The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) has 11 members that represent a cross-section of the fire and emergency service, including fire departments, city and county management, labor, standards development organizations, and the U.S. Department of Defense. CFAI holds public hearings at the CPSE Excellence Conference each spring and at the International Association of Fire Chief’s Fire Rescue International Conference each summer to review agencies applying for accredited status. Learn more about the individuals that graciously volunteer their time to overseeing accreditation.
Steve Dongworth is fire chief for the Calgary Fire Department a CFAI accredited agency. He joined the department in 1992 and has held the positions of deputy chief of Community Standards, Recruitment and Training; Operations; Community Services; Administration; and Emergency Management.
Chief Dongworth has completed a number of university-level management certificate programs in health and safety; general management and strategic management and has received a Masters Certificate in Municipal Learning.
Chief Dongworth earned his designation as Chief Fire Officer in 2020.
Steve Dirksen is fire chief of the Fargo, North Dakota, Fire Department, a CFAI accredited agency. He began his fire service career in 1989 with the Rock Valley, Iowa, Fire Department and then joined the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Fire Department where he moved up through the ranks to Battalion Chief until he was appointed fire chief in Fargo in 2011.
Chief Dirksen holds a bachelor’s degree in Management and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program.
Chief Dirksen earned his designation as Chief Fire Officer in 2014.
Since 2006, Bradley Arnold has served as the County Administrator of Sumter County (FL) Board of County Commissioners and oversees a CFAI accredited agency. Prior to joining Sumter County he held two similar positions in Georgia. His earlier career included working in two family businesses and serving in the United States Navy Reserve which included an active duty deployment to Afghanistan.
Mr. Arnold earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from The Citadel and a Master of Public Administration degree from Valdosta State.
Thomas Breyer is the Director of Fire and EMS Operations with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Before starting with the IAFF, Thomas was a firefighter-paramedic with the City of Forest Park Fire Department in Ohio, eventually promoting to a lieutenant, and then the department’s EMS coordinator. As the IAFF’s Director of Fire and EMS Operations, Thomas provides direction to a talented and dedicated group of GIS analysts, data analysts, and subject matter experts who perform response, risk, and demand analysis for fire and EMS departments across the United States of America and Canada.
John Butler is fire chief for the Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue Department, a CFAI accredited agency, a position he has held since 2018. Prior to this he was with the Howard County (MD) Department of Fire and Rescue Services where he rose through the ranks to fire chief.
Chief Butler holds a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and a number of certificates from national organizations. He is co-chair of the IAFC Diversity Executive Leadership Program, is a member of the National Fire Academy Board of Visitors and sits on the Northern Virginia Fire and Rescue Leadership Development Institute Advisory Board.
Chief Butler holds designations in CFO-2019, CEMSO-2020, CTO-2020, FM-2020.
Ken Holland is a senior emergency service specialist with the National Fire Protection Association. He has 23 years in EMS, of which 19 years he has devoted his time to being a paramedic. Before the NFPA, Mr. Holland was a member of the Bridgewater, Massachusetts Fire Department for 5 years as a fire fighter/paramedic and the ALS coordinator for the department.
Mr. Holland has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and master’s degree in Public Administration.
Salvatore Izzo is a Senior Risk Control/Fire Protection Engineer for Verisk Insurance Solutions – Commercial Lines Underwriting (Insurance Services Office, ISO) with over 28 years of experience in the fire protection industry. He is a member of the American Water Works Association’s Fire Protection Committee, a Professional Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and a member of the National Fire Protection Association and National Fire Sprinkler Association. Mr. Izzo is a licensed Professional Engineer in the discipline of Fire Protection Engineering and is an NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist. He has over 30 years of experience as a fire fighter and line officer with the Middletown Township Fire Department/EMS, as an instructor at the Middletown Township Fire Academy and with the College Park Volunteer Fire Department.
Mr. Izzo received his Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park.
James Keating is fire chief of the Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District in Breckenridge, Colorado, a CFAI accredited agency. He has been an active member in the fire service since 1972 and served as chief of the Pottawatomie County Fire District #1 and city of St. Mary’s Kansas. His last five years at St. Mary’s he served in a dual role as the Fire Chief and City Manager.
Chief Keating joined the Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District in 2010 and became chief in 2012. His career accomplishments include two terms as president of the Kansas State Fire Chiefs Association and two terms as president of the Kansas Firefighters Association.
Chief Keating earned his designation as Chief Fire Officer in 2017.
Jesse Lightle is the Washington Township (OH) administrator, overseeing a CFAI accredited agency. She has held this position since 2008 when she was promoted from deputy administrator. Prior to this, she was the assistant city manager for the City of Clayton. Ms. Lightle is chair of the Master of Public Administration Advisory Board at Wright State University and a member of the International City/County Managers Association where she served on the Board of Directors from 2006-2013 and was president from 2011-2012.
Ms. Lightle holds a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and a Master’s in Urban Administration, also from Wright State where she was an adjunct professor in the WSU Master of Public Administration Program.
Jake Rhoades is the fire chief for the Kingman, Arizona, Fire Department, a CFAI accredited agency.
Chief Rhoades holds a master’s degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership and is pursuing a doctorate in Business Management.
Chief Rhoades received his designation as Chief Fire Officer in 2010, Chief EMS Officer in 2012 and Chief Training Officer in 2012.