Excellence Conference Sets Record for Attendence

The 2015 Excellence Conference was our best ever! We set records by increasing registration by 47 percent, raising more money than ever for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and offering over 50 hours of education sessions and networking opportunities.

Thank you to the volunteers from the fire departments of Orange County, Orlando, Maitland, and Winter Park for providing logistical support during the week. Thank you also to the committee that reviewed and vetted presentation proposals, the engaging keynote speakers and education session presenters, and the members of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International and the Commission on Professional Credentialing. Due to your hard work and dedication, our goals of striving for Excellence, focusing on Quality, and delivering on Outcomes were achieved.

Plans are already underway for the 2016 Excellence Conference: March 15 – 18, 2016, back at the Caribe Royale in sunny Orlando. For those that joined us at this year’s conference, we hope to see you back next year. For those that were unable to join us, mark your calendar now and plan to join us in 2016.

Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) Briefed on Proposed Model Changes

On Monday March 16th, a special meeting of the CFAI to review proposed changes to the accreditation model was held in conjunction with the 2015 Excellence Conference. The first version of what will become the 9th edition of the accreditation model, went out for public comment in December 2014. Based on input received during the public comment period, a second version was developed and presented to CFAI on March 16, 2015. Mr. Jerry Nulliner, the model technical working group leader, provided the CFAI an in-depth briefing on the additions and significant changes to the accreditation model. Members of the CPSE Board of Directors and Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) as well as accreditation team leaders were in the audience for this presentation. The CFAI recommended some revisions to the language. A third version is now under development. This third version is set to be approved by the CFAI over the next few weeks and will then go to the CPSE Board of Directors for final approval.

Following approvals by the CFAI and CPSE Board of Directors, the following steps will be taken to ensure the changes are communicated to all involved in the accreditation process:

  • The updated categories and associated criteria, core competencies, and performance indicators will be forwarded to all agencies and assessors.
  • CPSE will launch a webinar addressing the significant changes between the 8th and 9th editions. This webinar will be offered on multiple occasions.
  • An interpretation guide to aid agencies and assessors in understanding the CFAI’s intent is being developed. This guide will be a living document and will be updated, if necessary, following every CFAI hearing.
  • The 9th edition of the Fire & Emergency Self-Assessment Manual and 6th edition of the Community Risk/Standard of Cover will be published and the corresponding workshops will be updated.

In addition to changes to the accreditation model, the Reimagining Project focused on process and technology changes. Work on enhancing the accreditation process and utilizing modern technology to facilitate the self- and peer assessment will continue throughout 2015.

Credentialing Town Hall

On Tuesday March 17th, the CPC held its first ever credentialing town hall. The informal gathering was attended by CPC Commissioners, designated officers, peer reviewers, and those interested in finding out more about the designation process.

The format gave attendees an opportunity to share challenges they faced in completing the application and calm the fears of those that have yet to pursue designation. The group had an opportunity to congratulate one of the newest designees, Scott Kujawa from Washington Township Fire Department, Dayton, OH. The Commission voted earlier in the day to approve his FO designation.

One message was clear: that the application process needs to be automated. During 2015, CPSE is investing in information technology upgrades; developing a web experience for the designation process is one of the upgrades being researched.

A huge thanks to all that attended. The feedback was terrific. Look for updates and changes throughout the year.

“The forum provided an excellent opportunity for us as a commission to hear from our customers and understand their concerns. I am confident we will provide a better product from the messages we heard” stated Steve Locke, CFO, Chairman, CPC.

Consortium Meets at Excellence Conference

On Thursday, March 19th, CPSE’s accreditation and credentialing consortiums met during the Excellence Conference in Orlando. The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate a dialogue amongst consortiums on how they support their members and what programs and services they offer. Great ideas were exchanged and new connections were made. Representatives from the Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, South Carolina, and Tennessee consortiums were in attendance.

The consortiums represent regions or groups of accredited agencies and credentialed professionals. The consortiums work together supporting new agencies going through the accreditation process and meeting with agencies or individuals looking to begin the process of accreditation or credentialing. Consortiums are an excellent resource to agencies or individuals looking to engage the quality improvement process, get answers, and be successful.

Fire Officer Scholarships Announced

During the Thursday March 19th general session, the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) announced the recipients of the 2015 Fire Officer (FO) scholarships. The cost to cover the scholarship program is made possible by a generous donation from Pierce Manufacturing.

Congratulations to:

  • David Hindman, Glassy Mountain Fire Service Area, Landrum, SC
  • Christian Jacobs, Grissom ARB Fire Department, IN
  • Peter Mixon, Mount Pleasant Fire Department, Mount Pleasant, SC
  • Craig Oliverius, Mount Pleasant Fire Department, Mount Pleasant, SC

The CPC will provide another opportunity to apply for FO scholarship in June and announce the recipients during the CPSE annual awards ceremony on August 27th in Atlanta, GA. Look for details in the May newsletter.

Keynote Speakers Energize Conference

This year’s Excellence Conference featured four outstanding keynote addresses that served to excite and inform conference attendees. Each speaker offered different insights on issues related to the future of the fire service, emergency management, safety and professional development.

The conference opened on Tuesday, March 17, with a keynote delivered by Assistant Chief Billy Goldfeder (Loveland-Symmes Fire Department) a well-known authority on firefighter safety and effective fire suppression techniques. Chief Goldfeder offered a spirited view of specific examples of firefighting techniques that saved lives and property. He later delivered a general session expanding on similar themes.

Wednesday morning featured a keynote presentation from Gordon Graham, president of Lexipol. Mr. Graham discussed the need for proven policies and procedures that help departments reduce risk and exposure. Gordon’s observations were drawn from his experiences as a former California Highway patrolman, attorney and risk consultant.

On Thursday, attendees were treated to an energetic and informative presentation by Tim Sendelbach, CFO/CTO, Editor in Chief of Firehouse Magazine and Firehouse.com. Tim challenged and inspired everyone in the room to recognize the importance of prevention in the fire service as the best way to reduce losses of property and lives.

The closing keynote presentation on Friday morning by Dr. Denis Onieal, superintendent of the National Fire Academy, focused on the need for fire and emergency management professionals to continually pursue education, professional development and credentialing as a way to elevate the delivery of services for their respective communities.

Agencies Awarded Accredited Status at Conference

The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) convened on March 17 and 18, 2015 in Orlando, FL to hear 26 agencies. Of the 26 agencies meeting the commission, 23 were accredited and 3 were deferred. This now brings the total of accredited agencies to 207.

Congratulations to the following agencies on obtaining accredited status:

  • Bradenton Fire Department, Bradenton, FL
  • Burbank Fire Department, Burbank, CA
  • NAS Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Danville Fire Department, Danville, VA
  • Edmonton Fire Rescue, Edmonton, AB
  • Henderson Fire Department, Henderson, NV
  • St Tammany Fire Protection District No. 1, Slidell, LA
  • Miami Beach Fire Department, Miami Beach, FL
  • Southlake Fire Department, Southlake, TX
  • Kent Fire Department, Kent, WA
  • Navy Region Hawaii Fire & Emergency Services, Pearl Harbor, HI
  • MCAS Beaufort Fire & Emergency Services, Beaufort, SC
  • NSA Panama City, Panama City, FL
  • Asheville Fire Department, Asheville, NC
  • Ft Drum Fire and Emergency Services, Ft. Drum, NY
  • Offutt AFB Fire & Emergency Services, Offutt AFB, NE
  • Maxwell Air Force Base Fire Emergency Services, Maxwell AFB, AL
  • Eglin Air Force Base Fire Emergency Services, Eglin AFB, FL
  • Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Emergency Services, Sheppard AFB, TX
  • JB Charleston Fire Emergency Services, Charleston, SC
  • Tinker Fire and Emergency Services, Tinker AFB, OK
  • Vandenberg AFB Fire and Emergency Services, Vandenberg, CA
  • Sioux City Fire Rescue, Sioux City, IA

CPSE Raises Funds for NFFF

Under a partly cloudy sky, more than 150 conference attendees gathered on Thursday evening around the pool deck at the Caribe Royale to support the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation (NFFF). The event offered light snacks, drinks and dozens of door prizes to lucky raffle winners throughout the event.

Special thanks go to Fire-Dex, which donated dozens of first-quality firefighter gloves. AMKUS donated several brief cases and NASCAR-logo polo shirts. W. S. Darley donated golf hats, golf balls and a scale-model fire truck.

CPSE provided three valuable prizes. Lucky winners won: a $250 gift card; complimentary registration to the 2016 Excellence Conference; a complimentary ticket to the CPSE awards dinner during the annual Fire-Rescue International Conference, this year in Atlanta.

The evening’s grand prize was an expense-paid trip (airfare, hotel and dinner ticket) to attend the Congressional Fire Service Institute’s National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 16 in Washington, D.C.

Sales of raffle tickets and a 50/50 drawing brought the total donated to NFFF to over $4,600.

Thank you to all those that supported the NFFF during the fundraiser and congratulations to all the prize winners.

Special Thanks to Conference Sponsors

CPSE wishes to express a special thank you to the companies that supported the Excellence Conference in 2015 through their generous sponsorships. The support of these companies ensured a successful conference for everyone involved:

Scenes from the 2015 Conference


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.

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

April 02, 2015
Leading Organizations Through Change

April 10, 2015
CFAI Peer Assessor Workshop-April 2015

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

April 16, 2015
Risk: Controlling Your Game Board: Understanding Risk Analysis’ Connection to Resource Deployment

April 20, 2015
Data Analysis & Presentation Using Excel
Bensenville, IL

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

April 27, 2015
Data Analysis & Presentation
Concord, NC

May 04, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Manassas Park, VA

May 04, 2015
DoD Only: Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Ft. Leavenworth, KS

May 06, 2015
Data Analysis & Presentation
Iowa City, IA

May 11, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Dayton, OH

May 11, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Virginia Beach, VA

May 11, 2015
Data Analysis & Presentation
Orlando, FL

May 12, 2015
Technical Competency – Writing to Achieve Designation

May 14, 2015
Credentialing: A Pathway to Personal & Professional Experience
Dayton, OH

May 15, 2015
Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring
Dayton, OH

May 19, 2015
The First Year as a Newly Promoted Chief Officer

June 03, 2015
Community Risk & SOC: What Drives Your Business?

June 09, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Wausau, WI

June 10, 2015
Data Analysis & Presentation
Colorado Springs, CO

June 15, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Bensenville, IL

June 16, 2015
DoD Only: Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Newport, RI