Category: CPSE Exchange

CPSE Learning Opportunities

Peer Assessor Training

Quality Improvement Workshops

CPSE Sponsor Webinar

On Demand Webinars

Resource Documents

At the Center for Public Safety Excellence® (CPSE®) we are excited to bring you the latest learning opportunities to advance your department and career.

Quality Improvement for the Fire and Emergency Services Workshop – 3 Days, In-Person

August 16-18Boulder City Fire Department, Boulder City, NVClick here for registration and additional information REGISTRATION CLOSES THURSDAY 8/5

September 7-9NAF Atsugi, Japan (DoD ONLY)Click here for registration and additional information

September 8-10Fort Knox Fire & Emergency Services, Fort Knox, KY (DoD ONLY)Click here for registration and additional information

September 8-10128th Fire and Emergency Services, Milwaukee, WI (Open to DoD and non-DoD)Click here for registration and additional information

September 15-17Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis, INClick here for registration and additional information

September 21-23NSA Bahrain (DoD ONLY)Click here for registration and additional information

October 12-14Lenexa Fire & Emergency Services, Lenexa, KSClick here for registration and additional information

October 18-20New Bern Fire Department, New Bern, NCClick here for registration and additional information

October 25-28Columbus Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Columbus, GAClick here for registration and additional information

November 2-4Elk Grove Village Fire Department, Elk Grove Village, ILClick here for registration and additional information

November 8-10Tucson Fire Department, Tucson, AZClick here for registration and additional information

December 6-8West Point Fire and Emergency Services, West Point, NY (DoD ONLY)Click here for registration and additional information

Interested in hosting a workshop? Contact Debbie Sobotka, CPSE COO, 

CPSE Sponsor Webinar

September 1 at 1:00pm EasternApplying Location Intelligence to the Accreditation Process with Esri – Register

On-Demand Webinars and Resource Documents
We encourage you to take the time to access these free resources in the CPSE University:
On-Demand Accreditation Videos

Writing the Four-Part Answer – A webinar explaining development of the four-part answer for the self-assessment manual.
Performance Statements – A webinar explaining development of performance statements.
Creating a Strategic Plan – A webinar explaining the creation of a community-driven strategic plan.
Developing Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives – A webinar explaining how to develop effective goals and objectives for a strategic plan.

Resource Documents

Annual Appraisals – A handout to assist with developing annual appraisals.
Critical Tasking – A handout to aid in conducting critical tasking for all emergency response types.
Engaging Stakeholders – A handout explaining how to engage stakeholders in the CRA/SOC process.
Fire Department Strategic Plans and Community Master Plans: Are They The Same? – A handout comparing and contrasting fire department strategic plans and community master plans.
Performance Statements – A handout outlining how to develop performance statements.
Writing the Four-Part Answer – A handout explaining development of the four-part answer for the self-assessment manual.
Completing the Designation Application – Learn tips on completing the designation application for CFO, CTO, CEMSO, FM, or FO
21st Century Fire and Emergency Services White Paper – Handouts and videos on the critical issue areas. 

For questions or assistance contact or 703-691-4620.

CPSE Mourns Loss of Former Board Member Chief Jeff Piechura, CFO

The Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) mourns the loss of our former board member and dearest friend, S. Jeff Piechura, CFO. Chief Piechura passed away during a fatal aircraft accident while performing aerial reconnaissance and command and control for the Arizona Bureau of Land Management over the Cedar Basin Fire near Wikieup, Arizona, on July 10, 2021.
“Jeff will be remembered as a keen thinker committed to fire service excellence and as a warm and genuine person.” shared Jeff Pomeranz, CPSE Board President. “Through his dedicated service on the board, CPSE became a better organization. Jeff pushed us as a board and the organization as a whole to deeply consider the impact of our work and reach for greater heights.”
Chief Piechura served on the CPSE Board of Directors from 2011 to 2019. During that time, he also served as Vice President between 2015 and early 2017 and as Secretary/Treasurer in 2019.
“Jeff truly cared for the people around him. Working for him, I felt supported and championed. He will be truly missed.” reflected Preet Bassi, CPSE Chief Executive Officer. “Even after this service on the board, he remained committed to the vision and mission of CPSE. His expertise, guidance, and support were always just a phone call or email away.”
Chief Piechura first became active with CPSE bringing the Northwest Fire District in Tucson, Arizona, successfully through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International process in 2007. From there, he began volunteering as a peer assessor sharing his insights and expertise with other fire departments looking to continuously improve through the accreditation process. These experiences made him an ideal candidate to join the CPSE Board in 2011.
Following his time as Fire Chief for Northwest Fire District, Chief Piechura served as Fire Chief in Stockton, California, assistant chief in Sedona, Arizona, and as a Senior Advisor to the City Manager in Tucson, Arizona. He was a 2015 inductee to the Arizona Fire Service Hall of Fame and was past president of the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association.
Chief Piechura is survived by his wife, Donna, and extended loving family. He will be remembered and remains respected by a global community of fire and emergency service colleagues.

CPSE Welcomes Chief Ford to the Board of Directors

The CPSE Board of Directors welcomes its newest member, Chief Terry Ford (CFO-2002). Ford is the chief of the Fire and Emergency Services Division at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, a CFAI accredited agency. His fire service career began in 1982 and has included assignments at U.S. Air Force bases around the globe as well as Superintendent of the DoD Fire Academy. He was named chief at Tinker Air Force Base in 2005.
Chief Ford holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science Management and a master’s degree in Human Resource Development. In addition to his service on the CPSE Board, Chief Ford served on the Commission on Fire Accreditation International from 2019 to 2021.
Chief Ford is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Office Program and earned his designation as Chief Fire Officer in 2002.

Developing Excellence in Fire & Emergency Service Departments and Personnel

In May of this year, three of the city managers that serve within CPSE’s governance were panelists for a ICMA webinar titled “Developing Excellence in Fire and Emergency Services Departments and Personnel.”  The three webinar panelists were:

Jeff Pomeranz, City Manager Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and CPSE Board President
Melissa Stevenson-Diaz, City Manager Redwood City, California, and CPC Commissioner
Darin Atteberry, City Manager Fort Collins, Colorado, and CPSE Board Director.

Jeff Pomeranz

Melissa Stevenson-Diaz

Darin Atteberry

ICMA (International City/County Management Association) is one of the two organizations that founded what is now the Center for Public Safety Excellence in the mid-1990s. Over the last quarter century, ICMA members have continued to volunteer their time and talents by serving on the CPSE® Board of Directors, the Commission on Fire Accreditation International® (CFAI), and the Commission on Professional Credentialing® (CPC).
Jeff Pomeranz began by sharing details about the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Fire Department and highlighting the department’s all-hazards response. He recalled the critical role the department played in responding to the city’s disastrous floods and, more recently, the primary role the fire chief fulfilled as the incident commander for the August 2020 derecho that devasted the community.  
He went on to share four tips for developing excellence based on the article he had co-written with his fire chief. Jeff began by illustrating the importance of understanding your community’s unique risk and how the community risk assessment/standards of cover his department developed as part of their accreditation process, allowing the department to have their operations match their unique risk.  He encouraged the webinar attendees to promote based on leadership competencies, stating it was important for him to have a CPC-designated Chief Fire Officer as his fire chief to ensure a well-rounded candidate that would bring experience, education, professional contributions, community involvement and specific leadership competencies to the job. Jeff further discussed how accreditation guided the department in establishing a culture of accountability through the development of benchmarks to track performance and outcomes. He closed his portion of the webinar by recommending to other managers that they trust their fire chief, because the chief, like them, is a public servant and wants to do the best for the community.
Melissa Stevenson-Diaz followed and shared the unique types of calls that the Redwood City, California, Fire Department responds to given their location on the water in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Melissa was one of the subject matter experts (SME) that researched and produced the 21st Century Fire & Emergency Services White Paper. This document, an unprecedented collaboration of the ICMA and CPSE, provides a much-needed roadmap for what the fire department of the future should look like. She shared that the SME group worked together over two years to develop this seminal work that considers the societal, technological, economic, environmental, and political forces at play in the local government. Melissa, discussing what she gained through working on the white paper, imparted to the attendees the consideration they should give to the health and wellness of firefighters.

Melissa detailed a key finding from the white paper: how excellence can be achieved through innovation. The three most important ways to facilitate a culture of innovation in the fire and emergency services based on the research conducted for the white paper include:

Encouraging greater use of data to assess and use of analytics to solve complex community problems.
Ensuring that the services are up to date on the latest professional education, training, and credentialing.
Creating a spirit of partnership between the fire and emergency services and local government management.

She closed by summarizing the eight critical issues outlined in the white paper that each, individually or collectively, will create significant stresses and shocks within the existing fire and emergency services and which demand attention if the fire and emergency services is to thrive in the future.

The last panelist, Darin Atteberry, discussed the department that serves his community, Poudre Fire Authority (PFA), and summarized the unique department governance.
Darin posed a question to the webinar attendees, “If Not Excellence, Then What?” In response, he discussed the City of Fort Collins experience with the Baldridge Excellence Framework and how he believed that the CFAI accreditation model provided a similar framework for the fire and emergency services. Darin shared the data-driven mindset present within PFA and how it drove the department to focus on outcomes rather than outputs and thereby adopt a proactive Community Risk Reduction strategy. Continuing to focus on strategy, he stated that a robust strategy was most successful when coupled with a culture of innovation as evidenced by PFA’s community-driven strategic plan that relied on external stakeholder input and internal stakeholder ownership.

During each of their presentations, the panelists recalled why they originally chose, and continue, to volunteer with CPSE. Of the myriad of responsibilities they have and alternate ways they could volunteer, they each shared their genuine interest in driving continuous improvement in the fire and emergency services. Discussing the critical role, the fire department and fire professionals play in their own communities, they felt it was important for the fire and emergency service in each community to be responsive and accountable to community needs. Drawing on how CPSE brings together managers, chiefs, and labor to lead the fire and emergency service to excellence, they stated their and CPSE’s commitment to driving improvement together.  

CPSE Welcomes Chief Freeman to the Board of Directors

The CPSE Board of Directors welcomes its newest member, Chief Reginald Freeman (CFO-2008). Freeman is the fire chief for the Oakland (California) Fire Department. Prior to joining Oakland he served as the fire chief/emergency management director for Hartford, Connecticut, an accredited agency through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). His earlier experience included serving as fire chief for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas and serving in Iraq as a civilian fire chief for the U.S. Department of Defense from 2004 to 2008, providing all-hazards fire and emergency services to forward and continuing operating bases throughout Iraq.
Chief Freeman holds a bachelor’s degree in Leadership from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, a master’s degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona and is currently a doctoral candidate studying Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Organizational Development.
He earned his Chief Fire Officer designation in 2008.