Letter from the President – Randy Bruegman, CFO

Celebrating the Past: Reimagining the Future” is a fitting theme for this year’s CPSE Excellence Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida on March 15-18, 2016. As we have just published new editions of our FESSAM, Exceeding Customer Expectations, and Refining Next Gen Leaders, the Center for Public Safety Excellence has set the bar in leading to excellence in 2015.

At CPSE’s Excellence Conference, you will have the opportunity to meet, mingle and share experiences with seasoned credentialed and aspiring young officers from around the world. They will have come to learn about quality improvement, accreditation, and personal development through professional credentialing. From the first day, not only will you experience the energy and enthusiasm of hundreds of fire officers in attendance, but the sharing and networking of information in conference sessions and informal discussions. You will hear the success stories of the accreditation and professional credentialing processes. The impact these programs have on individual agencies and their personnel is inspiring. A new and exciting feature for this year is the debut of the “Accreditation Bootcamp.” The Bootcamp features a down and dirty focused approach to engaging your organization and your personnel in the accreditation process from some of CPSE’s true “rock-stars,” who will offer their time tested insight for how to get your organization started.

The conference kicks off this year with a keynote presentation from Ron Siarnicki, CFO, Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Conference sessions feature nationally-recognized speakers and trainers who will entertain, educate, and motivate you. Leading vendors will be on-hand to demonstrate the latest software and tools for fire and emergency service agencies.

Advance your career and your department – come join me at the CPSE Excellence Conference in Orlando, Florida in March, I look forward to seeing you there.

Regular registration ends February 14, 2016. Registration information is available on the CPSE website.

Mike Worthington Memorial Scholarship Fund

On September 25, 2015, CPSE lost longtime friend and colleague Mike Worthington. Mike served as a member of the Board of Directors in the position of Secretary/Treasurer since 2003. Mike made it his life’s work to make things better and safer for those he served with and for those who followed him.

As Mike exemplified continuous improvement and always encouraged others to constantly grow and improve, we have created a scholarship program in his honor to further the professional development and education of fire officers. The Worthington family will join us as we announce full details of the requirements for the scholarship during the opening general session of the 2016 Excellence Conference. We invite Mike’s friends and colleagues to donate to the scholarship fund in his honor.

Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) – Year in Review

Steve Locke, CFO, Chair, CPC

As I compose this year in review article I am continually surprised how quickly times passes. I am about to enter my fifth year as a member of the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) and in this time I have seen many positive changes. The number of designees continues to grow and those seeking a designation understand there is tremendous value to achieving this feat.

The following items are some of the more noteworthy accomplishments that occurred this past year.

  • August 2015 marked the 15th anniversary of the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Designation. The CFO is the pinnacle of all of our designations and currently the one most held. At our annual banquet, we honored the inaugural class of CFOs as they entered their sixth term. Nine of the original seventeen members of this class maintain the designation today; we are honored to have them remain a part of our family.
  • As our number of designations offered has grown so too has the number of individuals who hold more than one credential. Based on feedback received and in an effort to make the renewal process easier for these individuals, we developed a consolidated renewal application to streamline the process.
  • We understand that those acquiring the Fire Officer Designation (FO) will be the key to our long term success and focused attention on growing this designation last year. We also understand that many individuals seeking the FO designation do so without the financial support of their agency. In an effort to help those with a financial need, we awarded five scholarships to cover the application fee.
  • The Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) of the IAFC submitted a letter of endorsement for the CFO designation and the other four designations offered by CPC. We thank the VCOS leadership for their support of our programs.
  • Our partnership with the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) continues to grow and this year we expanded our reciprocity with them to include the Fire Marshal Designation. Previously only the Chief Fire Officer Designation received reciprocity.
  • We were excited to publish two high quality, valuable documents for the fire service: Exceeding Customer Expectations: Quality Concepts for the Fire Service and Refining Next Generation Leaders: Nurturing Leadership through Mentoring. Both will be used in our educational deliveries.
  • The calendar year ended with the total number of designees at 1693:1103 chief fire officers, 113 chief EMS officers, 101 fire marshals, 79 chief training officers and 297 fire officers.
  • Commissioner Don Striejewske, who represented the Department of Defense on CPC, stepped down due to retirement. Don was a very active member of the Commission and will be missed. We wish him well as he begins the next journey of his life. During 2015, we also welcomed Mr. Matt Vinci to CPC.

In closing I would like to thank the numerous volunteers who have made our programs successful. Last year our 170 peer reviewers completed a thorough observation of over 900 professional portfolios to determine whether or not a designation should be awarded. Additionally we have numerous people who volunteer to serve on technical working groups as well as commissioners giving of their time. This is a team like no other.

Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) – Year in Review

Steve Westermann, CFO, Chair, CFAI

As I close out my first year as commission chair it has been amazing how much change has happened and how much progress has been made. We have come a long way as an organization and with the Re-Imagining project nearly complete and a new strategic plan for the organization near completion I have no doubt we will continue our journey towards excellence.

Here are some of the highlights that occurred in CFAI this past year:

  • One of the outputs of the re-imagining project was a report that that looked at the entire CFAI accreditation process. The technical working group identified seven main themes and 33 recommendations. These recommendations will be implemented on an ongoing basis over the next year or two.
  • This year we released the new 9th Edition Fire and Emergency Services Self-Assessment Manual (FESSAM) for agency use. Also as an additional benefit the commission approved a tool to help agencies understand what is being asked by introducing the CFAI Interpretation Guide.
  • The calendar year ended with 217 accredited agencies which represents an increase of 10% over 2014.
  • There are over 450 agencies engaged in the CFAI process as either registered, applicant, candidate, or accredited agencies. This represents a five percent increase from the previous year.
  • We developed and implemented a new commissioner orientation program to help transition new individuals onto the commission and help them be effective faster.
  • We revamped the Self-Assessment and Community Risk/Standard of Cover Workshop. This past December we released the new, “Quality Improvement through Accreditation”.
  • During 2015, we have even saw change on the commission. Chief Allan Cain has left the commission to serve on the CPSE Board of Directors. We want to thank Chief Cain for his service as commissioner and commission chair during his tenure with CFAI. We also want to welcome some new members: Chief Jim Sideras, Mr. Jim Brinkley, and Mr. Ken Holland.

Finally I will close by thanking those that make CFAI as great as it is. These folks provide countless hours mentoring, verifying, validating, coaching, leading, teaching, researching, and communicating with our customers each and every day. On behalf of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, I want to thank all of our volunteers as you are the most valuable resource we have and make a difference with each agency you touch. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to quality improvement.

CPSE Releases Consortium Toolkit for Local Affiliates

CPSE has released a new reference guide for the individuals coordinating activities at CPSE’s state and regional consortiums. The Consortium Toolkit provides a range of tips on how to start and develop a new consortium in order to advance the needs of individuals involved with both agency accreditation and professional credentialing. This toolkit is available on CPSE’s Consortium SharePoint site.

The idea for the toolkit was born as CPSE staff visited with consortiums throughout 2015. During these visits CPSE staff encountered practices that could be beneficial to all consortiums and saw the engagement and coordination challenges some were facing. Designed for both existing consortiums as well as any new start-ups, the Toolkit offers practical, no-cost ideas for organizing a consortium, planning meetings, and building support among local agencies. One of the key features of the Toolkit is a list of the types of support that regional consortiums can expect from the CPSE office, such as, lists of agencies/officers in their state/region; free use of web meeting technology so that individuals who cannot attend face-to-face meetings can participate; a CPSE staff person to attend at least one meeting of the consortium during the year; and much more.

If you or someone you know is interested in starting a consortium in a state or region where one does not already exist, contact Tom Mawson at the CPSE office for assistance. You can reach Tom at (703)—691-4620 Ext. 205, or tmawson@cpse.org.

CPSE Staffs Exhibit Booth at IAFF Events

CPSE staffed an exhibit booth at the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Affiliate Leadership Training Summit (ALTS) and Human Relations Conference in Orlando, FL January 18 through 20. Over the three days, CPSE staff had the opportunity to visit with numerous credentialed officers and members of accredited agencies. Individuals interested in professional credentialing, especially the Fire Officer, got to have their questions about the eligibility requirements and application process answered on the spot. ALTS is the IAFF’s foremost educational event, providing affiliate leaders with the skills needed to build their local union. The Human Relations Conference provides attendees with new approaches and ideas to expand the diversity within their locals, firehouses and communities.

New CPSE Publications On Sale Now


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.

February 03, 2016
DOD ONLY: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Gulfport, MS

February 09, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Cincinnati, OH

February 10, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Charleston, SC

March 28, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Atlanta, GA

March 28, 2016
Data Analysis & Presentation
Parris Island, SC

March 29, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Loveland, CO

March 30, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Dubuque, IA

April 05, 2016
DOD ONLY: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Fort Huachuca, AZ

April 06, 2016
Data Analysis & Presentation
Novi, MI

April 12, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Sierra Vista, AZ

April 12, 2016
DOD ONLY: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Richmond, KY

April 18, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Mississauga, Canada

April 20, 2016
CPSE Peer Assessor Workshop

April 25, 2016
DOD Only: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Fort Detrick, MD

April 25, 2016
Data Analysis and Presentation
Boca Raton, FL

April 27, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Burbank, CA