A Letter From CPSE President, Chief Randy Bruegman

You are invited to an exciting event. The 2015 CPSE Excellence Conference is shaping up to be among the best ever. Our 2015 Excellence Conference returns to the beautiful Caribe Royale Orlando conference hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, March 17-20, 2015.

We have lined up four nationally-recognized keynote speakers to start each day, dynamic conference sessions offering 24 hours of programming over three days, terrific networking opportunities and more. Again this year, the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) is holding its annual general meeting in conjunction with the Excellence Conference.

Attending the Excellence Conference brings opportunities to:

  • learn how to move your department through the accreditation process
  • hear your peers sharing how achieving professional designations advances careers in the fire service
  • gain from interaction with technical facilitators and peer assessors
  • grow your abilities as a leader
  • hear the latest developments on the “Re-Imagining” of the CFAI Accreditation Model

What’s more, this year’s event brings you an array of the latest developments in technology for fire departments. Companies that will be demonstrating their products and services include:

  • Esri
  • Emergency Reporting
  • FireHouse Software
  • Deccan International
  • Intterra
  • Stats FD
  • Power DMS
  • Plus, the IFE, IAFF and Columbia Southern University

Make your plans now and build registration for the Excellence Conference into your 2015 budget. Bring your key personnel and expose them to the steps that departments are taking every day around the world to achieve excellence.

I look forward to greeting you in March in Orlando, Florida. Make 2015 Excellence Conference the start of your journey to continuous quality improvement – in your career and in your department’s delivery of services.

Chief Randy Bruegman
Anaheim Fire Department

How Can You Contribute to the Reimagining Project?

On December 1, 2014, CPSE launched a 45-day public comment period for the CFAI Accreditation Model to provide an opportunity for all our stakeholders to contribute.

Rather than a simple update, the ambitious goal of the Reimagining Project was to consider every facet of the self-assessment model and process and to ensure it continued to push for excellence in the industry. The proposed changes to the model are one of four parts to the whole Reimagining Project. The other three parts are process updates, technology enhancements, and the community risk/standards of cover publication.

The model technical working group (TWG) consisted of thirteen volunteers to oversee each category of the model (with the current Category V split into four sub-sections). These TWG members worked with over 150 subject matter experts (SMEs) to review the current criterion and performance indicators to verify that they were valid for a forward looking fire service agency. This review consisted of a literature review, research of current laws, standards, and best practices, and the individual knowledge of the SMEs.

Some of the highlights of the proposed model are:

  • There are still 10 categories
  • A criterion for Wildland/Urban Interface was added and criterion 2D was moved to Category III
  • 11 Performance Indicators were added with an additional 6 core competencies
  • Category II underwent the most significant change with each criteria and performance indicator undergoing minor to extensive rewrites
  • Several performance indicators were identified as redundant and were therefore combined

We hope you take the opportunity to contribute by submitting public comments. Your input will be invaluable.

To facilitate public comments, the draft version of each category has been posted to the Reimagining Page on the CPSE website. An excel spreadsheet template is being provided for submittal of your comments. Please use one spreadsheet per individual submitting public comments and provide the following information in the spreadsheet:

  • The date of the submission
  • Your name, organization, email address, and phone number
  • The category and line(s) to which your comment applies
  • The type of comment you are providing (GE = General, TE = Technical, ED = Editorial)
  • Your proposed change and the justification for your change

Please return the completed form by email to reimagining@cpse.org no later than January 15, 2015. If you have questions regarding the public comment process, please email CPSE at the above email address or call 866-866-2324, ext 204.

The goal is to present the reimagined model to the Commission on Fire Accreditation International in March 2015 and publish the 9th edition of Fire & Emergency Service Self-Assessment Manual in Summer 2015. Agencies that convert to candidate status within 6 months of the publication of the 9th edition will be permitted to seek accreditation under the current (8th) edition.

Call for Presentations

The CPSE is seeking proposals to present special topic webinars during calendar year 2015. Topics should align with the designation technical competencies and/or accreditation performance indicators. If you’re interested in submitting a proposal, visit the forms page of our website (www.cpse.org) and click on the Special Topic Webinar Proposal link. Deadline for submission – January 31, 2015.

Commission on Professional Credentialing Announces Fire Officer Scholarship Program

The Commission on Profession Credentialing (CPC) is pleased to announce the creation of a scholarship program for Fire Officer (FO) designation. This scholarship is designed to assist those who cannot bear the expense of the application fee for Fire Officer (FO) designation, but meet the eligibility requirements of such and wish to apply for professional credentialing. The cost to cover the scholarship program is made possible by the generous donation of Pierce Manufacturing.

The Fire Officer (FO) designation scholarship is open to all Company Officer level (either full-time or intermittent acting for a minimum of 12 months) that has supervisory responsibility. An applicant seeking the FO designation scholarship must be an active member of a fire/EMS organization at the time of application and not be in a chief level position.

Scholarship Specific Requirements:

  1. Scholarship is open to first-time FO designees that are not currently serving in a chief position.
  2. Scholarship applicants shall submit an essay, no less than 500 words and no more than 1,500 words, demonstrating their desire and need for scholarship.
  3. Recipients of the scholarship shall agree to mentor and provide assistance to members of their respective departments to promote a career excellence culture.
  4. Scholarship applicants shall submit a brief letter from their Fire Chief or Level I Officer verifying the support of the FO designee and their efforts for credentialing. This letter should include the department’s reason for not providing funding for the designation.
  5. Upon receiving official notice of the scholarship award, recipients have up to 90 days to submit a completed FO designation application to the CPSE office. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of scholarship.

The Commission is accepting scholarship applications through January 26th. We will announce the scholarship recipients at the 2015 CPSE Excellence Conference held March 17-20.

Click here to download a copy of the scholarship application.

Preventing Home Fires During the Holidays

The American Chemistry Council’s North American Flame Retardant Alliance is hoping to prevent some of those fires this year with a new month-long campaign, Celebrate Safely, launched in collaboration with Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit that helps rehabilitate homes of low-income homeowners.

“The holidays are a wonderful time for families to celebrate together. Unfortunately, the combination of flammable decorations, lit candles, and increased cooking activity means that the number of home fires rises during the holiday season,” Charley Shimanski, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together, said in a statement.

The campaign focuses on five tips, including:

  • decorating safely with decorations carrying a UL or CSA label and placing Christmas trees and other decorations at least three feet from any heat source.
  • cooking safely by keeping towels, wooden utensils, and other items that can catch fire away from stoves and ranges.
  • observing safely by blowing out candles before you leave a room and keeping Christmas trees hydrated.
  • playing safely by keeping lighters and matches away from children.
  • entertaining safely by ensuring fire detectors are working properly and guests are aware of fire exits.

Stay safe during this holiday season.

Order Your Brick Today

The CPSE is a major supporter of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and its “Walk of Honor” in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Each year CPSE purchases a brick for the CPSE node of the Walk of Honor in recognition of each newly-accredited department.

Individuals may order bricks for installation in the Walk of Honor in Spring, 2015. The deadline for receipt of orders is December 31, 2014. You can download the order form here, or to request an order form, email Tom Mawson at the CPSE office:tmawson@cpse.org. You may designate a brick in your own name, in the name of your organization, or in memory of a colleague, for example.

Plan now to come to Emmitsburg sometime in 2015, perhaps for memorial weekend in October, to see the memorial to fallen firefighters and view the bricks in the CPSE node.

CPSE Community in the News

Chief Jeremy Moore is the new Fire Chief for Broken Arrow (OK) Fire Department. Chief Moore, an 18-year fire veteran who most recently served as District Chief for the Tulsa Fire Department, will begin his duties as Fire Chief on January 2, 2015.

Moore started his public safety career as an Emergency Medical Technician for Skiatook EMS. In 1996, he joined the Tulsa Fire Department as a firefighter, where he worked his way up the ranks becoming Captain, then District Chief. As District Chief, he managed daily operations of fire company personnel along with the Technical Rescue Team. From April 2011 to November 2012, Moore served as the Administrative Fire Chief. Moore earned his Masters of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fire Service Management from Western Illinois University. Moore also has the distinction of being only one of four credentialed Chief Fire Officers (CFO) in Oklahoma.

“It is a great honor to join the dedicated men and women of the Broken Arrow Fire Department,” said Moore. “I look forward to serving the citizens of Broken Arrow and working with community leaders to ensure the safety of the public and our firefighters.”

The city of Ann Arbor has announced Larry Collins has accepted an offer to become the city’s new fire chief.

Chief Collins most recently held the fire chief position for Brevard County Fire-Rescue in Brevard County, Fla., from September 2009 to September 2014.

His career experience also includes 30 years of service with the Dayton Fire Department, from which he retired as director and fire chief in 2008.

Collins holds a master’s degree in operations management from the University of Arkansas, a bachelor’s degree in public safety management from Franklin University and an associate’s degree in fire-rescue administration from Sinclair Community College. Chief Collins became a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designee in July of this year.

The City of Cocoa has selected Gene Prince as its next fire chief. Chief Prince will begin work in Cocoa the first week of January. He comes to the department from Gainesville Fire Rescue, where he began as a firefighter and retired in late November as chief.

Earlier this year Prince received the Chief Fire Officer designation and, under Prince’s leadership, Gainesville Fire Rescue achieved accreditation through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. A selection committee comprised of a Cocoa resident, a representative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a member of the International Association of Firefighters, Cocoa’s administrative services director, assistant city manager and city manager screened more than 45 applicants and interviewed five candidates.

“It’s an honor to have been chosen as the fire chief for the City of Cocoa,” Prince said in a statement. “I look forward to serving the citizens of Cocoa alongside the men and women of the Cocoa Fire Department.”

City of Ottawa Fire Chief, John deHooge, has announced his retirement effective January, 2015. John was appointed Fire Chief for the City of Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) in 2009. Before joining the City of Ottawa, Chief deHooge served the City of Waterloo as Fire Chief/General Manager of Protective Services from 2004 after serving 25 years with the Town of Oakville Fire Department in progressively senior positions before becoming Deputy Fire Chief in 1997.

In 2003, he was awarded the CAFC’s and IAFC’s Award of Excellence for developing an interactive DVD training program that promotes operational excellence between police, fire, and paramedics. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office subsequently promoted and delivered the program to police, fire and paramedic services throughout the province. He joined the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) in 1999 and currently serves as the Executive Committee Director at Large/Canadian Division Director of the IAFC Board of Directors (BOD). He holds the CAFC’s Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation. During his tenure in Ottawa, Chief deHooge has overseen a host of initiatives: promoting better service through inclusion and workplace culture; developing a mental health awareness program, and overseeing the opening of two new fire stations. In 2013, Chief deHooge was awarded the City of Ottawa’s Inclusion and Diversity Award. One of his proudest accomplishments was guiding Ottawa Fire Services through CFAI accreditation in 2014.

Question of the Month

“What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the fire profession in 2015?”

“In 2015, the fire service will continue to see the re-invention of the services provided. This re-invention does not come easy for a profession that is very proud of its historic tradition. The use of technology will provide new information on how to provide effective and efficient services. This challenge will lead to questions of what technology resources should be used, and how to use the available technology in a proper and secure manner. Changes in health care and an aging population are driving consideration of providing proactive medical services that will not necessitate medical transportation to a hospital. Finally, identifying funding sources to allow the re-invention, training of internal and external stakeholders and ensuring organization sustainability wrap-up the challenges I foresee in 2015.”

John L. Donahue, Fire Chief
Delaware Fire Department
Delaware, Ohio

“One of the biggest challenges facing today’s fire service is evaluating the data presented by the studies from UL and NIST and determining how that data will be used to train our firefighters, adjust our delivery model and how this all affects our standard of cover and effective response force. In most systems, this data challenges our culture and our historic training. We are not only asking the task level folks in our system to adjust their delivery at their level, but we are also asking our strategic level bosses to reevaluate their overall strategy. To be effective with this change we must start with training at all levels to ensure continuity in the on-scene size up and deployment to ensure cohesiveness for fire-ground operations.”

Otto J. Huber, Fire Chief, OFE, CFO
Deputy Safety Director
Loveland-Symmes Fire Deptartment
Loveland, Ohio

NFORS Stakeholder Group To Meet at EC

The NFORS Stakeholder Group, an Advisory Group to the National Fire Operations Reporting System Project (NFORS), is planning its next meeting in conjunction with the Excellence Conference in Orlando. The NFORS project is an extension of the 2011 National Fire Service Data Summit recommendations and is in its 3rd year of funding by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s, Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

The vision of the National Fire Operations Reporting System (NFORS) is to improve firefighter safety. Local fire departments using NFORS software can assess the impact of their response availability, capability, and operational effectiveness on the “outcome” of a structure fire event. For this project, an optimal “outcome” minimizes the risk of firefighter injury and death, citizen injury and death, and property loss. Partners in this project include the IAFF, IAFC, NIST, and CFAI-Risk. More than 25 governmental and professional fire service organizations comprise the NFORS Stakeholder Group. Attendance at this meeting is by invitation only.

NFORS is currently in year 3 of a 3-year initiative. During years 1 and 2, a collaborative process was used to create the NFORS Data Dictionary, identify key fire operation metrics critical to success and safety, evaluate fire policy to promote safe data use, and establish the basic technology and software requirements for the NFORS software. During year 3, the development of the NFORS software will be completed and introduced to local Fire Departments beginning in the fall of 2015.

The NFORS Stakeholder Group Meeting will involve two days of moderated discussion of fire service data with professional experts from fire service operations, academia, fire service labor, chiefs, local political officials, federal and state government officials, and data collection software vendors. On Friday, March 20, NFORS will host a public session during the Excellence Conference to release the results of their meeting.

News From the Consortiums

North Carolina
Chief Keith McGee has accepted the position as Fire Chief with Apex, NC. Due to responsibilities with taking the reigns as a new fire chief, Chief McGee is stepping down from chair of the NCASC. Everyone at the NCASC wishes him success and happiness as he embarks on this new adventure in his career.

The North Carolina Accreditation Support Consortium (NCASC) will now be co-chaired by Maria Ratliff, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator (Durham Fire Department), and Susanna Schmitt Williams, Division Chief (Jacksonville Fire & Emergency Services). Both have a wide range of fire service and accreditation experiences and are very excited for this opportunity.

The Rocky Mountain Consortium has announced the schedule for their meetings in 2015: 1st Quarter Meeting February 10th at South Metro Fire Authority, 2nd Quarter Meeting May 12th at Castle Rock Fire Rescue, 3rd Quarter Meeting (TBA) at Arvada Fire Protection District and the 4th Quarter Meeting October 20th at the Colorado Fire Chief’s Leadership Conference, Keystone Mountain Resort. Mark your calendars now and plan to attend all of these meetings.

Upcoming CPSE Workshops

CPSE has several workshops scheduled for the next few months. Register today to reserve your seat at the workshop that meets your needs. Please pass these dates and locations on to your colleagues at adjacent fire departments to help us promote attendance at all workshops.

For course details and registration, go to: www.cpse.org/news/upcoming-workshops-events.aspx.

January 08, 2015
Advanced Technology for Community Risk/Standards of Cover

January 20, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Pearl Harbor, HI

January 23, 2015
CFAI Peer Assessor Workshop

January 27, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Brighton, MI

January 27, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Alabaster, AL

February 02, 2015
Data Analysis & Presentation
Peoria, IL

February 23, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
San Antonio, TX

March 17, 2015
2015 CPSE Excellence Conference
Orlando, FL

March 23, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Springfield, MO

March 23, 2015
DoD Only: Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Navy Region, JAPAN

March 30, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Brentwood, TN

April 14, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Columbus, GA

April 21, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Seaside, CA

April 27, 2015
Data Analysis & Presentation
Concord, NC