Wisconsin Society of
Emergency Services Instructors

Wisconsin Society of 

Emergency Services Instructors

F. Y. I.:

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WSESI 2020


FEBRUARY 21-22-23

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The Wisconsin Society of Fire Service Instructors (WSFSI) was formed in 1962 to serve the needs of fire instructors in our State. Now renamed Wisconsin Society of Emergency Services Instructors (WSESI),
the Society assists local instructors through the exchange of ideas, dissemination of information, and the presentation of seminars and conferences. All of this is geared toward helping fire and emergency services instructors in their personal development and assisting them in bringing quality education and programs to their own agencies.

Please tour our site and learn more about how WSESI can serve all of your instructional needs. Your questions and comments are always welcome.

W S E S I NEWS BRIEFS – January 27, 2020

By Jim Austad
WSESI President
The WSESI has had the Southwest Director position open for the past six months.  Adam King (Oregon Area Fire EMS) was the Southwest Director until his wife took a position on the east coast and they needed to relocate.  We wish Adam and his family the best, and we thank him for all his hard work when he was on the board. 
We received one qualified letter of intent; John Austad applied for the Southwest Director position.  If you notice, the last name is the same as mine, because he is my cousin.    As president of the WSESI, it is my responsibility per our Bylaws to appoint members to fill open positions.  Since John was related to me, I felt it was prudent to have the board make the decision without my input.   To maintain full transparency to our organization, when I received John’s letter of intent for the open position, I forwarded it to Vice President Naab and Past President Flanagan.  I am proud to say John Austad was appointed to the Southwest Directors position upon recommendation of Vice President Naab, Past President Flanagan and the Board unanimously decided on his appointment. 
John is currently the Division Chief of Training for Sun Prairie Fire Department. John has been with the department for over 13 years and has been an active instructor and member of WSESI for the past four years.  Please join me in welcoming John Austad as the new Southwest Director for the WSESI. 
REGISTRATIONS STILL WELCOME -- for our Annual Instructors Conference – especially in Program Tracks A (Instructor Development) and B (NFPA 1403 Live Burns) Go to our Conference webpage to register.
                          CLICK HERE for the official Conference schedule.
EARLY-BIRD DISCOUNT EXTENDED THROUGH FEB. 2 (GROUND-HOG DAY!) ON PROGRAM TRACKS A & B -- To claim the extended savings, click on this link to request your discount, then register for the Conference as usual. Your invoicing will reflect the extended discount!
NOMINATIONS REMINDER – On Friday Feb. 21, at our Society’s 2020 Annual Meeting, the offices of President, Vice-President, Southeast Regional Director, and Southwest Regional Director all stand for election (or re-election). If you or a fellow Society member in good standing would like to be submitted for these ballots, please contact Nominations Chair Tom Vandenack: tvandenack@wsesi.org
WISCONSIN FIRE EMS LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP COALITION (WFELLC) meets monthly (in-person and/or by phone), discussing current efforts in the state legislature. Notes on activities of concern can be viewed on our Links page: www.wsesi.org/links -- in the first column, Wisconsin Links.
            Any member wishing to become active in our advocacy of public policy issues should contact President Jim Austad, or WFELLC delegates Jim Flanagan or Kevin Gerarden.
2020 MEMBERSHIP: RENEW-O-METER… As of press time, the following have been received:
72 Paid active members
12 New and returning members (including complimentary)
30 Members of 6 Partner Agencies
7 Life members
2 Members pending payment
122 -- ????
Active members’ dues are due Jan. 31, 2020. Don’t delay – Renew TODAY!
By Norm Arendt
Arendt Fire and Safety Consulting
WSESI Member Contributor
Have there ever been any lawsuits filed against a fire department for failing to implement or being noncompliant with NFPA standards? I am specifically concerned with whether (and the extent to which) lawsuits arising out of firefighter line-of-duty death (LODD) or serious injury reference NFPA standards.
Yes. In fact, lawsuits arising out of firefighter LODDs and injuries reference National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards on a regular basis. Most competent attorneys today seek to use industry standards as evidence of the applicable standard of care regardless of the type of industry. When it comes to the fire service, NFPA standards are the definitive standards that knowledgeable attorneys will default to.
Determining the extent to which NFPA standards are used in lawsuits, however, would be difficult. Attorneys are not required to reference a particular standard in their initial court filing, known as a complaint. Some attorneys choose to cite standards in minute detail in a complaint, while others simply make general allegations of negligence in the complaint, waiting until later in the process to reveal which NFPA standards they claim were violated. Attorneys have their strategic reasons for choosing either option. I mention this point only to show how difficult it would be to accurately assess how frequently NFPA standards are being raised in LODD and injury lawsuits. One would have to review every court file in its entirety to know for sure.
This is not to suggest that the failure to comply with an NFPA standard per se creates liability for a fire department. An industry-wide standard such as an NFPA standard can be used to establish an important element in a negligence suit: the standard of care. In other words, NFPA standards are evidence of what the reasonably prudent fire department would have done under the circumstances. The jury ultimately decides the appropriate standard of care in a case. Jurors can consider other factors as well, including expert witness testimony, learned treatises (authoritative books), and laws, including OSHA regulations.
Members wishing to contribute articles of interest may submit them to Kevin Gerarden via email: kgerarden@wsesi.org

Having trouble downloading documents? Call 920-235-5494 to request a paper copy of any Society forms or documents, or email your request to kgerarden@wsesi.org .


NEXT BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING:  Tuesday, April 21, 2020 – Appleton, WI (unless otherwise announced).

Contact your Board members  with any agenda items.