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The Iowa Firefighters Association is the Voice of Iowa’s Firefighters

The Iowa Firefighters Association was organized in 1879. There are now approximately 15,500 volunteer and career firefighters from across Iowa that make up the membership of the I.F.A. The Iowa Firefighters Association is dedicated to the improvement of Iowa’s Fire Service and protection of the general public through legislation, better training, minimum standards for apparatus and equipment, fire prevention, public relations and information.
Members receive a monthly issue of the Iowa Firefighter, benefits of State and Federal legislative lobbying, networking opportunities through annual convention and meetings and the chance to help improve the Iowa Fire Service.


IFA and Iowa Donor Network Challenge

The Iowa Firefighters Association is partnering with the Iowa Donor Network to challenge each county in Iowa to gain 100 additional registered organ donors in 100 days. We issued the challenge today on National Donate Life Green and Blue Day to raise awareness of the lifesaving importance of being a registered donor.

As firefighters we are blessed with a job that allows us to help people, and sometimes even save a life. We want Iowans to know they can be a hero too, by giving the gift of life as a registered organ donor.

As many of you know, Brian Seymour, a retired Indianola Fire Chief, past president of the IFA and an organ donor, died from injuries sustained after a major fall last month. He dedicated 32 years of his life to public service, as a firefighter, paramedic and EMS director. Brian went beyond that to help others, including leading a mission trip to Africa to teach children fire safety and to provide an African community with a fire truck.

In one last act of honor in helping others, Brian was an organ and tissue donor. In death, he positively impacted 72 lives through his gift of life. It seemed fitting for the IFA board of directors to issue this lifesaving challenge to Iowans in Brian’s memory and in hope of helping Jill Junk.

Jill Junk, 57, the wife of Waterloo firefighter Joe Junk, is one of 19 Iowans on the organ waitlist in critical need of a new liver very soon. Jill’s eight year battle with pancreatic cancer has damaged her liver. She will be traveling to the Mayo Clinic this month to begin tests with hopes of finding a match very soon. Jill is A positive blood type and there is a chance that she could also receive a partial liver transplant from a living donor.

More details are in the press release issued this morning. Those of you who knew Brian may wish to view the ceremony recognizing Brian and honoring Jill yesterday at the Waterloo Fire Headquarters.

We understand that different members may have different comfort levels in discussing organ donation—and the IFA board asks you to be involved as little or as much as feels right for you.

Some may wish to write a letter to the editor and submit to local papers (attached is sample letter), others may wish to give presentations at service clubs or just speak with friends and family about being an organ donor. If you have fish fries or pancake breakfasts planned, you may wish to have the Iowa Donor Network at your events to handout literature and register donors.

If you would like to request Iowa Donor Network materials, speakers or representatives to register donors at an event, please email Tony Hakes at contact@iadn.org. Tony will put you in touch with a local Iowa Donor representative assigned to your area. Just imagine how many people on this waitlist we could save, if we can reach our goal of 100 people per county.





Forming a 501c3

In light of the recent events that have taken place in some towns, and the highly publicized case in Shelby, IA,  there has been a great deal of controversy about fundraising and whether those funds raised belong to the department or the city. The Iowa Firefighters Association has, for quite some time, promoted the idea that fire departments should form a separate 501c3 association for the purpose of fundraising. If your department has not formed a separate entity for fundraising it would be worth looking into the benefits and things to consider when doing so. You can read more information on this here….Public Benefit Non Profit Corporation for Fire and EMS Volunteers


There’s no safe way to use consumer fireworks!

NFPA shares eye-opening statistics and recommends revelers attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals
  • June 28, 2016 – As the Fourth of July approaches, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding the public that there’s no safe way to use consumer fireworks. According to NFPA, coordinator of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 18,500 fires caused by fireworks between 2009 and 2013. These fires included 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, 16,900 outside and other fires, and killed two people per year.

    Last year, two NFL players made headlines by losing fingers in accidents involving fireworks. The two separate high-profile incidents raised awareness about the dangers of consumer fireworks.

    Almost half (47 percent) of the fires reported on Independence Day in the U.S. during this period were started by fireworks, more than any other cause of fire. However, the vast majority of fireworks injuries occur without a fire starting. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than half of fireworks injuries each year are to extremities – hand or finger (36 percent), legs (14 percent), and arms (5 percent). Most of the remaining injuries were to parts of the head (38 percent), including the eye (16 percent of total).

    “Each year, thousands of people are injured from using consumer fireworks and some of those injuries are extremely serious,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Even sparklers, which are often thought of as harmless enough for children to hold, burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause significant injuries.”

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2014 Fireworks Annual Report shows fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries that were treated in hospital emergency departments across the United States in 2014. The report indicated that 67 percent of these incidents occurred from June 20-July 20, 2014. That year, there were also 11 non-occupational fireworks-related deaths in the U.S., several of which involved people who were not using fireworks but were trapped in house fires that were caused by them.

    Thirty-five percent of people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15, with children between the ages of five and nine requiring the highest level of emergency treatment. Seventy-four percent of the victims that sustained fireworks-related injuries were males, while 26 percent were females.

    So how can you celebrate the holiday safely? Attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals.

    “Knowing the harm fireworks inflict each year, particularly on young people, we urge everyone to leave fireworks to the professionals who are trained to safely put on spectacular displays. It is by far the safest way to enjoy them,” said Carli.

    NFPA offers a wealth of information on fireworks safety, including videos and tip sheets that demonstrate just how dangerous consumer fireworks can be.

    More fireworks statistics can be found in NFPA’s 2016 Fireworks Report.

    About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
    Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.




Volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Personnel and Reserve Peace Officer Tax Credit for the 2015 Tax Year

Effective January 1, 2013 the Volunteer Firefighter and EMS Personnel Tax Credit was available for volunteer firefighters and volunteer EMS personnel. Effective January 1, 2014, the Reserve Peace Officer Tax Credit will be available for volunteer reserve peace officers. In order to qualify for the credits the taxpayer must meet the conditions listed below.

Qualifying Conditions

For Volunteer Firefighters:

  • Must be an active member of an organized volunteer fire department in Iowa.
  • Must meet the minimum training standards established by the Fire Service Training Bureau, a division of the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
  • A paid firefighter who volunteers for another fire department is eligible for the credit, effective January 1, 2014.

 For Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Personnel:

  • Must be trained to provide emergency medical care, certified as a first responder, and been issued a certificate by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
  • A paid EMS personnel member who volunteers for another department is eligible for the credit, effective January 1, 2013.

For Reserve Peace Officers:

  • Must be a volunteer, non-regular, sworn member of a law enforcement agency who serves with or without compensation, has regular police powers while functioning as a law enforcement agency’s representative, and participates on a regular basis in the law enforcement agency’s activities including crime prevention and control, preservation of the peace, and enforcement of the law.
  • Must have met the minimum training standards established by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

Amount of the Tax Credit

For tax year 2015, the tax credit equals $100 if the volunteer serves for the entire calendar year 2014. If the volunteer does not serve the entire year, the $100 credit will be prorated based on the number of months that the volunteer served. If the volunteer served for a portion of a month, that will be considered as an entire month. The table below provides the qualifying amount of tax credit by months of service for the year.

Number of Months of ServiceAmount of Tax CreditNumber of Months of ServiceAmount of Tax Credit

If an individual serves in more than one position as a volunteer firefighter, volunteer EMS personnel, and reserve peace officer, the credit can only be claimed for one volunteer position.  One credit can be claimed on the IA 1040.

 Written Statement Requirements

Taxpayers claiming the tax credit are required to have a written statement (tax credit template)from the fire chief, the chief of police, sheriff, commissioner of public safety, or other appropriate supervisor verifying that the individual was a volunteer for the number of months that are being claimed. These letters do not have to be included with a filed return, but must be produced by the taxpayer upon request by the Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR). It is recommended that the statement contain the following information: Volunteer Name, Fire Department or EMS Service Name or Police Department, Number of Months of Service for the Year, Amount of Qualifying Credit, and the Name, Title, and Signature of the official authorizing the credit.

Recordkeeping Recommendations

It is recommended that volunteer fire departments, EMS services, or police departments maintain a record of the letters that are authorized in the event that IDR requests a list of authorized credit recipients. It is recommended that these lists be kept for at least three years.


Since 2014, IFA and California Casualty have shared a great relationship advocating for Iowa’s firefighters and their families and providing exclusive benefits. As our relationship is still fairly new, I am excited to announce that I am the new California Casualty representative for the men and women of IFA.

My career has always been focused on Iowa heroes. I have lead collaborative initiatives serving law enforcements, fire and EMS, legal, and medical entities in matters that focused on uniting these wonderful professionals to a stronger partnership. Now I am honored to have a similar goal of providing the best support and service possible to such deserving individuals.

I look forward to working with association members directly and through IFA and California Casualty’s partnership. I value the opportunity to learn about the associations goals and successes as well as needs. I hope to add an exclusive value by promoting the many California Casualty benefits and being a local support through department and association meetings, conferences, local events, and community events. I respect and value the time I am given and commit to making the best out of it by being an approachable resource and welcomed friend.

Under the blessing of the association, I look forward to reaching out to departments to schedule a few minutes of time to serve our members and promote exclusive benefits. Our current $10,000 Dewalt giveaway as well as a statewide rate reduction are just a couple of the exclusive aspects to IFA members that I’m excited to share.

Beyond local contacts, please let me know how I could be of service to the members of IFA. You can contact me directly at 641-485-4413 or email swhitmore@calcas.com.

If you haven’t already done so lately, take a quick look at California Casualty’s great rates and unique policy features by calling 1-866-402-2587.

Best regards,

Stephanie Whitmore


AD&D Benefit for IFA Members:

The Iowa Firefighters Association has partnered with American Income Life Insurance Company to provide a NO COST Accidental Death or Dismemberment Program for our members.


  • $2500 AD&D Benefit
  • Health Services Discount Card
  • Child Safe Kits
  • And More.

You will be receiving a letter in the mail notifying you of these benefits. Please fill out the enclosed response card or fill out the online card on the web site mentioned in the letter. Once your card is returned an AIL representative will contact you to deliver your no cost benefits and explain additional insurance coverage available on a voluntary basis.

You must be an Iowa Firefighters Association member to receive these Benefits.


Lighthouse Uniform Company’s Bereavement Uniform Program

The Lighthouse Uniform Company, long known for its Fallen Fire Fighter Dress Uniform Program, has dropped the LODD requirement and has expanded the program’s scope to make a dress uniform available to any firefighter’s family wanting one for burial purposes.

The Program, being called the Bereavement Uniform Program, is a collaborative effort. It calls for departments and firefighters to check the ‘closet’ for uniforms ‘retired’ or no longer fitting and to send them in to the Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse cleans, refurbishes, reconfigures to rank and makes them available to any family requesting one for burial purposes, overnight if necessary, at ‘no cost’ to the family. The only charge is for freight which will be billed to the affiliated department.

Access to the Bereavement Uniform Program is at http://bereavement.lighthouseuniform.com .