What a Week!

The 2014 Excellence Conference is over, but what a week we had. The event started with a rousing presentation of the colors by the Henderson Fire Department honor guard with a bagpipe on Monday morning for the more than 200 conference attendees. After welcoming remarks from Councilman Sam Bateman, representing the mayor of Henderson, and Fire Chief Steve Goble from the Henderson Fire Department, conference attendees were treated to remarks from U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell as the first keynote speaker.

Following Chief Mitchell’s presentation on the state of the fire service, L.A. County Deputy Chief Mike Metro offered his perspectives on “The Fire Service as a Competitor” with his message being that, to compete in today’s communities, we need to view the fire service as a business and operate accordingly. To emphasize his remarks, he offered insights on private companies making inroads to take over EMS services in several cities. In the afternoon, Chief Metro delivered a presentation on the significant impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the fire service, which was a huge highlight of the day.

On Tuesday morning, conference attendees enjoyed a presentation by Grant Lupton, AFSM. B.GS, FiFireE, CPMgr, FAIM, international president of the Institution of Fire Engineers. Chief Lupton offered a view of the similarities and contrasts between the U.S., Australian and British fire services, with a look at the challenges, equipment and special circumstances facing firefighters in Australia.

Conference sessions organized in three tracks provided a wide range of information on agency accreditation, professional credentialing and general topics of interest. In all, attendees had opportunities to participate in 18 hours of educational offerings, plus general sessions and networking events. Most notable of the networking events was the fundraising reception held on Wednesday, March 12, sponsored by Westnet, Inc. where more than 80 people were treated to snacks and drinks on the Green Valley Ranch Resort pool deck.

The conference wrapped up on Thursday, March 13, with conference sessions all day and a special leadership presentation by Chief Alan Brunacini entitled, “The Company Officer: Success or Failure for Your Fire Department in the Firehouse and on the Fireground,” which was attended by 50 fire professionals from the U.S. and Canada.

Nine New Agencies Achieve Accreditation; 18 Agencies Re-Accreditated

The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) met on March 10 and March 11 in Henderson Nevada to review the recommendations from assessment teams regarding accreditation of more than two dozen agencies from around the U.S. The following agencies were approved for Accreditation:

  • Abington Fire and Rescue, PA
  • 128th ARW Fire and Emergency Services, General Billy Mitchell Field, WI
  • Anaheim Fire and Rescue, CA
  • Bowling Green Fire Division, OH
  • Columbus Fire and Rescue, MS
  • FE Warren Fire and Emergency Services, WY
  • Gainesville Fire Rescue, FL
  • Statesville Fire Rescue, NC
  • Wilmington Fire Department, NC

The following departments were approved by the Commission for Re-Accreditation:

  • Superstition Fire and Medical District, AZ
  • Bowling Green Fire Department, KY
  • Clovis Fire Department, CA
  • Covington Fire Department, GA
  • DLA San Joaquin Fire and Emergency Services, CA
  • DLA Columbus Fire and Emergency Services, OH
  • DLA Richmond Fire and Emergency Services, VA
  • Ft. Lee Fire and Emergency Services Division, VA
  • Hill AFB Fire Department, UT
  • Lincoln Fire and Rescue, NE
  • Maitland Fire Rescue Department, FL
  • Navy Region Northwest Fire and Emergency Services, WA
  • City of Maryville Fire Department, TN
  • Palm Harbor Special Fire Control and Rescue District, FL
  • Searcy Fire Department, AR
  • Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue, SD
  • Springfield Fire Department, MO
  • Toledo Fire and Rescue Department, OH

NFFF Fundraiser Yields New High

CPSE’s fundraiser on behalf of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) on Wednesday evening, March 12, during the Excellence Conference, produced a record amount of donations for the Foundation. Host Cathy Hedrick, representing the Foundation, told her personal story of the loss of her son in a LODD and how the Foundation helped her, and is continuing to help other families, in similar circumstances. More than 20 people won a variety of prizes during the raffle.

Winners of major prizes were:

1 – $500 Worldpoints Mastercard Gift Card from CPSE:

  • Dan Qualman of South Metro Fire Rescue Authority, Centennial, CO

3 – Personnel evaluation software packages from Firefighter Hired
(a $1000 value for each):


  • Steve Priess — Rockford (IL) Fire Department
  • Paul Rottenberg – FireStats
  • Rocky Garzarek – City of Franklin (TN) Fire Department


3 – Sample packages of Tablet Command software with a 3-month user license:


  • Shawn Holcomb – Sun City West Fire District, AZ
  • Will Grey – Pueblo Fire Department, CO
  • Danielle Bryan – Anaheim Fire Department



Commission on Professional Credentialing Bestows Designations

The Commission on Professional Credentialing, led by Chair Steve Locke, Director of Public Safety for the City of Hartford, Vermont, approved the following individuals for new professional designations:

Chief Fire Officer Designation

  • Ronald Barron, Centennial, CO
  • William Barrs, Dunedin, FL
  • David Haboush, Carmel, IN
  • Darryl Jones, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Jeffrey Jones, Sherman, TX
  • Jayme Kahle, Vail, AZ
  • Patrick McCabe, Winter Park, FL
  • Michael McGreal, Wilmette, IL

Fire Marshal Designation

  • Craig Foote, Cleveland, TN
  • Clifton Mehaffey, Spokane Valley, WA
  • Robert Nolan, Anaheim, CA

Fire Officer Designation

  • Heith Aldridge, Springfield, MO
  • Kelly Ash, Springfield, MO
  • David Buchheit, Sioux City, IA
  • Brandon Desch, Longboat Key, FL
  • Matt Goudy, Castle Rock, CO
  • William Gray, Pueblo, CO
  • Steven Lane, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Timothy Notartomaasso, Winter Park, FL
  • Amy Scheller, Naperville, IL
  • Christopher Schmit, Bainbridge Island, WA

Congratulations to all of these individuals and for the dozens of individuals who achieved re-credentialing of their designations. This brings the total number of individuals with CPC designations to 1361 worldwide.

Quotes from the Excellence Conference

What does achieving accreditation mean to the citizens of your community?

“It shows the citizens of Columbus, Mississippi that the fire department is among the top 1% of all departments and that we are the first department in the states of Mississippi and Alabama to achieve accreditation. We made history here.”

– Mayor Robert E. Smith, Jr. of Columbus, MI

“We went through a pretty arduous process to prove the type of organizational that we are. Accreditation provides that external assessment of the quality of the organization. It helps us to show citizens that we are as good as we say we are.”

– Fire Chief Randy Bruegman, Anaheim Fire Department, CA

How did the accreditation process help your department through a recent major change in leadership?

“The accreditation process helped with the transition by showing the new leadership where we’ve been and where we are going. Whenever you have a change in the department, that is a huge asset. Also, one of the greatest benefits of the assessment process is having the peer assessment team come in and to be able to bounce ideas and to network with professionals from departments like your own.”

– Batallion Chief Eric Jones, Lincoln Fire and Rescue, NE

News About CPSE People

Fire Chief Kenneth Moore of the Columbus, MS Fire Department will retire at the end of March, as announced by Mayor Robert Smith. The Mayor says he’ll recommend an interim chief at the April meeting of the city council. The Columbus Fire Department was just awarded Accredited status at the March meeting of the CFAI.

Moore has served as chief for the past nine years. He has been with the department for 30 years. During his tenure as chief, the city’s ISO rating has been lowered from a 5 to a 4, lowering insurance premiums for city residents.

“Cutting Edge EMS – Transformative Culture”

By Todd LeDuc

“Cutting Edge EMS” is often defined by the latest research of clinical intervention, technology or resuscitative advancement. However, despite these “cutting edge” advancements with the field of out-of-hospital care, the Center for Disease Control continues to report that the leading cause of death in the U.S. is cardiovascular disease claiming nearly 600,000 lives annually. Despite EMS advances, the American College of Cardiology reports that out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates are a dismal 11% nationally, on average.

What is driving much of the ailments that EMS and the American health care system are confronted with daily is what some have called national epidemic- obesity. The American Heart Association (AHA) notes that between 60-70% of the U.S. population is either overweight or obese, putting them at risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes.

“Cutting Edge” EMS must transform itself to embracing prevention and education aimed squarely at being active participants in combating the obesity epidemic beginning in our school systems and expanding throughout our communities. This transformation must focus EMS system energies and priorities on heightened levels of emphasis at reducing demands for emergency service based largely on preventable disease processes that can be averted through education, coaching and culture change. Particularly, with school and youth-based prevention and education programs, led by or in partnership with EMS systems, we have the ability to create an entire new generation of population that largely shifts EMS from a responding system of failed public health practices to a prevention and education based entity that drives public health. Research has demonstrated that even modest reductions in weight driven by lifestyle changes and education provide dramatic results in terms of avoiding many of the disease processes that are considered obesity co-morbid factors. This transformation may not occur overnight but cutting-edge EMS systems should challenge themselves to redefine the paradigm of service delivery from primarily response based to one that is prevention-education centric. Community and health care inevitable savings that will be derived from such efforts can be further invested with community public health efforts.

This same transformation of “cutting edge” EMS to a community based wellness/prevention model can be said of the inroads that the American fire service has made prioritizing prevention strategies in communities reducing the number of structure fires from 1,098,000 in 1977 to less than half that number (480,500) in 2012, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Imagine the benefit to our communities if “cutting edge” EMS could produce the same results by reducing heart disease deaths by greater than half.

Todd J. LeDuc, MS, CFO, CEM, MIFirE, is division chief of Broward County (FL) Sheriff Fire Rescue, a career internationally accredited metro department. He is also an elected board of director of the IAFC Safety, Health & Survival Section and advisor to On-Scene. He is a peer reviewer for agency accreditation and professional credentialing.

Reprinted with permission from the IAFC.

A Few Scenes from the 2014 Excellence Conference

Henderson Fire Department Honor Guard
prepares to enter the ballroom

CPSE Executive Director Paul Brooks welcomes president
Randy Bruegman to the stage to open the conference

Henderson Fire Chief Steve Goble welcomes CPSE
to Henderson, Nevada

CPSE president Randy Bruegman introduces U.S. Fire Administrator Ernie Mitchell, Jr. to the stage

The CFAI Commissioners meet to review agency accreditations

Lincoln Fire Department Chief John Huff accepts
the department’s accreditation plaque

Chief Grant Lupton, international president of the Institution of Fire Engineers, delivers a keynote address to conference attendees

Re-imagining the Accreditation Model: a panel of experts who will facilitate technical working groups. Left to right: Chief Randy Bruegman, CPSE president; Rebecca Desch (City of Bradenton Fire Department – Technology); Brian Dean (Technical Advisor – The Process); Rick Fagan (Director, Technical Advisor Program – Standards of Cover/Community Risk); and Jerry Nulliner (Technical Advisor – The Model)

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: www.cpse.org/news/upcoming-workshops-events.aspx.

March 24, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Cumming, GA

March 24, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Glendale, AZ

March 24, 2014
Data Analysis & Presentation Using Excel
Quantico, VA

March 25, 2014
Chief Officer Credentialing…Where Do I Stand?

March 27, 2014
Credentialing: A Pathway to Personal and Professional Excellence
Glendale, AZ

March 27, 2014
Credentialing: Pathway to Excellence/Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring
Cumming, GA

March 27, 2014
When “Suck it Up” Doesn’t Work

March 31, 2014
Data Analysis & Presentation Using Excel
Los Gatos, CA

April 09, 2014
Data Analysis & Presentation Using Excel
Cleveland, OH

April 15, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

April 22, 2014
Under the Dust is My Strategic Plan – Why Didn’t I Execute It?

April 23, 2014
Credentialing:Pathway to Excellence/Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring
Univ. of Akron

April 25, 2014
Peer Assessor Virtual Workshop – April

April 26, 2014
Standards of Cover Workshop
Conshohocken, PA

May 06, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Henrico, VA

May 06, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Eau Claire, WI

May 12, 2014
Data Analysis & Presentation Using Excel
Montgomery County, MD

May 12, 2014
Technical Competency – Writing to Achieve Designation

May 19, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Centennial, CO

May 21, 2014
Chief Officer Credentialing…Where Do I Stand?

May 28, 2014
DoD Only-Self Assessment & Community Risk/SOC
Goodfellow AFB, TX

June 16, 2014
Data Analysis & Presentation Using Excel
Plano, TX