A Message From CVVFA President Chief Allen Baldwin
Just like you, family is very dear and near to me. I always tell folks, family first, whether the one at home, or the family at the fire house, because without either we are lost.
So first, as CVVFA President, I’m reaching out to check on you our members, your families, and your departments. The Association is here to assist in any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if we can be of help. Please take a moment to reach out to your fellow members, especially those long-standing associates, to make sure they are doing okay. I know they will appreciate hearing from you.
When I was given the privilege to lead this great Association last July, I never dreamed that we would be facing such rough seas. We have a good crew, and we while we are dealing with the waves crashing over the bow, your leadership remains focused on bringing the organization safely home to port. To paraphrase the great American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, “It is not the destiny but the journey that defines us.”
How we communicate is paramount to our future, especially in these troubling times. This year, well before the current national crisis, we have endeavored to reach out in even more ways to let you, our members, know what we are doing as well as keeping you abreast of the association’s activities and our goals for the future. You have probably noticed we use our website, print, email and social media to reach members and we continue to look for even more ways to communicate with you.
As you know the spring meeting and training weekend were cancelled due to COVID 19. We continue to handle regular business obligations and responsibilities. Rest assured that the officers and our key committees are hard at work for the benefit of the CVVFA even while juggling personal and professional responsibilities. We are developing a Continuity of Operations Plan and reviewing the bylaws to insure we are meeting requirements. I’m pleased to report we have made some real progress on re-instituting our fire prevention program and expanding our roadway safety project which has become our signature program. We are learning more and more how to work virtually and we will experiment on how we might be able to use these skills to help manage the Association more efficiently.
Many, if not all major Fire and Rescue events conferences and conventions have been canceled or rescheduled for later in the year. The officers have been watching this closely, after the cancellation of the MSFA Convention in Ocean City I have asked the convention committee to meet with the Williamsport Fire Company to look at our convention and what needs to be considered to hold that event. Even if the COVID 19 restrictions lessen, there is a serious concern about the safety, and well-being of our members. As of this date no final decision has been made about the 119th Annual Convention. We are looking at alternatives to make sure we meet the requirements of the bylaws. In the forefront is our responsibility to ensure your safety. We will communicate updates as they become available.
I had hope this would be a year of exciting events and rebirth but it is one of challenges which will only make us stronger in the future. The CVVFA has faced many tests, including the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1917-1919, the Great Depression and our inability to hold meetings during World War II. We navigated those difficult times and grew the Association, just as we will now.
I am proud of the tradition and history of this great association. There is not another like us. I invite you to share your pride of being a CVVFA member. Please send us photos and stories of what you, your family and fire department family are doing to “weather the storm”. We would like to feature your good work taking care of yourselves and your community during this unprecedented journey. We would like to share those with your fellow members and with the rest of fire service.
Please don’t forget, we are here for you. Reach out if you need us.
Chief Allen W. Baldwin