What we are doing…
AFBEA meets quarterly at different host departments around the state. Consideration is given to a location which would allow each department a venue within a reasonable distance from home. During the meetings, the chairperson of each committee updates the membership by giving a report of the committee activities. Current issues of importance to the fire service, and public educator in particular, are discussed. Time is also provided for departments to share information on educational programs they are presenting, what they are doing in their communities and any new materials they may have “discovered”. Training is also offered at each meeting. The Training Committee puts together a one hour training session on topics that the membership has requested.
In the quest to remain on the leading edge of our field, AFBEA maintains a substantial list of committees. Some of these are constant such as the our two Conference Committees, Training Committee and the Grant Committees, but many are interim committees, set up to review operations, investigate new opportunities, or develop new funding, etc. These various committees allow our membership to be an integral part of the inner workings of the Association. Without the input of our membership, we can do nothing.
AFBEA offers an Educator I and II class throughout the state several times a year. These classes comply with the NFPA 1035 and meet the criteria of the Training Committee of the Office of State Fire Marshal, which administers the exam and issues the state certification. We are currently working on getting both these IFSAC accredited through the State Fire Marshal’s office.
The Community Risk Reduction Through Characterization and Education Conference is usually held the last week of January each year and has been held annually in Bullhead City, Ariz. since 1987. Workshops are held to teach educators how to develop and design puppet and clown programs to enhance their local educational efforts. It has become so popular, it is now a ‘train-the-trainer” program, allowing the attendees to take their knowledge back to their communities and teach others who may be unable to attend. While the conference was established to assist with characterization development, we also feature a track for educators who need help with messaging, ideas for program enhancement and other professional development. So there is something for everyone!
The CRR Symposiums have replaced the Desert Southwest Fire and Life Safety Educators Conference and the Juvenile Firesetter and Injury Prevention/Juvenile Firesetter Conference. These one-day training opportunities offer the latest trends and programs for the Public Educator. The symposiums are designed to assist many levels of the Fire and Life Safety Educators — beginning, intermediate, or advanced — by giving usable tools to start a program or fine tune one already in place.
The Ken Fovargue Grant was established by AFBEA to assist smaller departments with the purchase and implementation of fire and life safety programs or materials. This is a one time, annual grant for $500, available to departments of under 100 members who may be fighting for education dollars.
The Hugh Anderson Grant allows an AFBEA member the opportunity to attend a seminar or conference which they might not otherwise be able to afford. The recipient of this grant is required to act as AFBEA’s representative and must give a detailed report of the content and operations of the conference to the membership at the next quarterly meeting.
Each year AFBEA sponsors two awards, the Mark A. Sanchez Memorial Award and the Educator of the Year Award. The Mark Sanchez award is given out at the Characterization Camp and the Educator of the Year Award is given at the AFBEA Fall meeting.