United Aerial Firefighters Association – newly formed

United Aerial Firefighters Association – newly formed

22-Feb-2023 Source: UAFA

In an effort to respond to the ever-growing wildfire challenge, leading aerial firefighting companies have joined together to form a powerful industry association that will serve to foster safety and standardization in the aerial firefighting community. The United Aerial Firefighters Association (UAFA) was founded at the end of 2022 as a non-profit association with the goal of informing policymakers, legislators and the public about important issues concerning the increasingly critical nature of aerial wildland firefighting matters.

The UAFA exists to bring together industry experts for education, collaboration and advocacy to provide a unified voice for the industry when speaking to state and federal stakeholders, fire agencies, and the public about wildfires and issues impacting the aerial firefighting community. Headquartered in Washington, DC, UAFA ensures members have a significant presence on Capitol Hill and at federal and state agencies.

“We’ve seen tremendous change occur in wildland fire aviation over the last two decades, and as we look forward, we see more change on the horizon and the challenges only becoming more significant. With the growing national security threat that wildfires pose year in and year out, the entire aerial firefighting community wants to ensure that we are doing everything we can to provide the highest levels of service to the tax paying citizens expecting better outcomes. The UAFA was started with that goal, and looks forward to partnering with federal, state and private entities who share the same concerns. We believe the UAFA can leverage the collective expertise of our membership to ensure our industry continues to respond to the growing need with the innovation, safety, and standardization necessary to generate better outcomes in the future.” -John Gould, UAFA President, 10Tanker

UAFA membership is open to companies who own or lease and operate aircraft, both fixed wing and rotary, UAVs/Drones, or provide aerial delivered suppressants/retardants under contract with federal or state governmental entities for aerial firefighting services. Companies who support the aerial firefighting industry by providing products and services, or those interested in getting more involved with issues regarding the impact of wildfires, are encouraged to join as well. In addition to these entities, there will be free membership offered to nonprofits, state and national agencies who are interested and/or engaged in the wildfire community

Founding UAFA Board Members Include:

  • President: John Gould, 10Tanker
  • Vice President, Bart Brainerd,
  • Firehawk Helicopters Secretary/Treasurer: Brett L’Esperance,
  • Dauntless Air Director: Tim Sheehy, Bridger
  • Aerospace Director: Jennifer Draughon, Neptune Aviation Services

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