Fire Corps Staying Busy in Texas

An update from your Texas State Advocate, Jeanie Fossati

Hello from Texas! This summer has been hot, busy, and a lot of fun with Fire Corps. Here’s an update of where we’ve been to let everyone know what we’ve been doing in the Lone Star State to help departments start, enhance, and implement Fire Corps in their communities. These conferences were well attended and were great opportunity for Fire Corps to reach out and connect with so many fire personnel, emergency management, city officials, and volunteers from all around the state.

State Firemen’s and Fire Marshalls’ Association of Texas Conference

On June 8, Fire Corps was represented at the annual State Firemen’s and Fire Marshalls’ Association (SFFMA) of TX Conference in Houston. The SFFMA is a 136-year-old organization and is the oldest and largest fire and EMS service association in the state. Membership includes 1,200 fire, EMS, and international departments; more than 21,000 individual members; and 80 industrial fire brigades.

The annual conference gives Texas fire and EMS personnel the opportunity to learn and network with experts from around the state. There were over 600 attendees and more than 250 vendors and exhibitors. The cornerstone of the organization is the Certification Program for firefighters, which encourages training, education, and certification for all emergency responders. Classes are held each day at the conference. The SFFMA founded and now supports the world’s largest fire training school, at Texas A&M University, providing instructors and professional service on the TEEX Fire School’s Advisory Board.

In addition to the classes that were offered at the conference, the latest in technology, equipment, and services were also on exhibit. Fire Corps was honored to have been asked to be a part of this learning experience for Texas Fire and EMS.

And then we were off to San Antonio…

3rd Annual Texas Unites Conference

The Texas Unites Conference took place June 13-15 in San Antonio. This is a joint conference between the Texas Citizen Corps and the Texas Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster (VOAD).

Speakers included Nim Kidd, CEM, Chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management; Steven McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety; Gregory Eaton, Recovery Division Director, FEMA, Region VI; and Scott Huse, a motivational speaker and team development expert, who was there to pump up and invigorate the group.

This conference brings in around 300 volunteer and emergency management professionals from around the state. Fire Corps was represented in the exhibit hall, and we also held two training sessions. Richard Castillo, the Texas State Regional Advocate, and I spoke on “How Fire Safety and Prevention Can Be Fun,” and Shanna Owens from the Ingleside Fire Corps presented the FC-302: Fire Corps Providing Rehab class.

For more information about TX Fire Corps, contact TX State Advocate Jeanie Fossati at