I am Andy Woody, Fire Chief of the Columbia, Missouri Fire Department. In my over 20 years in the fire service I have been heavily involved with training and safety. I have always taken an active role in the safety programs of my Department. I understand the tough decisions that must be made and the unpopular enforcement of rules that are in contradiction to the way something has always been done. I am proud to advocate new ways of keeping firefighters safe to ensure we get to tell the next generation about our wonderful traditions.
I have long been committed to the safety of the fire service. I believe in the goals of the IAFC and I believe in the mission of the SHS. We MUST prevent preventable accidents. I am committed to safety initiatives established by the SHS as well as researching and implementing new ways of enhancing safety through the use of technology, science, and professional credentialing.
The data we have at our disposal is more readily available, thorough, and relevant than ever before. It is critical that we review this information and create meaningful change within our industry. We must work with current and future fire department leaders and encourage them to truly evaluate everything they do. We should gauge the message that is being sent administratively; from writing and enforcing policies to prioritizing and establishing a budget to meet mission critical safety items. We should consider operational changes that could be impactful such as aggressive gross decontamination, enhanced emphasis on traffic control, or additional driver’s training.
I am committed to help shape the future of the SHS by working with leadership and listening to members on how the section can best address future challenges.