throughout the year with facilities and allowing their personnel to attend our training events. Without this support IFAMA would not be where it is today!
God Bless America!
Larry J. Polas
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