Local 647 representatives included (L to R): President Joe Burrows, Communications Director Jared Stockwell, Vice President Tony Nissen, A Shift Steward Logan Watts, Secretary/Treasurer Fred Benzel, and NPFFA Western Vice President Scott Kuehl

On June 1st-June 3rd, representatives from the Grand Island Professional Firefighters Association attended the 76th Nebraska Professional Firefighters Association Convention. This event brought delegates from IAFF locals across the state to gather, conduct business, and educate themselves on how to best serve the professionals that they represent. GIPFFA was represented by President Joe Burrows, Vice President Tony Nissen, Secretary/Treasurer Fred Benzel, and A Shift Steward Logan Watts. Also present from Local 647 were NPFFA Communications director Jared Stockwell and NPFFA Western Vice President Scott Kuehl.

Highlights from the 76th Convention included remarks from IAFF General President Ed Kelly, IAFF General Secretary/Treasurer Frank Lima, and IAFF 2nd District Vice President Mark Woolbright. US Senator Deb Fischer also presented at the event.

The Grand Island Professional Firefighters Association represents the interests of 66 professional firefighters serving Grand Island and Hall County.

GIPFFA President Joe Burrows with the staff of CHI Health St. Francis

Staff members of Grand Island Regional Medical Center, along with GIPFFA President Joe Burrows and Communications Director Jared Stockwell

May 6th-May 12th marks National Nurse’s Week,  set aside to recognize the hard work of nurses everywhere. This year, the Grand Island Professional Firefighters Association provided a small token of appreciation to the emergency room nurses at both Grand Island hospitals.

“The backbone of any emergency room is the nursing staff, and Grand Island is no exception,” states Joe Burrows, president of the GIPFFA. “The professionals of Local 647 are very grateful to have such a strong working relationship with the nurses at both St. Francis and Grand Island Regional, and this relationship allows us all to provide the best in patient care to the citizens of Grand Island and Hall County. Without a doubt, the hard work of the emergency room nurses allows the GIPFFA to be there for you.”

The63 members of the Grand Island Professional Firefighters Association provide both fire protection and emergency medical services to the growing population of Grand Island and Hall County, and work hand in hand with both Grand Island Regional Medical Center and CHI Health St. Francis.

Pictured (L to R): Alex Briner, Amber Ruttman, Joe Burrows, Dylan Wieser, Emily Webb

On May 11th, 2023, five new members joined the ranks of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 647 after completing their probationary period.

“This day is a big occasion for both the new members and the GIPFFA”, remarks Joe Burrows, President of Local 647. “Not only have they completed their probation with the Grand Island Fire Department, but they have also joined an organization that will empower them to work for the betterment of themselves, their fellow professional firefighters, and the citizens of Grand Island”.

The new members are Alex Briner of Aurora, Jamieson Oertle of Kearney, Amber Ruttman of Grand Island, Emily Webb of Dannebrog, and Dylan Wieser of Palmer.

With the addition of the five newest members, the Grand Island Professional Firefighters Association now represents the interests of 63 professional firefighters serving the citizens of Grand Island and Hall County.

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(L to R) Mike Norton, Collin McHugh, Nic Leiting, Blake Bogus, Grant Goracke


The Grand Island Professional Fire Fighters Association is pleased to announce the addition of five new members. On  February 2nd, these five members completed their probationary period and officially joined the ranks of the GIPFFA. These members include Firefighters Blake Bogus, Grant Goracke, Nic Leiting, Collin McHugh, and Mike Norton. The addition of these men will allow the GIPFFA to continue to serve the citizens of Grand Island at the high level they have come to expect.

IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery is a one-of-a-kind addiction treatment facility specializing in PTSD for IAFF members – and IAFF members only – who are struggling with addiction, PTSD other related behavioral health challenges to receive the help they need in taking the first steps toward recovery. It is a safe haven for members to talk with other members who have faced or overcome similar challenges.

Care for your unique needs

If you’re struggling with post-traumatic stress along with co-occurring depression, anxiety or substance abuse disorders, you need treatment from professionals who understand the fire service culture and the unique pressures of your job. The IAFF Center of Excellence connects you to best-practice, evidence-based therapies delivered by clinicians who understand the types of trauma you experience on a day-to-day basis.

Completely confidential treatment

Center staff cannot discuss your treatment with anyone — your fire department, family or friends — unless given explicit permission by you. This applies before, during and after your stay at the IAFF Center of Excellence.

Our Partner: Advanced Recovery Systems

With seven treatment centers across the United States, the continuum of care provided by Advanced Recovery Systems is unsurpassed. The IAFF has partnered with Advanced Recovery Systems to provide members with specialized treatment for the everyday stressors that trigger PTSD, behavioral health disorders and substance abuse.


13400 Edgemeade Rd
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
(301) 327-1955