Canadian Company Achieves Accreditation

Fire Busters, Inc., based in Delta, British Columbia, has become the first company in Canada to achieve accreditation under the guidelines of the Residential Fire Sprinkler Contractor Accreditation Program (RFSCAP). Upon learning that the company had met the RFSCAP requirements for accreditation, owner David Killey said: “We are very excited about this award and all it has to bring to our business.”

In addition to being the first company in Canada to successfully meet all the criteria for accreditation, Fire Busters, Inc. is also the first company since approval of the three companies involved in beta development of the program to achieve accreditation. David Killey established Fire Busters in 1990 when the City of Vancouver passed a residential fire sprinkler requirement. Since then, the company has grown over the past few years to become an industry leader for fire sprinkler systems in British Columbia. The company currently employs thirteen employees and has eight company vehicles. The company is actively involved in its local community, participating in side-by-side burns, sprinkler demonstrations, and participation in several local business and national professional associations. The company specializes in single-family residential sprinkler installations.

Fire Busters, Inc. will be formally recognized as a Residential Fire Sprinkler Contractor Accredited Company during the CPSE awards dinner in Dallas, on August 14.

For more information about the Residential Fire Sprinkler Contractor Accreditation Program (RFSCAP) visit the CPSE website and click on “Fire Sprinkler Accreditation” on the homepage. If you know sprinkler contractors in your area that should participate in the RFSCAP accreditation, tell them about the program or contact the CPSE office and we will contact the company’s principals.

CPSE Workshops at FRI Conference

CPSE is offering its full slate of workshops in conjunction with pre-conference programming available from IAFC prior to the opening of the Fire-Rescue International conference and exposition in Dallas. Dates of the CPSE courses are: August 12-14, 2014. Students may register for the courses through the IAFC’s website at FRI Conference Registration. The courses are scheduled at the Dallas Convention Center.

August 12-13, 2014 – The “Basic Self-Assessment” workshop is a requirement for Accreditation Managers charged with coordinating their department’s accreditation team and documentation. The course is equally beneficial to any department looking to improve the quality of its services since it explains the benefits of self-assessment and, ultimately, department accreditation. During the two-day course, students learn the planning requirements for self-assessment and the performance activities that define self-assessment, and it prepares the team for a successful self-assessment and for the on-site peer evaluation.

August 12, 2014 – “Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring” workshop is a program designed for fire service leaders that are searching for strategies to create a framework of individual development, succession planning, and organizational integration of tacit knowledge. With the challenges that the fire service is faced with today, mentoring our membership is no longer an option. It is incumbent upon us as leaders to properly prepare our leaders of tomorrow, today. All too often women and men are put into positions of authority without being adequately prepared for the administrative, operational, and soft skills that are required to execute their duties and responsibilities. This program will give the attendee a foundation to build upon that will be reflective of his or hers respective organizational needs.

August 13, 2014 – “Credentialing: A Pathway to Personal and Professional Excellence” workshop answers the question “Why should I pursue my professional credentials?” The credentialing process affords the candidate an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive “self-assessment”, similar to the process that fire departments go through at an organizational level with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. The majority of the elements associated with the responsibilities that candidates may encounter that are reflective of each designation are included in the credentialing process. This workshop affords the attendee an opportunity to gain insight into the credentialing process, its benefit, and finally continuous development opportunities.

August 14, 2014 – “Community Risks and Hazards/Standards of Cover” workshop equips fire service personnel to rationally plan for and justify various levels of service. The workshop uses an overview of resource deployment planning and community risk analysis to cover the latest tools for calculating and analyzing risk and the latest processes for mapping deployment and deployment coverage areas, such as GIS software packages.

CPSE’s Headquarters Hotel: Hyatt Regency Dallas

All the CPSE action is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Dallas on Reunion Boulevard. That’s where this year’s CPSE Awards Dinner will take place, beginning at 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 14. The dinner will follow a networking reception for all dinner guests from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Officer designees and Accredited Agencies that are being recognized in 2014 are all invited to the dinner. Invitations were mailed from the CPSE office on Friday, June 13. A photo session for all Officer Designees and Accredited Agency teams will take place prior to and during the networking reception. Be watching for details to accompany your registration confirmation.

During the dinner, the emergency services profession will once again honor two respected industry leaders when CPSE announces this year’s winners of the prestigious Ray Picard Award and the Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award. CPSE will also announce the winner of its Ambassador of the Year award, recognizing one individual who has done the most to promote CPSE accreditation and credentialing programs throughout the year. But most important, the event recognizes the dozens of fire/emergency officers who have attained various levels of professional designations and all of the departments who have achieved accreditation during 2014.

Companies and fire agencies may reserve private banquet tables for ten for only $1,200 per table. To reserve a table, contact Jess Yankovich at 703-691-4620, X207.

Registration for the awards dinner is now open. If you received an invitation to the dinner, you may reserve your tickets today at _[LINK TO REGISTRATION PAGE]. Make plans now to join your friends and colleagues for a night of great food and good times.

Note that all ticket purchases must be paid with a credit card. CPSE will not invoice for individual dinner tickets.

What’s Our Value? Investing In Our Future…

Alan Perdue, CFO, FM, Commissioner, CPC

As you are probably aware, the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) conference has been held in the Las Vegas area for several years. After attending several events I began reflecting on the significance that professional credentialing has to the area. Specifically, a Vegas television show and a popular card game. Those would be television show titled Pawn Stars and the game Texas Hold’em.

Now I’m sure you are asking, what in the world does Pawn Stars and Texas Hold’em have to do with personal value and professional credentialing? Well let me try to explain.

On the television show they run across many interesting items of various origins, shapes and sizes. Often, people feel they truly have something of significant value only to find out that their item is really fairly common, out of date or no value because they are just like many others in existence. In other words, nothing sets them apart.

However, every now and then an item is brought in that is really unique or extremely rare. It stands out above the rest. Why? Because it is unique, may have a certificate of authenticity, be part of a numbered series or have some other form of documentation that enhances its value. Because of that, people want it and are willing to pay for it.

Think about it, when opportunities to apply for a promotion arise, we in the fire service are not much different than those items that are brought in week after week to the pawn counter. As individuals, we come from various origins and in many shapes and sizes. Our past decisions and experiences are the basis for determining our value by those looking to make the hiring decisions. Like the items at the pawn shop that needed proof of authenticity, we too must have the necessary documentation to set us apart from the competition. That documentation illustrates not only what we have done but provides a roadmap as to what our future capabilities are.

Many of us have heard Dr. Denis Onieal, the superintendent of the National Fire Academy, compare professional credentials for occupations such as physicians, educators, engineers, lawyers, etc. to those needed for today’s fire service leaders. He asks the question: What path does it take to be a fire chief?

When you think of your personal value or what is commonly referred to as market value, it is important to understand that our world and our profession are constantly changing. To be successful in attaining that next promotion it will be incumbent upon you to take a serious look at your professional development plan. That plan should include both experience and credentials.

The time is now for evaluating your personal plan. Ask yourself, do you have what it takes to set you apart? Does it include a process for obtaining professional designations from the CPSE such as Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO), Fire Marshal (FM), Chief Training Officer (CTO) or Fire Officer (FO)?

Ask yourself this question: if someone took you up to the counter at Pawn Stars, would Rick say “I don’t have one of those and I’ve got to have it” or would he say “I don’t think so, thanks anyway”. Well in simple terms that’s what’s really taking place when we compete for promotional opportunities. It is imperative to set yourself apart from the competition.

With technology available to us today, the ability to enhance our knowledge base is limitless. With all the buzz about the “I” devices these days, use the iPad® acronym to remind yourself of this, I’m Personally Accountable for my Destiny… In other words, Do What It Takes and Do It Now!

Texas Hold’em is a popular card game and simply that — a game that can be played over and over. A common move when you think you have the best hand is to go “All In”. This game called life is significantly different. It’s a single play event, not a dress rehearsal. So when you think about your professional development plan, ask yourself “Am I All In?”

CFAI Commission Releases Schedule of Hearings for Dallas

Following is the schedule for the upcoming hearings of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency Dallas on August 13-14, 2014 in Rooms Reunion G&H. Plan now to join your colleagues and hear the Commission recommendations for more than 20 agencies seeking accreditation.

August 13, 2014

0800-0815 Hours

1. Welcome and Introductions
2. Announcements
3. Approval of Minutes

0815-0915 Hours

4. Agency for Re-Accreditation

  • Ft Drum, NY
  • Fishers Fire Department, IN
  • Hartford FD, VT

0930-1030 Hours

  • Atlanta Fire Department, GA
  • Bradenton FD, FL
  • Calgary FD, AB

1045-1145 Hours

  • Clay Fire Territory, IN
  • Culver City FD, CA
  • Union TWP FD, OH

1245-1345 Hours

  • Arvada FPD, CO
  • Brentwood FR, TN
  • Cedar Park FD, TX

1400 – 1500 Hours

5. New Accredited Agencies

  • La Crosse, WI
  • Louisville FD, KY
  • McConnell AFB, KS

August 14, 2014

0800-0900 Hours

1. Welcome and Introductions
2. Announcements
3. Agencies for Accreditation

  • Moody AFB, GA
  • NAS Panama City, FL
  • Ottawa FD, ON
  • Shelby FD, NC

0915-1045 Hours

  • Shaw AFB, SC
  • Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, VA
  • Chandler Fire Department, AZ

The Commission hearings will adjourn at approximately 11:30 AM, Thursday, August 14.

Stop By the Booth – With a Friend

If you are planning to attend the Fire-Rescue International Conference and Expo in August, be sure to stop by the CPSE booth (#5409) and say HI! to the staff and volunteers who will be in the booth.

We will be sharing information about CPSE’s programs and services, from agency accreditation to professional credentialing as well as technical advisor facilitation and residential sprinkler contractor accreditation.

However, we have a request. Bring someone else with you when you stop by the booth. This could be someone from your own department or from another department who is (1) not already a designated officer, or (2) someone working at a department that is not already accredited. Introduce a colleague to the career benefits of professional credentialing and the benefits to a community having an accredited fire department. CPSE Staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions, to explain how our programs can benefit any fire professional and to share latest information on the “re-imagining” of the accreditation model.

We look forward to seeing you in Dallas – and bring a friend to the booth with you.

Goodfellow AFB Hosts a Workshop

Thirty-one Defense Department firefighters attended a three-day Self-Assessment and Standards of Cover Workshop at the Louis F. Garland DOD Fire Academy at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas in order to become accreditation managers.

Ernst Piercy, senior technical advisor, leads a discussion during the Basic Self-Assessment course.

“This course is filled with consummate professionals, with a single goal in mind: improving the emergency services delivery at their installations,” said Ernst R. Piercy, CFAI technical advisor and workshop instructor. “Much like hospital or university accreditation, fire service accreditation is a process whereby agencies align their programs to 253 performance indicators that represent what a modern fire service agency must comply with,” said Piercy.

Once they have completed the course offered by the CFAI, accreditation managers can compare their fire and emergency service agency performance to industry best practices.

Lessons Learned from Achieving Accreditation

Periodically, we feature an interview with a chief who has recently undergone the self-assessment process leading to accreditation. The chief’s observations are valuable for other departments that are contemplating starting the accreditation process.

Interview with Chief John O’Neal, CFO, Addison (TX) Fire Department

Why did you make the decision to seek accreditation?

As a chief officer with past experience in a former agency that became accredited in 2003, I am a believer and supporter of the accreditation model. I believe the process is an excellent way to make a good department better, and to validate to the citizens, elected officials and city management that the department is doing the right things for the right reasons. The self-assessment process is also an excellent mechanism for department personnel to become engaged in bettering their agency and to have buy-in for industry best practices. For the troops in Addison, they wanted to use the process to prove their credibility to the elected officials and citizens after a consultant study painted a few processes of the agency in a negative light.

What has your department learned from the accreditation process?

The department learned our strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities and set a course on corrective actions for the weaknesses and it highlighted our strengths to the elected officials and city management. It validated areas of strengths that were just assumed by anecdotal evidence in the past and demonstrated weaknesses where personnel assumed we may have been stronger in the past.

Was the time and effort to achieve accreditation justified?

The response model and resourcing to emergency incidents was validated and justified along with many of our program areas such as training and prevention, along with our aggressive fire sprinkler ordinance.

What changes have resulted?

We formalized many processes that were informally performed or documented in the past. We do a better job quantifying our services provided now. We also greatly improved our relationship and how we are viewed by city management and the elected officials validating we are good stewards of public funding and doing the right things for the right reasons, to provide a high level of service to the community.

News From the CPSE Regional Consortiums

The North Carolina Accreditation Support Consortium held its most recent meeting on May 8, 2014 with approximately 25 agencies being represented. The central theme for this meeting was the utilization of CPSE credentialing as a resource for creating or improving an agency’s professional development requirements. According to the current list on the CPSE website, CFO designees outnumber FO designees by more than four times. While we don’t know the ratio of company officers to chief officers throughout the country, one would think that there are significantly more company officers than chief officers in the fire service. When considering these two points, it appears that there is an opportunity to infuse the FO designation into organizational professional development plans. If we, as chief officers, believe that the CFO designation is beneficial to our own careers, why don’t we seek to drive that philosophy down to our company officers? While the focus of this article has been on the FO designation, the same philosophy should be considered for the remaining designations.

Keith McGee
Operations Division Chief
Rocky Mount (NC) Fire Dept.

The Virginia State Fire Accreditation and Credentialing Consortium has completed a year of development and is now active. The goal of the consortium is to provide assistance and support to agencies considering or completing the accreditation process, as well as supporting individuals considering the credentialing process. Consortium members completed an outreach presentation for the fire service in February during the Virginia State Fire Chief’s Conference and are currently developing other training and outreach programs. The February presentation educated agencies and individuals about the Accreditation and Credentialing process and to demonstrate how those processes have helped our departments. We currently have a GIS program under development which is tentatively scheduled for August, in addition to the quarterly consortium meeting.

Robert E. Lee, CFO
Battalion Chief
Newport News (VA) Fire Dept.

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 14, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Peoria, IL

July 18, 2014
Peer Assessor Virtual Workshop – July

July 23, 2014
Self-Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Buffalo, NY

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

August 04, 2014
Technical Competency – Writing to Achieve Designation

August 05, 2014
DoD-Self Assessment & Community Risk/SOC
San Diego, CA

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

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

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

September 15, 2014
Credentialing: Pathway to Personal and Professional Experience
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