The Western Pacific Islands Association of Fire Chiefs is holding its annual forum today at the Lotte Hotel.
Guam Fire Department Deputy Chief Joey San Nicolas told the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57 that this is the 8th year of the annual conference.
“We switch from Guam and Saipan and one year we had it in Palau,” San Nicolas said.
The annual forum’s mission is to gather all the island fire chiefs, including federal and military, and discuss issues in the firefighting community as well as provide mentorship and share best practices.
“We have been fortunate over the years to bring in the president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs along with the president of the Western Fire Chiefs Association which is the west coast region of the international association,” San Nicolas said.
He added: “These are powerful organizations and voices with access to the policymakers in Washington D.C. and they have lobbying power.
This year, there are 16 initiatives that the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation put out. San Nicolas said they decided to focus this year on Initiative 13, which focuses on the behavioral health of firefighters and their families as well as identifying post-traumatic stress or PTSD.
“We’re also talking about cancer prevention, which is particularly timely because of this current controversy over PFAS chemicals used by firefighters,” San Nicolas said.
The Western Pacific Islands Association of Fire Chiefs Annual Forum is ongoing at the Lotte Hotel until 5 p.m.