Virginia Fire & Life Safety Coalition
Bylaws as promulgated by the Board of Directors
Effective Date: 9 December 2004
Revised: January 12, 2006
The organization shall be known as the “Virginia Fire and Life Safety Coalition”, hereinafter also stated as “the Coalition.” The Coalition’s membership consists of the regional member organizations listed here:
Central Virginia Public Educators’ Network
Northern Virginia Fire and Life Safety Coalition
Shenandoah Valley Fire and Life Safety Network
Southwest Virginia Fire and Life Safety Coalition
Tidewater Fire Educators’ Network
The Coalition’s constituency is comprised of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, state agencies, fire and EMS agencies, allied agencies, and our corporate partners.
The purpose of the organization shall be to serve as a statewide representative voice to address fire and life safety issues, and to continually improve the level of fire and life safety in the Commonwealth by:
A. Serving as an advocate for fire and life safety issues;
B. Sharing fire and life safety resources with our peers;
C. Assisting the Virginia Fire Services Board with maintaining the “Public Education Section” of the “Virginia Fire Prevention and Control Document”;
D. Assisting state agencies, fire and EMS agencies, allied organizations, and our corporate partners with their fire and life safety programs and efforts;
E. Assisting schools and educators with integrating fire and life safety education into their curricula, and presenting fire and life safety programs to their students;
F. Assisting jurisdictions with developing and delivering community-based fire and life safety education programs;
G. Reviewing, developing, promoting, and sponsoring public fire and life safety educator and juvenile fire-setter training and certification;
H. Supporting burn survivors and the efforts of “burn camps”;
I. Planning annual public educator conferences to offer training, develop skills, and make professional connections; and
J. Encouraging the organization of regional coalitions around the state and supporting their continued success.
To save lives through education, advocacy, and shared resources, and to establish the Coalition as a leader in the Commonwealth for fire and life safety education issues.
General membership in the Coalition is available to all interested parties who are willing to participate in activities that will serve the purpose stated in Article II. General membership demonstrates an affiliation and agreement with the Coalition and its mission. Individuals, businesses, agencies, and corporations are encouraged to join the Coalition and to support its efforts.
General members should associate with and support their regional fire and life safety organization as well as the statewide group, and they will be represented by the regional group’s Board of Directors representatives.
A nominal amount for dues shall be required of all members to cover administrative costs and to support the mission of the Coalition; the amount of dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors, as necessary.
Membership dues shall be due and payable on January 1st of each year. Dues shall be considered late after March 1st of each year; dues shall be considered delinquent after July 1st of each year, and membership may be cancelled. Voting members shall not have the right to vote if their dues are late. Members may be removed from the roll and the mailing list if their dues are delinquent.
Honorary Lifetime Member – membership awarded to individuals prized for their dedication and contribution to the mission and purpose of the Coalition. Honorary members are entitled to full membership benefits at no cost for the remainder of their natural life-time. This honorary entitlement shall be conferred upon individuals through nomination and acceptance by a majority vote of Board members; it may be removed in a similar fashion.
Board of Directors
All of the statewide business and activities of the Coalition shall be decided and acted upon by the Board of Directors (hereinafter, “the Board”). The Board shall consist of two representatives from each of the regional member organizations (listed in Article I), ex officio members, and the Executive Officers.
Ex officio membership shall be granted to one representative of each of the following organizations: the Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office; the Virginia Department of Fire Programs; the Virginia Department of Health; the Virginia Department of Forestry; the Virginia State Police; and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
It shall be the responsibility of the Board to establish the policy and direction of the Coalition, to elect the Executive Officers, and conduct the business of the Coalition.
Board members shall also serve as representatives of and advocates for the Coalition and its stated purpose in their respective regions and throughout the Commonwealth.
No Board member shall be entitled to compensation for his or her services. With prior approval from the Board, actual expenses incurred on behalf of the Coalition may be submitted for reimbursement.
The Executive Officers of the Board of Directors shall include:
President – responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to: provides overall leadership to accomplish the Mission of the Coalition; sets achievable short-term goals and objectives, and suggests long-term goals for the Board; helps to determine the direction of the Coalition; promotes the Coalition; facilitates meetings of the Board; represents the Coalition; assigns committees; and other duties as required.
Vice-President – responsibilities shall be essentially the same as the President, and will assume the duties of the President in his or her absence; will serve as the Coalition liaison to the regional group for planning the annual conference.
Secretary – responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to: announces meeting times and places; keeps the official Minutes of Board meetings; assists the other Officers with their duties; provides administrative organizational support; and reports on important business and activities of the Coalition at each meeting.
Treasurer – responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to: establishes and maintains financial records of the Coalition; reports on the financial status of the Coalition at all regular meetings and upon request of an Executive Officer; deals with banking officials; and suggests methods of maximizing revenues and minimizing expenditures.
Immediate Past-President – responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to: assists the other Officers and assures a smooth transition from one President to the next.
Upon approval of the Board, Executive Officer positions may be combined for convenience. When positions are combined, only one vote shall be apportioned to the person holding the combined office.
Executive Officers shall act for the good of the statewide coalition regardless of their affiliation with a regional member group, and shall cast their one vote accordingly.
Members of the Board shall have voting privileges in the conduct of official business as follows:
Each regional member organization, as recognized in Article I, shall have two voting members with one vote each.
Executive Officers shall have one vote each; the Chair will reserve this right, except in the event of a deadlocked question (tie vote).
General membership and ex-officio members shall not have an individual vote.
The term of office for each Executive Officer shall be for one year. Nominations shall be forwarded in writing to the Secretary two weeks prior to the March meeting. The Secretary shall publish confirmed nominations in the agenda prior to the May meeting. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the May meeting. The election of officers shall be conducted at the May meeting, with the new officers taking their seat in July.
If a vacancy occurs during a term of office, a nomination shall be made by a Board member, accepted by the candidate, and approved or rejected by majority vote of the Board.
Officers serve at the pleasure of the Board and may be removed from office for cause by prior announcement and subsequent majority vote. After an announcement has been made and cause has been stated, the Officer in question shall have the right to resign and/or address the stated cause(s) prior to the vote.
The Board shall meet on the second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September and November at a predetermined location.
Committee and special meetings will be scheduled as needed. All meetings are open to anyone with an interest in the advancement of fire and life safety education and related issues unless prior notice is sent announcing a “closed” meeting. A “closed” meeting should only be scheduled to discuss “sensitive” issues, and the reason will be announced prior to the closed meeting. A “closed” meeting shall be restricted to voting Board members only; a summary of any action taken will be published in the minutes.
At least one Executive Officer and four other voting members shall constitute a quorum.
All meetings shall be structured, but informal in nature. Where required, Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used as a guideline.
The Board may permit a quorum of voting members to participate in a regular or special meeting by, or conduct the meeting through the use of, any means of communication by which all voting members present may hear, and be heard by, each other during the meeting (e.g., “teleconference”). A Board member participating in a meeting by this means is deemed to be present in person at the meeting.
The Board may permit a written ballot to be completed, signed, and dated by a quorum of Board members for the purposes of deciding upon specific business or an activity of the Board in a timely manner; standard or premium mail services, electronic signatures and faxes are acceptable.
A majority affirmative vote duly solicited, recorded, and retained within the Minutes shall carry forward the stated business or activity.
The Coalition shall seek to become a legally incorporated, non-profit entity in Virginia. As such, the Coalition shall seek grants, donations, and in-kind support from all available sources. The Coalition shall also seek to recover cost through its annual conference and other enterprises allowed by law.
A bank account shall be established with a full-service, banking institution with branches and representation throughout the Commonwealth.
All transfers, withdrawals, and expenditures of assets or cash must at least be individually approved by the Treasurer and another Executive Officer--the default Executive Officer being the President. Transfers, withdrawals, and expenditures exceeding $250 must be approved by a vote of the Board.
All income shall be securely routed to the Treasurer for deposit. The Treasurer shall keep a current accounting of all income, assets, and expenditures, and shall make such an accounting available upon request by a member of the Board and at all regularly scheduled meetings.
A “Conflict of Interest” policy is hereby adopted and incorporated into these Bylaws. No member shall have an interest or concern that may be seen as competing with the interests or concerns of the VFLSC. “Appendix A: Conflict of Interest Policy” shall be the official policy of the Board.
The Board shall provide oversight and assistance to the hosting regional organization for planning and implementation of the annual “Virginia Fire and Life Safety Educator’s Conference” in accordance with the conference planning manual.
A committee will be appointed by the President and chaired by the Vice-President. This committee shall be a standing committee and shall be known as the “Conference Committee”. This committee, and the Coalition, will provide assistance with fundraising for the annual conference.
The Coalition will also assist with providing resources for conferences and/or seminars.
The Coalition will also endeavor to participate in other conferences and seminars with its constituency in support of its mission and purpose.
The Coalition may award a deserving recipient the “Shining Star” each year, a symbol of appreciation given to the recipient for an outstanding contribution to public fire and life safety education and/or service.
Nominations for the Shining Star award must be submitted to the Secretary prior to the May meeting each year. Submittals will be added to the Agenda for consideration at the May meeting. The Board will consider all submissions, and a majority vote will determine the recipient of the award each year. The Shining Star award will be presented to the recipient(s) at the next occurrence of the Virginia Fire and Life Safety Educators’ Conference or other appropriate time and place as determined by the Board.
Logo and Use of Logo
The Coalition shall develop and adopt a representative logo for recognition and identification. The official logo shall be utilized for imaging, promoting, and establishing the Coalition as a leader in the Commonwealth for fire and life safety education issues. This logo may be used liberally by the Coalition to further its mission. Its use shall be protected as a symbol of the highest ethical, moral, and professional standards.
Upon dissolution of the Coalition, all assets shall be equally divided among the constituent regional member organizations.
Changes to Bylaws
Changes to these Bylaws are possible through submission, consideration, and approval during a regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors; changes shall subsequently be published in the minutes and submitted as required.