NAME: The name of this corporation shall be THE FLORIDA STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION, D.B.A. THE FLORIDA STATE FIREFIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION. Membership in the Association is not restricted to either volunteer or career firefighters. There is no distinction between firefighters’ grades within the Association. The volunteer firefighter from the smallest fire department and the private from a paid department have the same rights and privileges as the chief of a large city department. All firefighters within the association shall be recognized as professionals within the fire service. The Association was organized to provide firefighting equipment, bunker gear, aid, assistance, and manpower to Florida’s fire departments and the communities they serve, as well as present a unified front, to all of Florida’s fire service. It is also meant to be a melting pot for firefighters of all levels.
PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS: The principal place of business of this corporation shall be at Avon Park, Highlands County, Florida. It may establish such other offices and places of business within the State of Florida as may be determined by the Board of Directors.
· Par. 1. The Corporate powers of this corporation shall be vested in a Board of Directors, who shall be as follows: The President, the First Vice-President, the Second Vice-President, the Secretary-Treasurer, two Directors-at-Large, the Immediate Past President and all of these shall hold their office by virtue of their election as officers in the annual meeting of the corporation. The Legislative Chairman and the National Volunteer Fire Council Representative shall be appointed by the Board of Directors and serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. The Chairman of the Firematics Committee shall become a member of the Board of Directors, Ex-Officio, his expenses to be paid out of the Firematics fund.
· Par. 2. The President shall appoint a District Vice-President from each of the following described twelve districts of the State of Florida, which are comprised of the counties herein set forth:*FIRST DISTRICT Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee* SECOND DISTRICT Broward,Dade, Martin, Monroe, Palm Beach* THIRD DISTRICT DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Sarasota* FOURTH DISTRICT Brevard, Indian River, St Lucie, Okeechobee, Highlands, Osceola* FIFTH DISTRICT Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco* SIXTH DISTRICT Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake* SEVENTH DISTRICT Flagler, Putnam, St Johns, Duval, Nassau, Clay* EIGHTH DISTRICT Hernando, Sumter, Citrus, Marion, Levy* NINTH DISTRICT Dixie, Gilchrist, Alachua, Bradford, Union, Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwannee, LaFayette* TENTH DISTRICT Taylor, Madison, Jefferson,Wakulla, Leon, Gadsden* ELEVENTH DISTRICT Gulf, Franklin, Liberty, Calhoun, Bay, Holmes, Washington, Jackson* TWELFTH DISTRICT Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Escambia
· Par. 3. Each said District Vice-President shall have the authority, to appoint as many Deputy Vice-Presidents as deemed necessary, who shall serve only during the term of the appointing District Vice-President served.
· Par. 4. Said appointment shall be subject to the approval by the President of this Corporation.
· Par. 5. The duties of said Deputy District Vice-President shall be to assist their respective district Vice-Presidents with the work within their districts.
· Par. 6. A quorum of the Board of Directors shall consist of two-thirds of its members, of which one must be the President or one of the Vice-Presidents.
· Par. 7. If any vacancies occur in the Board of Directors or offices, the same shall be filled by the Board of Directors to serve until the next annual meeting.
· Par. 8. The Board of Directors shall conduct, manage and control the affairs and the business of the corporation and make rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of Florida, or the by-laws of this corporation, for the guidance of the officers and management of the affairs of the corporation.
· Par. 9. The Board of Directors shall cause to be kept a complete record of all their minutes and acts of the proceedings of its members and present a full statement at the regular annual meeting of this corporation showing in detail, the assets and liabilities of the corporation and generally the condition of its affairs.
· Par. 10. The Board of Directors shall supervise all officers, agents, and employees and see that their duties are properly performed.
· Par. 11. The Board of Directors shall have the power to employ a person as Executive Secretary, who shall have such powers and duties as the Board of Directors may confer.
· Par. 12. Any contract entered into with the Executive Secretary by the Board of Directors, beyond the term of office of the existing Board of Directors, shall be approved by the new Board of Directors.
· Par. 13. Salary and expenses for said Executive Secretary shall be determined by the Board of Directors and kept within the operating budget of this corporation.
· Par. 14. The Board of Directors shall meet at the call of the President, or upon request of a majority of said Board of Directors, in writing to the President... Copies of all such requests shall be furnished by the Secretary. Upon receiving such request, the President shall call such a meeting within twenty days. Upon his failure to do so, the Secretary or a member of the petitioning body may set the meeting place and date.
· Par. 1. The annual meeting of the members of this corporation shall be held in the month of April, May or June, at a place fixed by the members or by the Board of Directors, and upon the call of the President.
· Par. 2. The place of the meeting shall be determined by a majority vote of all delegates present and voting. If more than two places are nominated, the place receiving the smallest number of votes on the first ballot will be dropped from the contest and the balloting continued until a place has received a majority of all votes cast, and the place of meeting determined thereby; provided, however, that a vote by a majority may leave to the Board of Directors the right of determining where the meeting shall be held. If, for any reason, the selected site is unable to host the conference, the Board of Directors shall select a new conference site.
· Par. 3. The President shall be guided by the manual of Roberts Rules Of Order in establishing the order of proceedings of the annual meeting.
· Par. 4. Except that the Board of Directors shall be empowered to change the order of business and make such rules governing the procedure of the conference as they may deem advisable. Their decision shall be final.
· Par. 5. The Board of Directors may contract for legal counsel on a yearly basis.
· Par. 1. Elective officers of the Florida State Firemen’s Association, Inc. shall consist of a President, First Vice-President, Second Vive-President, Secretary-Treasurer, two Directors and the Immediate Past President. They shall be elected annually in the meeting of the membership of this corporation and shall assume their respective offices following such election and installation. They shall hold these offices until their successors shall be elected and qualified.
· Par. 2. Only members of the Association who have reached their twenty-first birth date and who have maintained paid-up membership in this corporation for the five years immediately previous to the time of their election, shall be eligible for any elective office in this Association. A person must be present in the conference meeting room when nominated, or the person nominating such candidate shall have the written consent of the candidate to place his name in nomination.
· Par. 3. Immediately after assuming his office, the President shall appoint a District Vice-President from each of the Districts hereinabove mentioned. Said District Vice-President to serve during the term of the appointing President, or until their successors shall be appointed.
· Par. 4 The rate of compensation, or expenses, paid any of these officers shall first be passed upon by a vote of two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors. All requests for payment of such compensation or expenses shall be accompanied by such proof as may be demanded by the Board of Directors that such payment is justly due for services performed or expenses incurred.
· Par. 1. The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Corporation. He shall preside at all meetings of the members and of the Board of Directors.
· Par. 2. He shall have general charge and supervision of the affairs of the Corporation, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
· Par. 3. He shall sign, as President, all contracts and other instruments of writing.
· Par. 4. He shall call the Directors together whenever deemed necessary.
· Par. 5. He shall require of each subordinate officer full compliance with the requirements of the charter and these by-laws.
· Par. 6. The President may remove any elected officer for misconduct, failure to carry out his duties set forth in the by-laws, or other just causes, upon approval of a majority of the Board of Directors.
· Par. 7. He shall have the power and the right to remove any person he has appointed to any position.
· Par. 8. The President shall appoint the following standing committees within 30 days following the annual meeting of the Association: Committee on Good of Association Committee on Legislation, except the Chairman Committee on Training and Education Committee on budget and such other committees as the Board of Directors may see fit to name in conference assembled.
· Par. 9. The President shall appoint the chairman of the Committee on Credentials, the Committee on Audit and Finance, the Committee on Resolutions and all other conference committees at least 30 days prior to the conference. In the event that all appointees do not attend, the President may appoint substitutes from members attending the conference. All committees shall consist of a minimum of three members.
· Par. 1. If at any time the President shall be unable to act, then the First Vice-President shall take his place and assume his duties, and if the First Vice-President is unable to act, then the Second Vice-President shall take over and assume the duties of President.
· Par. 2. Both of these Vice-Presidents shall perform such other duties as may be assigned them by the Board of Directors.
· Par. 3. The Second Vice-President shall also serve in the capacity of Statistician for the Corporation. He shall endeavor to compile statistics of each fire department in the State of Florida in matters pertaining to the fire service.
· Par. 1. There shall be two Directors-at-Large elected to the Board of Directors at each annual meeting by the members of this Corporation. They shall serve on the Board of Directors and shall perform other such duties as the Board of Directors may direct.
CHAIRMAN OF LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: The Chairman of the Legislative Committee shall, together with the other members of his committee, make a study and report to the members of this Corporation and/or the board of Directors from time to time, of laws which in his opinion would be beneficial to the members of said corporation. If, after discussion, it should be decided by the Board of Directors and/or membership in a conference that such laws should be passed, he shall make arrangements to have same written, or the Board of Directors may appoint a special committee for this purpose. It shall then be the duty of the Chairman of the Legislative Committee to endeavor to have the laws enacted at the next succeeding session of the legislation.
DISTRICT VICE-PRESIDENT: Each District Vice-President shall be urged to schedule and issue calls for at least two meetings within his district during his term of office. He shall be the presiding officer of his District meeting and, if necessary, may appoint a Secretary for the meeting. These meetings may be held at any designated place in the District. The District Vice-President shall be responsible for the program of the business session. Immediately following such meeting, he shall file a report of such with the President. The Town or Fire Department entertaining such a meeting shall provide a meeting place for such district meeting, but any entertainment furnished shall be at the expense of the members attending.
· Par. 1. Whereas the Corporation recognizes the impossibility of getting all of its members, who are firemen, in conference at one time, it is hereby provided that each city may have one vote for each ten (10) members of the active fire department who have paid their dues to this Corporation, and an additional vote for a fraction of the last ten (10) thereof. If the department prefers, it can delegate to one man the right to vote the entire paid active membership of said department on the same basis, that is, it shall be entitled to have one vote for each ten (10) members or fraction of the last ten (10) thereof who have paid their dues.
· Par. 2. In determining who has paid his dues, and how many votes the delegates shall be allowed, the books of the Secretary-Treasurer shall be consulted and they shall be binding upon the delegate.
· Par. 3. Only those delegates bearing credentials from departments in their districts as set forth in Article III, Section 2, acceptable to the Credentials Committee in the conference shall be allowed to vote in the conference. No one delegate or department may obtain more than fifteen (15) votes from other departments in their district, other than their department.
· Par. 4. Delegates representing each department shall be certified by the Chief and Secretary of that department to the fact that they have been elected by a majority of the members of the Florida State Firemen’s Association, Inc. in that department.
· Par. 5. Let it be fully understood that a department having at least one, but less than ten (10) paid-up members in the Corporation, shall be entitled to one vote in the conference.
· Par. 6. Any registered delegate, who, for emergency reasons, may be compelled to leave before voting on any or all issues before the conference, shall have the right to appoint any registered member of his choice to cast the ballots controlled by him. All requests for such action must be in writing and directed to the Credentials Committee of said conference, accompanied by an explanation for such request.
· Par. 7. Each Life Member shall be entitled to one vote, provided that he is not a delegate of any department attending the Annual Conference, and is not carried on any department’s role. There shall be an Association Life Member roster for the option of being removed from a department’s role.
· Par. 8. A person may run for only one office and his name should not appear on the ballot more than once.
· Par. 9. The selection of officers shall be done by secret ballot and that ballot shall contain the names of all candidates.
· Par. 10. The polls shall be open for a maximum of two (2) hours, the time and location to be announced at Conference.
· Par. 11. The ballots shall be placed in a locked box and said locked box not to be opened until the polls close.
· Par. 12. The ballots shall be counted by the Credentials Committee and the results shall be announced by the Committee
· Par. 1. ACTIVE – All persons engaged in the various grades of firefighters and officers of the several fire departments, fire marshals, superintendents of fire alarms, communications, school and vocational instructors allied with the fire service, inspectors and office employees of municipal fire departments and the State Fire Marshall, state forestry employees, members of industrial fire brigades, and each regularly organized fire department in the State of Florida which is officially recognized by the duly elected officials of the state, city or community wherein the department may be located, (the Florida State Fire College shall be deemed a department) shall upon complying with the provisions of the Charter and By-Laws, and making payment of the fees that may be prescribed therein, become Active members of this Corporation.
· Par. 2. LIFE-ACTIVE – Members shall be chosen from the Active membership list of this Corporation and awarded for meritorious service to the Corporation. Such award shall designate that person as an Active member of this Corporation for the duration of his life. The awarding of such memberships must be voted by delegates in conference assembled, provided however that not more than three (3) such Life-Active awards may be made in any one conference. These members shall not be required to pay dues and shall enjoy all privileges and rights afforded Active members. The vote of such members shall be a part of the vote from the departments they are serving, or from which they may be retired.
· Par. 3. RETIRED – For members who have held Active membership under paragraph 1 of this section continually prior to retirement. Members in this category shall continue to pay annual membership dues and their this section, but who has become disabled to the extent of being no longer able to votes shall be counted with the department from which they retired.
· Para. 4. DISABLED – Any member who has held Active membership under paragraph 1 or paragraph 2 of perform those duties for which the member was employed. Members in this category shall continue to pay annual membership dues and their vote shall be counted with the department from which they were a member.
· Par. 5. Members in this section shall have the sole vote in the affairs of the Corporation, and from the members in this section, all officers of this Corporation shall be elected.
· Par. 1. HONORARY – Shall be voted to persons for outstanding services to the Corporation and shall not be confined to members of the fire service. Honorary members shall not have voting powers, nor shall they pay any annual dues. For each 1000 members of the Association, there may be one Honorary member nominated and voted upon at any annual conference.
· Par. 2. ASSOCIATE – For any firefighter residing outside of the State of Florida, or salesmen, firms and others outside the fire service who wish to associate themselves with this Corporation, and whose association with the Corporation shall not be found to be objectionable by the Board of Directors. Such members shall have no voting privileges.
· Par. 3. YOUTH – For those persons who are not yet eighteen years of age, but are members of a fire department’s Junior- or Explorer-style group. They shall have no voting privileges, nor shall they receive the official paper.
· Par. 1. The fiscal year of this Corporation shall be January 1st to December 31st.
· Par. 2. Dues shall be twenty-five ($25.00) dollars Active, twenty-five ($25.00) dollars Disabled, fifteen ($15.00) dollars Retired, twenty ($20.00) dollars Junior, and thirty ($30.00) dollars Associate.
· Par. 3. Each member shall pay their dues on the 1st day of the month from the month their dues were paid in the previous year. Membership will be delinquent after the last day of the same month of the following year. (Example: dues paid June of one year will be due June 1st of the following year and delinquent after the last day of that month.) Dues received after the first day of the month will still be due on the first day of that month.
· Par. 4. In addition to the dues above enumerated, each member of the department attending the annual conference shall be required to pay any registration fee to help defray the expenses of the meeting. The amount of such registration fee shall be set by the host department, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
· Par. 1. Amendments to these By-Laws may be offered by any member of the Corporation, proposing the same in writing, serving the President and the Secretary/Treasurer with a copy thereof, and publishing the same in the “Florida Firefighter,” or other official paper of the Corporation, not less than thirty (30) days, nor more than ninety (90) days previous to any annual meeting. If a majority of the membership at the Conference present and voting shall favor such proposed amendment, then such amendment shall become effective at the conclusion of the Conference, or amendments may be made to these By-Laws upon a vote of two-thirds of the Board of Directors approving the same, without first submitting notice thereof, coupled with two-thirds majority of delegated votes in conference assembled.
· Par. 2. The Good of the Association shall be provided extra copies of the By-Laws as printed in the Conference issue of the “Florida Firefighter” for distribution to the District Vice-Presidents and Deputies.
· Par. 3. By-Laws Committee shall meet at least once each year at least ninety (90) days prior to the Conference, to review and possible update the existing By-Laws. A public notice might well be published announcing the intended meeting prior to said meeting.
· Par. 1. The Board of Directors shall establish an official paper for this corporate organization which shall be published at least once a month, containing news and articles of interest about the various fire-fighting departments in the State of Florida, and the United States at large.
· Par. 2. The paper shall be known as the “Florida Firefighter” and shall be contracted for by the Board of Directors for a period not to exceed five (5) years publication, upon the approval of a majority of delegates assembled in conference, provided that the Board of Directors can, on ninety (90) days notice, cancel the contract if necessary to do so for the best interest and benefit of the corporate organization.
· Par. 3. And said Board shall enter into a new contract for a period of between such cancellation and the first date of annual conference thereafter, at which conference a new contract shall be let by conference approval.
· Par. 4. The paper shall not endorse political approval.
· Par. 5. The good name of the fire departments shall not be impaired in the solicitation of advertisements.
· Par. 6. The official paper shall keep an accounting of its cost of publishing and its income from advertisements and shall submit it to the Board of Directors every thirty days.
FLORIDA STATE FIRE COLLEGE: The President and Officers of the Corporation are hereby instructed to use their best efforts in supporting the work of the Florida State Fire College. The Officers of the Corporation are further required to give their best efforts to the Florida State Fire College in bringing to the attention of the various fire departments in the State of Florida the existence of the Fire College and to encourage the attendance of as many men as possible at their annual meeting for the courses there offered.
· Par. 1. The Board of Directors may draw a set of rules of Procedure and, if said rules are not sufficient, or, if parliamentary questions arise thereunder, they shall be determined by Roberts Rules of Procedure.
· Par. 2. All firefighters registering at a Conference, District Meeting or other official meeting of the Corporation shall present a paid-up membership card or be certified by the Secretary, or he may pay his dues at that time, otherwise, he shall be issued a guest badge.
· Par. 1. This Corporation shall have a corporate seal.
· Par. 2. This Corporation shall have an official logo and letterhead which shall not be used for any purpose other than official business of this Association.
AUXILIARY: The members of this Association duly recognize the Auxiliary of the Florida State Firefighters’ Association as an official affiliate of the organization. It shall be operated under Charter and By-Laws adopted by its own members. AMENDED AS OF THE 2002 CONFERENCE