MSVFA History

Maltese Cross and Other Historic Items

Around the 1990s and on to today, the environment of today's organizations has changed a great deal. A variety of driving forces provoke this change. Increasing telecommunications has "shrunk" the world substantially. Increasing diversity of firefighters has brought in a wide array of differing values, perspectives and expectations among firefighters. Public consciousness has become much more sensitive and demanding that organizations be more socially and professionally responsible. Much of the fire service and the firefighters have joined the global communications arena, creating a wider awareness for services. Organizational leadership need to become more responsible not only to their fellow workers but to a wider community of "stakeholders."

As a result of the above driving forces, organizations were and are required to adopt "new paradigms," or view on the fire service of Minnesota and the world, to be more sensitive, flexible and adaptable to the demands and expectations of stakeholder demands. Many organizations have abandoned or are abandoning the traditional top-down, rigid and hierarchical structures to more "organic" and fluid forms.

Today's organizational leadership must deal with continual, rapid change. Organizational leadership faced with a major decision can no longer refer back to an earlier developed plan for direction. Management techniques must continually notice changes in the environment and organization, assess this change and manage change. Managing change does not mean controlling it, rather understanding it, adapting to it where necessary and guiding it when possible.

Organizational leadership can't know it all or reference resources for every situation. Organizational leadership must count on and listen more to their members and in our case the rank and file volunteer firefighters of Minnesota.

Click plus to expand details for each year

1873 – Minnesota State Fire Department Association (MSFDA)

1927 – Volunteer Firemen's Benefit Association (VFBA)

1938 – Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters Association (MPFF)

1969 – Fire Instructors’ Association of Minnesota (FIAM)

1975 – MN-International Association of Arson Investigators (MN-IAAI)

1985 – The Minnesota Fire Service Foundation

2007 – Minnesota State Volunteer Firefighters Association (MSVFA)

The point in listing all of these splinter groups (click here for more listings) and so called radicals, that would break away from some parent organization to start their own association is historic and will continue long after you and I are gone from this earth.

There appears to be a grave concern by some organizations that a new organization has started in Minnesota. Why is that you ask that they should be so concerned? Maybe it is because there is no single organization, with a specific focus on the issues of the rank and file volunteer firefighters of Minnesota.

MSVFA exists as both a means to accomplish a result and the obvious role – a means of providing representation, service, camaraderie, and support. The second but equally important role is as a means of engagement in a democracy.

We need to remember that our organizations are creatures of the 1st Amendment - freedom of speech and freedom of association.