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About This Webinar

Join the IAFC's VCOS Executive Board as they discuss pressing issues faced by the fire service at the national and international levels. Topics covered will include: continued funding of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, proposed rulemaking by OSHA, updates to NFPA standards, and civilian deaths. The board will also discuss how collaborating with local elected officials can improve relationships, influence policy-making, and increase funding. This webinar will be an interactive panel discussion that is open to attendee questions.

Looking for guidance? The VCOS offers coaching sessions to help local Fire Chiefs who want to discuss problems or simply share ideas for feedback. If you are interested in receiving coaching support, contact us at VCOSCoaching@gmail.com.

Who can view: Everyone
Webinar Price: Free
Featured Presenters
Webinar hosting presenter
Columbus Fire Rescue and VCOS Chair
Chief Rich Cowger currently serves as the Fire Chief for the Columbus Rural Fire District # 3.

Chief Cowger is the Chair of the Montana State Fire Chief’s Association, serves on the International Association of Fire Chief’s Wildland Fire Policy Committee, is a board member of the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section, and the State of Montana Wildland Committee. Chief Cowger was part of the Waldo Canyon review team sponsored by the IAFC, Forrest Service, NFPA and IBHS to look at why or why not homes burned in relation to mitigation projects during that event.

Chief Cowger has been with the Columbus Rural Fire District for 25 years and has served as the Fire Chief for the past 19 years. Chief Cowger is red carded as a Division Supervisor, a Structure Protection Specialist, Liaison Officer, Incident Commander T3, Operations Section Chief T2 trainee, and serves with a Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team.
Chief Cowger has a wide range of experience in wildland urban interface fires as well as all hazards response and has written several articles for national publications in regards to the WUI and challenges it presents to communities as well as departments. Chief Cowger was presented with teh John Buckman III Leadership Award by the IAFC/ VCOS in 2016 ans is currently workign on his Bachelors Degree for Fire and EMS Administration.
Webinar hosting presenter
Fire Chief, Ponderosa Fire Department and VCOS Secretary-Treasurer
F. C. (Fred) Windisch, EFO CFO, began his volunteer fire service career in 1972, and is Fire Chief of the Ponderosa Fire Department (Houston, Texas). He served as the CEO/Fire Marshal of the Harris County Fire and Emergency Services Department (2000-2002), the third most populous county in the nation. Fred has been a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs since 1985, is a charter member of the Volunteer & Combination Officers Section, and was Chairman and is currently the VCOS Secretary-Treasurer. He was selected as the Fire Chief Magazine Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year (2000), has co-authored a book, A Leadership Guide For Combination Fire Departments. Fred retired from Shell Chemical Company as a Senior Safety Specialist working with health, safety and environmental issues. Fred also served as Fire Chief of the facility's fire brigade and managed its fire, EMS, Hazmat, and Rescue teams. Fred and Theresa have been married since 1969. Their son, Scott, is a Battalion Chief with The Woodlands Fire Department and Deputy Chief with Ponderosa. Their grandson, Cody, is currently a senior attending the University of Texas Tyler with a major in business.
Webinar hosting presenter
Fire Chief, Manooka Fire Protection District and VCOS Vice Chair
Chief Yancey is the fire chief at Minooka Fire Protection District in Illinois since 2003. Chief Yancey started his fire service career in 1988 as a volunteer. He holds a bachelor's degree in Fire Service Management from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale and is a 2009 graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. Chief Yancey is currently a Director on the Volunteer and Combination Officer Section of the IAFC, is the Volunteer/Combination Director for the Illinois Fire Chiefs Assoc., and is President of Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Division 15.

Chief Yancey has presented at various local, state and national conferences on the subjects of leading a combination fire department, health and wellness in the fire service, and recruitment and retention

Chief Yancey is married to Kristen and they have two children.. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, swimmimg, exercise, camping, being outdoors.
Webinar hosting presenter
Fire Chief, German Township Fire Department (Ret.)
John M. Buckman III served as a German Township Fire Chief managing volunteers for 35 years. He is most proud of the title “pawpaw.” Leslie his wife has spent 29 years together. He currently serves as Education Coordinator for the International Association of Fire Chief Volunteer and Combination Officers Section. He is the Director of Government and Regional Outreach for IamResponding. He served as the Indiana Fire Academy Director for 15 years. He served as President of the International Association of Fire Chief in 2001-2002.

He has authored over 150 articles in various publications. In 1996 he was selected by Fire Chief Magazine as Fire Chief of the Year in 1996. He has published 4 books and 7 photography books. He received the Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels Meritorious Service Award. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2022 he received the Jimmy Seavey Health and Wellness award presented by the NVFC. and the Presidents Award from the International Society of Fire Service Instructors.

He was one of the founders of the Volunteer and Combination Officer Section (VCOS) and the National Fire Academy Alumni Association. He has contributed to several “ribbon reports” published by the VCOS. He was asked to be one of the editors for the original Lavender Ribbon Report published by the VCOS and NVFC in 2019. In 2021 he along with Brian McQueen spearheaded the update for the Lavender Ribbon Report. He is a principal author of the Yellow Ribbon Report and the updated updated Training Volunteers white paper published by the National Volunteer Fire Council and the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section.
Hosted By
International Association of Fire Chiefs webinar platform hosts IAFC VCOS Town Hall
The International Association of Fire Chiefs represents the leadership of over 1.2 million firefighters and emergency responders. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.