The Tenth Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner paid tribute to the 350th anniversary of the American Fire Service. Approximately, 1,700 national fire and emergency services leaders attended the annual tribute in Washington, DC to hear our nation's political leaders salute a tradition of serving that dates back to 1648.

    This year's program was highlighted by the appearance of Attorney General Janet Reno. Spectrum for public safety was the primary topic of the Attorney General's speech. Citing the work of Congressional Fire Services Caucus leaders, most notably Congressmen Weldon and Andrews, Ms. Reno spoke of the need for public safety agencies to have access to spectrum in order to communicate more effectively at emergencies.

    "Being unable to communicate is just not acceptable," said the Attorney General. "We must all speak in one voice as we try to rid these problems we now face."

    Appearing at his first dinner (and hopefully not his last) NBC anchor Brian Williams entertained the audience with anecdotes about his days as a volunteer firefighter in New Jersey. As a youth growing up in Elmira, New York, Williams got his first taste of the fire service when he went sledding down the front yard of Mr. LaFrance. In closing, Williams expressed his admiration of all firefighters for their dedication and his desire to always remain a part of the fire service.

    With plans underway to expand the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, Hal Bruno and Art Glatfelter, Board Members of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, spoke to the audience about becoming actively involved by contributing to expansion. Both Bruno and Glatfelter encouraged the fire service to purchase bricks as a way to show their support for our fallen heroes.

    Following their presentation, CFSI Executive Director Bill Webb and friends performed a song titled, "I Feel The Flame Inside." Written by Webb, the song reflects on a special relationship between a fallen firefighter and his son, who eventually becomes a firefighter, himself. "It was something that came to me one day as I was reading about the untimely death of a D.C. firefighter last year," said Webb.

    Serving as masters of ceremony were the trio of Congressmen Rob Andrews, Steny Hoyer and Curt Weldon. Although they had a little trouble keeping the program on schedule, they deserve credit for keeping the audience entertained. "Because this marks the 350th anniversary of the fire service, we wanted the dinner to serve as an introspective event, reflecting on the past and looking ahead to the future," said Congressman Curt Weldon, founder of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. "The CFSI staff did an outstanding job in hosting what will probably be the only national tribute to the fire service's 350th anniversary."

    Check this web site for information and registration for the 1999 Dinner

Home | Mission | Fire Services Institute | Fire Services Caucus | Advisory Committee
Fire Service Legislation | Writing Congress | Emergency Services Dinner
Washington Watchdog | Programs and Events | State & Web Resources

Congressional Fire Services Institute
900 Second Street, NE, Suite 303    Washington, DC 20002
Phone 202.371.1277    Fax 202.682.FIRE (3473)

Web Design by CoolWriter
Best Viewed: 600x800, Netscape or MSIE 3.0+