Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) Approves New Application

The CPC has recently updated the candidate guidelines and application for Fire Marshal (FM) designation. Changes to the application include:

  • Expanding eligibility requirements in Category A giving credit for those certified to an NFPA 1037 certification through a state training agency or national association.
  • Expanding eligibility requirements in Category B providing additional points for the following:
    • Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
    • Certification to NFPA Fire Inspector I, II and Fire Plans Examiner through a ProBoard or IFSAC Accredited program
    • Certified to an NFPA 1037 certification program through a State training agency or national association other than the programs listed above
    • Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Certificate through the National Fire Academy
  • Revising the demographic information to be specific to the Fire Prevention Bureau functions in your organization.
  • Revising Component 6: technical competencies which reduced the number from 17 to 7.

Visit the Fire Marshal application page on the CPSE website to download an application.

Pass the Baton Campaign Takes Off Again

CPSE’s Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) has announced the launch of its popular “Pass the Baton” campaign for 2014. Pass the Baton is an organized campaign to encourage already-designated officers to promote CPC designations: Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO), Fire Marshal (FM), Chief Training Officer (CTO), and Fire Officer (FO) to colleagues in their own departments and in adjacent departments.

Pass the Baton will recognize any officer who sponsors, or encourages at least one other colleague to submit a designation application during the campaign period. All sponsors will be recognized in the January CPSE Newsletter. The campaign began on July 1 and concludes on December 31, 2014. Any designated officer who is credited with sponsoring more than five (5) new designated officer applications during the campaign period will qualify for a drawing. The winner of the drawing receives a complimentary registration to the 2015 CPSE Excellence Conference in Orlando and a personalized brick on the NFFF Walk of Honor.

In addition, any officer who is credited with sponsoring at least ten (10) new designated officer candidates within the campaign timeframe, qualifies for a special prize, in addition to a personalized brick on the Walk of Honor.

Pass the Baton also recognizes any individual who is responsible for a new agency submitting an application to become a Registered Agency between July 1 and December 31, 2014. To qualify for the prize, be sure to have the applicant agency specify the individual credited with encouraging the company to become a Registered Agency. The person credited with the most “sponsored” agencies will also win a complimentary registration to the 2015 Excellence Conference and a brick on the Walk of Honor.

So, get your department involved in the Pass the Baton campaign. Share with other officers in your department about how they can better gauge their career development by becoming a CPC designated officer, or examine what they have accomplished in their careers to achieve that next step – to become the department chief. To qualify for prizes in the Pass the Baton campaign, individuals that you sponsor need to go to the CPSE website store and download the appropriate application for CFO, CEMSO, CTO, FM or FO and be sure to credit you with encouraging them to do so right in the application. If you have any questions, contact Debbie Sobotka at 703-691-4620, X 202, or email

Question of the Month

“What have you learned about yourself and your career as a result of completing the FO application?”

“The application process for the Fire Officer Designation is a thorough process and what I personally learned is how dedicated to the fire service I have been and will continue to be. Each area of the application exemplifies my personal commitment to not only the citizens I respond to, but also my dedication to higher learning. Education is essential and through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, a fire officer can further their career by achieving the designation of fire officer, mentoring other firefighters, and providing the best service to their communities.”

Dan Schellhase
Lieutenant/Training Officer
Ankeny (IA) Fire Department

“The process of obtaining designation as a Fire Officer is an arduous, and taxing process for one to undertake, in turn it is a very humbling, constructive, and worthwhile endeavor to truly compare oneself to the new emerging standards for Fire Officers in this Nation. As Firefighters, as found throughout our proud industry, we are very prideful people, we take great pride in our personal accomplishments, professional accomplishments, rejoice with our subordinates at his or her accomplishments, and are staunchly proud of our organizational accomplishments. When one undertakes the designation process, it is very humbling to lay one’s work open for scrutiny, questioning, and evaluation by a panel of one’s peers, this is truly the gift of the accreditation process in and of itself. The feedback that is received, the consultation, and the advice given by tenured Fire Officers really help one to achieve a higher level of self-actualization by grounding the applicant in the realization that learning, and the strive for excellence, never ends in our industry until your tenure within the industry ends. This process has been eye opening to me in terms that no matter what level of formalized education I receive, no matter what amount or how diverse my career portfolio maybe, those events and experiences are in the past, the greatest take away lesson I have gained from this experience is: What am I doing now to prepare for the next challenge that awaits the industry, my organization, or myself professionally?”

Ronald L. Martin, FO
Captain-Fire Marshal
Fort Myers Beach (FL) Fire Control District

“The application was challenging to compile and organize. The process makes one aware of what needs to be done to be a well-rounded officer. I am glad to see how much met that standard. I also know what I still need to do to make myself stronger for my department.”

Joe Moore
Orland Park (IL) Fire Department

“The Springfield Fire Department has been accredited for over 6 years now. All of the officers and chief officers were encouraged to seek out their Chief Fire Officer or Fire Officer designation. I was anxious to get started as I was nearing the end of my career. After downloading and reviewing the application I initially thought ‘This will take a long time, I can never get this done’. After diving in, I soon realized ‘I can do this’.

While completing the application I learned that I had accomplished even more than I thought I had throughout my career. This process really makes you look at where you’ve been, where you are right now, and where you might be going in the future. It was well worth the time and effort I put in to accomplish my Fire Officer designation.”

David Scheiderer
Battalion Chief (ret)
Springfield (MO) Fire Department

“As a result of completing the FO application, I have found I should be proud of my professional accomplishments and the CPSE allowed for me to combine them all, into a nice package. The professional credentialing allows for me to better market myself, my agency, and the fire service, amongst other agencies and their leaders. The FO process also made me aware of my responsibility to give back; and use the training and experience to assist those around me in achieving their own personal successes.”

Rob Frampton, MS. FO, NREMT-P
Fire Captain
Salisbury (MD) Fire Department

“My biggest hurdle to overcome was to talk about myself. In going through the application process, I had to dig deep to review and present my accomplishments. Discussing my attributes and achievements along with my competencies left me uncomfortable. I have accomplished many goals in my fire service career but I felt like I was boasting about them. In this program, I had to promote myself and leave my comfort zone.

So, what I have learned … it is OK to leave my comfort zone, promote myself as a professional, doing this in a professional career path and to feel proud of my accomplishments.”

Rick Tufts
Pinehurst (NC) Fire Department

Certification vs. Designation

By Bil Rosen, BA, NREMTP

Are you seeking Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) designation? Are you stumped on what this means and why you should do it? I was too. At a recent focus group meeting of several CPSE designees, a discussion ensued regarding our designations. One of the burning questions was “what does it mean that I am designated and should I be certified instead?” Which holds more water? Here are some insights you can use to assist you in your decision as well as what it all means.

From the main CPSE website home page: “Through its individual commissions, CPSE provides a host of programs including … professional designations for senior-level fire and emergency service officers.” From the CPSE website, mission and goals: “CPSE supports and encourages agencies and personnel to meet international performance standards through various programs.”

Miriam Webster defines certification as: “…the act of making something official: the act of certifying something: official approval to do something professionally or legally.”

According to a legal position of the NREMT,

“The federal government has defined “certification” as the process by which a non-governmental organization grants recognition to an individual who has met predetermined qualifications specified by that organization.1 Similarly, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies has recently defined certification as “a process, often voluntary, by which individuals who have demonstrated the level of knowledge and skill required in the profession, occupation, role, or skill are identified to the public and other stakeholders.2

Accordingly, there are three hallmarks of certification (as functionally defined).

Certification is:

  1. voluntary process;
  2. by a private organization;
  3. for the purpose of providing the public information on those individuals who have successfully completed the certification process (usually entailing successful completion of educational and testing requirements) and demonstrated their ability to perform their profession competently.

1 U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Report on Licensure and Related Health Personnel Credentialing (Washington, D.C.: June, 1971 p. 7). 2NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs, approved by the member organizations of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies in February, 2002 (effective January, 2003).

Miriam Webster defines Designation as:

  1. the act of indicating or identifying
  2. appointment to or selection for an office, post, or service
  3. a distinguishing name, sign, or title
  4. the relation between a sign and the thing signified

So, what does “Professional Designation” mean? The answer to this question varies; it means different things to different people. Members of the focus group used descriptions such as:

  • documentation of professional standards
  • CPSE designations are excellence beyond excellence
  • setting the bar to be measured against
  • like accreditation, a validation of my competencies against national consensus standards
  • meeting an established standard of excellence
  • external review of your professional development

According to the CPSE website, “Designation demonstrates that an individual has developed a strategy for continued career improvement and development.”

When asked what a professional designation meant to the members of the focus group, many echoed the personal validation and achievement. They describe Professional Designation as a validation of excellence. It is a means of being recognized by peers and managers. Many designees stated they were recognized by their services and managers for their accomplishments. Some have had press releases that put their services in a more positive light in the community.

Professional designation validates everything we do and raises the bar above anything we have seen. There are many state and national certifications and licensures. This is not a certification. It is not confirming a skill set or knowledge base that allows us to function as something. These designations are worldwide and show the professions what is achievable and how it is needed to be the best of the best. Professional designations available through CPSE include:

  • Chief Fire Officer (CFO)
  • Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO)
  • Chief Training Officer (CTO)
  • Fire Marshal (FM)
  • Fire Officer (FO)

CPSE also provides agency accreditation, technical advisor facilitation for fire agencies and mentoring programs.

Bil Rosen, BA, NREMTP is the Clinical Coordinator for Capital Health EMS in Mercer County, NJ. He obtained his CEMSO and CTO in 2012 and was the first in NJ to obtain dual designation. He may be reached at 609-815-7498 or

Message from the President

Randy Bruegman, CFO

I would like to invite you to our annual celebration to be held on August 14th at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. This is our opportunity to recognize our new and renewing designees, and accredited fire agencies.

This year will be a special night as we take the opportunity at our gala to say farewell to our Executive Director, Paul Brooks, CFO, who will be retiring at the end of October. Paul has done an outstanding job of leading the CPSE for the last five years. His role in helping to develop the accreditation model, and his support of credentialing throughout his career, has been instrumental in bringing the organization to where it is today. Please help us to honor him with your presence at the event. That would be the greatest gift that we can possibly give to him.

In addition, this year we will recognize two more companies that have attained accreditation in the Residential Fire Sprinkler Contractor Accreditation Program: Fire Busters, Inc. in Delta, British Columbia, Canada and Livingston Fire Protection, Inc., Hyattsville, MD. These companies are truly trailblazers in their industry and they are helping to pave the way for others to follow. We know the importance of residential sprinklers in helping to address our fire problem, and quality installers are a critical link in this effort.

We will also recognize the recipients of our two most prestigious awards: the Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award which recognizes an individual from an accredited agency or the Chief Officer Designation echelon for superior leadership and actions that have elevated the International Fire and Emergency Service (IFES) profession; and the Ray Picard Award, which recognizes an individual each year who exemplifies the ability, character, dedication and leadership attributes Ray Picard provided in developing the self-assessment and accreditation processes for CFAI. Once again, it will be an honor to announce the Ambassador of the Year Award given to an individual whose dedication and advocacy for the Center for Public Safety Excellence and its programs contribute directly to the success of the organization and the advancement of its mission throughout the international fire and emergency services industry.

We will also highlight the “Pass the Baton” campaign again this year. The program encourages designated fire officers to promote CPC designations. The individual credited with “sponsoring” the most new designees by the end of 2014, will win free registration for the 2015 Excellence Conference and a personal, inscribed brick on the NFFF Memorial Walk of Honor. CPSE will announce a special prize for a designated officer who is responsible for sponsoring more than 10 new designees.

This year’s event will be a special one, and I hope that you can be in attendance to help us celebrate and recognize excellence in our profession once again.

Why Should You Seek a Credential? For Validation!

By John Glover, CFO

Today’s fire service has quickly evolved from a trade into a profession with developed standards, education and certifications. The modern chief officer as well as company officers are always seeking new ways to validate their status among their peers and within their industry; the fire service. Professional development can come in many ways and through many tracts, but which way is the best? The traditionalists will proclaim that the best tract for a company officer or chief officer is to just put the time in their respective fields and the knowledge will come. This is not a bad answer. The modernists will tell you that a tract that includes college education and certifications is the best path. Who is right? Perhaps both of them are correct, but how do you validate their positions? That is where credentialing enters the discussion. According to, a credential is defined as, “Evidence or testimonials concerning one’s right to credit, confidence, or authority.

In the definition above, the words “evidence” and “‘testimonials” stand out. According to the opinions of the traditionalists and the modernists, both are correct, if they have their positions validated. There is something to say for an individual that has spent their career pursuing certifications or attending schools and training classes to better themselves. There is extensive value in what they learn. Equally, in the discussion, one must recognize the professional that seeks college based programs and courses and classes that provide certification. Neither approach can be compared equally, without an “apples to apples” comparison. Credentialing provides that level comparison for the company and chief officers. Credentialing uses a third party approach to looking at the testimony of the individual in what the individual in each tract learned, not necessarily what was taught. Credentialing seeks evidence from the individual that they can do what they say they can by articulation of that knowledge and ability. A degree is worth nothing if the individual just went to classes and barely got by, and learned nothing in the courses. These are the ones that the “old-timers” declare that you cannot put a fire out by waving that degree at it. The same goes for the person that sits in the back of the fire station, or the back of the classroom and never opens a book, participates in training or makes any effort in improving their situation. These are the ones that the “newbies” declare have worked one year on the job, twenty times. To end the argument, in both cases, if the individuals will submit themselves to a third party, unbiased review of their collection of work and experience, they will receive a true “picture” of where they really stand in their profession. Based on their body of work, and the “evidence” collected by the reviewers, a “testimonial concerning their rights to credit, confidence and/or authority” is established. Those individuals have withstood the scrutiny of a credentialing process and have been determined to be credentialed. This process takes the conjecture out of the process and provides solid, evidence based proof of an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities.

The Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE), through their Commission on Professional Credentialing, provides that third party, unbiased, scrutiny of an individual and whether their tract has provided them with what the industry has expected of them to hold certain positions or be in certain roles. They do not certify the individual, through test taking and skills completion, they credential the individual based on what they gained from that certification, the test taking and skills, but only after proving that they gained that experience through the credentialing process.

Why should you get credentialed? The first reason is obvious; validate everything you have done to develop yourself. Another reason that is equally compelling, is that credentialing is being sought more and more in the promotional and hiring processes. Many advertisements for positions, especially at the chief officer level, are seeking a candidate with credentialing, specifically from the CPSE. Do not allow the “job of a lifetime” to slip away from you because you failed to go the extra step of being credentialed. It makes a difference! Lastly, you owe it to yourself to see how you stack up against your peers. The profession is changing ever so quickly and the company officers and chief officers are becoming better prepared for their positions. Make sure that you are taking the right path in your career and seek credentialing. Make sure that you are part of that change!

John Glover, CFO, Fire Chief, City of Highland Village Fire Department, Highland Village, TX. He has been in the fire service for 24 years. He has a Bachelor Degree from Western Illinois University and is a Fire Officer IV, completed the Texas Fire Chief’s Academy and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Services Fire Service Chief Executive Officer. He has been credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer with CPC since March of 2010.

Commission on Professional Credentialing Announces New Designees

The Commission on Professional Credentialing met on July 8th and conferred 58 new designees:

Chief Fire Officer (CFO)

  • Lawrence Amidei, Highland Park, IL
  • Lisa Baker, Oakland, CA
  • Michael Cassano, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Todd Clifford, Ocala, FL
  • Larry Collins, Rockledge, FL
  • Marshall Cook, Lamar, CO
  • Steven Dirksen, Fargo, ND
  • Michael Duyck, Tigard, OR
  • Thomas Dwiggins, Chandler, AZ
  • Terry Garrison, Houston, TX
  • Carl Hickman, Mustang, OK
  • Blake Hodge, Calhoun, GA
  • Matthew Hoffman, Carmel, IN
  • Otto Huber, Loveland, OH
  • John Huff, Lincoln, NE
  • Donald Hughes, Satellite Beach, FL
  • Kurt Kight, Warrenton, VA
  • Jacob McAfee, Palmdale, CA
  • Michael McNally, Coral Springs, FL
  • Scott Neal, Bullhead City, AZ
  • Philip Paff, Queensland, Australia
  • David Parenti, Belmont, NH
  • Paul Phillips, APO, AP
  • David Rice, North Fort Myers, FL
  • Rudy Ruiz, Temperence, MI
  • Timothy Sendelbach, North Las Vegas, NV
  • James Silvernail, Wildwood, MO
  • Marci Stone, Roanoke, VA
  • Paul Sullivan, Jr., Middle River, MD
  • Kent Tomblin, Peoria, IL
  • Dale Villers, Pueblo, CO
  • Timothy Walsh, Woonsocket, RI
  • Robert Woody, Springfield, MO
  • Charles Wunder, Jr., Green Valley, AZ

Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO):

  • Joseph Connors, Clearwater, FL
  • Nicholas Hempel, Racine, WI
  • Don Lundy, Charleston, SC

Chief Training Officer (CTO):

  • Stephen Prziborowski, Los Gatos, CA
  • Michael Schnaper, Rockford, IL
  • Timothy Sendelbach, North Las Vegas, NV

Fire Marshal (FM):

  • David Cherrone, South Bend, IN
  • Stephen Hrustich, Lawrenceville, GA
  • Ronnie Melser, Jr., South Bend, IN
  • Steven Strong, Clearwater, FL

Fire Officer (FO):

  • Jayson Calhoun, Las Vegas, NV
  • Bryan Carr Longboat, Key, FL
  • Edward Cornejo, Vail, AZ
  • Caleb Feine, Rochester, MN
  • Jay Karlik, Tucson, AZ
  • Allen Lindstrom, Hilton Head Island, SC
  • Ronald Martin, Fort Myers, FL
  • Joseph Moore, Orland, IL
  • Kerry Osborne, Oak Ridge, TN
  • Patrick Schaffer, Spokane Valley, WA
  • David Scheiderer, Springfield, MO
  • Daniel Schellhase, Ankeny, IA
  • Michael Steward, West Burlington, IA
  • Robert Simmons, Uijongbu, Korea

Congratulations to all of these designated officers. They will be formally recognized during the CPSE Awards Dinner on Thursday, August 14, 2014, in Dallas, Texas, during the IAFC Fire-Rescue International Conference.

Designees in the News

Stephan D. Cox, CFO, CEMSO, CTO, FM Awarded Gladhill-Thompson Trophy

Chief Stephan Cox was awarded the 2014 Maryland State Firemen’s Association (MSFA) Gladhill – Thompson Trophy. The award is the highest that can be conferred on an individual and is awarded on a highly selective basis to an individual who, in the opinion of the judges, has made an outstanding contribution to the future welfare of members of the MSFA or who has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service of major significance to the MSFA or the Fire Service of the United States.

Steve currently serves as the Fire Chief for Navy Region Mid Atlantic responsible for 27 stations and approximately 700 personnel reaching from Maine to North Carolina. Chief Cox led the organization through the accreditation process and received accredited status in March 2009. He joined Navy Region Mid Atlantic Fire and Emergency Services in 2005 and served as District Chief and Operations Chief prior to being promoted to the Fire Chief position.

Prior to joining the Department of Defense, Steve was employed as Manager of Field Operations by the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute. He also served as the state fire representative at the Maryland Emergency Operations Center.

Steve has served on numerous task forces and committees and has been a Commissioner for the Maryland Fire and Rescue Education Training Commission.

Steve has an Associate’s degree in Law Enforcement, a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science from National Louis University and a Master’s Degree in Management from National Louis University. He received his Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation in 2003 and in August 2009 became the first in the Department of Defense to achieve the Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO) designation. In 2012 he received Chief Training Officer (CTO) and Fire Marshal (FM) designations making him the first to hold four designations. He holds numerous professional certifications in all areas of Emergency Services.

Dr. Richard B. Gasaway, CFO, Receives Certified Speaking Professional Certification

Congratulations to Dr. Gasaway who has become the first and only fire service speaker to achieve the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association.

Of the thousands of association members, only the top seven percent of professional speakers earn this international credential. As part of the credentialing rigor, Dr. Gasaway was required to provide proof of full-time employment as a professional speaker for five years and delivery of 250 paid presentations as well as a peer evaluation of credentials and stage presence.

Dr. Gasaway has served 33 years as a fire and EMS professional, including 22 years as a fire chief. In addition to his dedication to emergency services, Dr. Gasaway has a second passion – a pursuit to understand how research and findings in neuroscience can improve first responder safety. A prolific author and speaker, Dr. Gasaway has written 4 books on situational awareness and decision making and has authored over 350 journal and website articles on first responder safety topics. He has presented programs on situational awareness and decision making under stress to more than 30,000 first responders throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China and Australia.

Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Designees Named Fire Chief of the Year

Donnie West, CFO, was named Fire Chief of the Year by the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs. Chief West serves as the Fire Chief for Center Point Fire District, Birmingham, Alabama.


Peter O’Leary, CFO, earned Fire Chief of the Year by the Wisconsin Fire Inspectors’ Association. Chief O’Leary is the Fire Chief of Fond du Lac Fire Department, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.


Ernest Malone will succeed Brian Sanford as chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department, Mayor Greg Ballard and Public Safety Director Troy Riggs announced Thursday.

A 28-year IFD veteran currently serving as assistant chief of fire, Malone has held every merit rank in the department. He holds degrees in fire science, business management and management. Earlier this year he was designated a “Chief Fire Officer” through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, becoming the first Indianapolis firefighter to hold the distinction.

“The Indianapolis Fire Department is one of the most respected fire services in the nation,” Ballard said. “Chief Malone’s nearly three decades of service makes him the right man to protect the people of this great city and lead the 1,200 men and women of IFD.”

“I do not have the words to adequately express how honored I am to be named Chief of Fire for the Indianapolis Fire Department,” said Malone. “I have seen many changes and positive initiatives implemented during my 28-year career with IFD. Indeed, much has been accomplished, but there is still much to do.

“This appointment will be the greatest professional challenge of my career. But, I am supremely confident of our organization’s continued success because of the courage, commitment, professionalism and dedication of the over 1,200 men and women, both sworn and civilian, who make up this great department.”

Sanford, who is battling Lou Gherig’s disease, will retire from the department on Aug. 11 and serve as chief of staff for Riggs.

FEMA Releases “Firefighter’s Guide: Preparing Your Family for Emergencies”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has prepared an excellent Powerpoint presentation outlining the steps that first responders should take to prepare their families for any type of major disasters. The program focuses on ensuring first responders families, and firefighter’s specifically, are prepared so that first responders can effectively help others who are impacted.

To download the program, go to:

DoD F&ES – Setting the bar for today, tomorrow and the future in training, certifications, and designations

By Donald Striejewske, CFO, FM, Fire Chief Fort Drum, NY; CPC Commissioner (DoD Rep)

Years ago there were no certifications or designations for fire service personnel. There was classroom and hands on training.

It used to be once you were trained on a subject area you were good to go, and you became the expert. A lot of us remember where we utilized manuals for our training through the “old red books” International Fire Service Training Association manuals. As time evolved the increase of firefighter accidents, injuries, deaths and investigations drove a need for better training. Knowledge, skills and abilities became the measure. Various agencies became more and more involved; the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Joint Council of National Fire Service Organizations, National Fire Protection Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs and the International Association of Fire Fighters joined together to improve the way we perform in protecting our communities and members.

In 1971, the Joint Council of National Fire Service Organizations created the National Professional Qualifications Board to facilitate the development of nationally applicable performance standards for fire service personnel. On 14 December 1972, the Board established four technical committees to develop those standards using the National Fire Protection Association standards-making system. The initial committees addressed the following areas; fire fighter, fire officer, fire service instructor, fire inspector and investigator. Training became mandatory by many organizations.

Certification was a bad word in the earlier years. Some felt “I’ve been doing the business for the past 20 years why do I need certifications?” Webster’s dictionary definition certifications as; the act of making something official: the act of certifying something, the official approval to do something professionally or legally.

Forty three years later we have evolved to much higher standards. We are not just a service any longer, we are a business that utilizes a high standard of professional development for our members. Organization leaders of today want to provide their personnel with the best equipment and training available. Fire service personnel of today are encouraged to have associate, bachelor, master’s and doctorial college degrees; they embrace training and certifications.

In 1993 the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics charged the Air Force to administer and maintain the DoD Fire and Emergency Services Certification Program for all DoD components. Currently the DoD F&ES work force is comprised of 8,538 personnel in 397 departments worldwide. By May 2013 the DoD F&ES Firefighter Certification Program issued over 570,000 certificates to more than 160,000 firefighters and federal emergency responders.

In 1996 the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) was created with the mission of promoting the continuous quality improvement of F&ES agencies by providing training and career resource information. In 2001, the CFAI evolved into the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) comprised of two commissions: the CFAI and the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC).

The CPC is responsible for setting and maintaining professional designation criteria and making decisions concerning individual designation, organization operation and special programs and activities.

What is designation? According to Webster’s dictionary, designation is the act of officially choosing someone or something to do or be something; a name or title that identifies someone or something; the act of indicating or identifying; appointment to or selection for an office, post, or service; a distinguishing name, sign, or title.

In 1998 the Navy was charged with facilitating all DoD fire departments to achieve and maintain CFAI accreditation. While this program is not mandated, it serves as a tool to assess and help DoD fire departments become better, stronger, and more powerful F&ES agencies.

As of May 2014 there are 36 accredited DoD F&ES agencies out of 191 eligible agencies.

Even though professional credentialing is not mandated by DoD F&ES, the program provides a professional road map for anyone wishing to move up through their agency. Each designation has a list of technical competencies used to evaluate applicants as to their knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs), and experiences, and are tailored to the designation they are seeking.

DoD – Number of Departments
USAF 180
Army 120
Navy 65
Total 397
GS-0081 Workforce
From the latest OSD Strategic
Human Capital Plan
Department of Army 2,707
Department of Air Force 2,486
Department of Navy 3,185
DoD Agencies (4th Estate) 160
Total DoD F&ES Workforce 8,538

Today the Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Services as a whole is leading the way in professional development. Fire and Emergency Services professionals, fire fighters and fire officers are actively seeking higher education, training and now designations. As of 8 July 2014, 38 DoD Chief Fire Officers, 10 Fire Officer’s, 4 Fire Marshal’s, 4 Chief Training Officer’s and 2 Chief EMS Officer’s all have been designated.

In 2013 the CPSE and the CPC began the “Pass the Baton” campaign. This ongoing campaign helps raise the standards of excellence in every department. The Pass the Baton campaign reaches out to the next generation of leaders in the fire and rescue service and encourages continuous improvement on the personal and professional levels. As a credentialed officer, you are in a unique position to inspire and encourage fellow officers in your own department as well as others to pursue professional growth and career development. I challenge all DoD fire professionals to take on this campaign and lead your organizations into the next generation.

Donald N. Striejewske, CFO, FM, IAAI-FIT, MIFireE, is a 39 year veteran of the fire service, currently is the Fire Chief for the Department of Army, Fort Drum Fire and Emergency Services Division home of the 10th Mountain Division. He currently serves as the representative for the Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Services on the CPSE Commission on Professional Credentialing.

Upcoming CPSE Workshops

CPSE has several workshops scheduled for the next few weeks. 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:

July 30, 2014
Chief Officer Credentialing…Where Do I Stand?

August 04, 2014
Technical Competency – Writing to Achieve Designation

August 12, 2014
Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring
Dallas, TX

August 13, 2014
Credentialing: A Pathway to Personal and Professional Excellence
Dallas, TX

August 26, 2014
DoD Only- Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
San Diego, CA

September 08, 2014
DoD Only-Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Ramstein Air Base

September 08, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Carmel, IN

September 09, 2014
Your Strategic Plan: It Drives Your Performance Management Systems

September 15, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Alcoa, TN

September 15, 2014
Credentialing: Pathway to Personal and Professional Excellence
Shawnee, KS

September 16, 2014
Marketing and Managing your Dept’s Image and Reputation through the Power of Social Media

September 17, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Grand Rapids, MI

September 17, 2014
Data Analysis & Presentation Using Excel
Rockford, IL

September 22, 2014
Data Analysis and Presentation Using Excel
Los Gatos, CA

September 23, 2014
Self Assessment & Community Risk/SOC
Akron, OH

September 30, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
St. Albert, Canada

October 02, 2014
Advanced Technology for Community Risk/Standards of Cover

October 07, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Rocky Mount, NC

October 08, 2014
Chief Officer Credentialing…Where Do I Stand?

October 20, 2014
Self-Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Myrtle Beach, SC

October 21, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Plano, TX

October 23, 2014
Credentialing: A Pathway to Personal and Professional Excellence
Myrtle Beach, SC

October 24, 2014
Peer Assessor Workshop

October 24, 2014
Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring
Myrtle Beach, SC

October 27, 2014
Data Analysis and Presentation Using Excel
North Charleston, SC