Facebook E-mail RSS
magnify
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

 

 

IFA Department Survey for 2016

The IFA periodically asks for our departments to participate in information gathering surveys that we then use to address issues through legislation, regulation, or within our own organization. This survey was sent out in print version with department bills last month and this is the on-line version. We ask that ONLY one person from a department, with the most knowledge about the issue, complete the survey so we don’t have duplicate information from the same departments.
There are some questions on this survey that mention a “benefited fire district”. We have had some questions as to what exactly a “benefited fire district” is. Here is an explanation:
Benefited fire district:  a taxing district established for providing fire protection. Benefited fire districts are similar in structure to school districts except for a different purpose. The may include both cities and townships within their boundaries. A benefited district may form a fire department (and be in charge of the department) or may simply serve as a taxing body to contract for service. No new benefited districts may be formed after 1975, however, existing districts may continue. There are currently approximately 55 existing benefited districts surviving in the State. For additional information, see Section 357B of Iowa Code.
We thank you for taking the time to complete this survey!

Take this survey

 

IFA 2016 Legislative Priorities

  • Protect 911 funds for local PSAPS and work to find other funding sources for a statewide radio network 
  • Increase the funding for the Iowa Fire Marshall Office and Fire Service Training Bureau and the funding for a curriculum director for the FSTB. 
  • Continue efforts to fund fire and EMS service through existing codes, including to a minimum standard, and to allow for expansion of laws to allow entities to reform if necessary, including the reinstatement of benefitted districts.
  • Continue to oppose any effort for the legalization of consumer fireworks
  • Establish cancer presumption coverage for Iowa’s volunteer firefighters.
  • Support legislation for the required installation of CO detectors in residences currently required to have smoke detectors installed.

 

 

 

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
1$87$58
2$178$67
3$259$75
4$3310$83
5$4211$92
6$5012$100

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.

 

For more than 40 years, California Casualty’s Auto and Home Insurance has been providing firefighters with unique coverage that is tailored to your needs at competitive rates. A wide range of personal insurance products are available for IFA members. California Casualty’s coverage offers exclusive firefighter features not available with other big name companies, such as: Vehicle Vandalism and Collision Reduced Deductible, $500 Auto Personal Property Coverage, Fallen Hero Benefit and Free Identity Theft Resolution Services. To learn more about California Casualty, please call 866-680-5138.

 
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.

Features:

  • $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 .