What a Time…Conference Highlights

The 2017 Excellence Conference came and went, and what a time it was. Almost 500 participants made it to the Hyatt Regency in Orange County, California to hear inspiring messages, partake in a multitude of educational opportunities, and widen their networking circle.

“The path of least resistance does nothing to promote excellence.” Chief Bobby Halton, speaking to this year’s theme “Leading to Excellence,” began Day 2 of Conference by providing an inspiring talk on limitations and promoting excellence. He stated, “excellence requires we accept the limitations of science and technology,” and we work through those limitations to continuously provide excellent service with the materials currently available.

Thursday evening saw the Networking Reception, where attendees had the opportunity to socialize with refreshments. At the Reception, CPSE also announced the winner of the game in the Conference App.

This year’s education sessions focused on Continuous Improvement, Progressive Leadership, and Outcomes. With three and a half days, and 44 sessions available, attendees had numerous opportunities to learn about a variety of topics. Some of the most well-attended sessions were the bootcamps: Accreditation, Credentialing, Standards of Cover, and the 101s of Data.

After an eventful four days, Conference came to an end at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 24th. We thank everyone for coming, and we hope to see you at next year’s Excellence Conference in Orlando, Florida March 13-16, 2018.

Something New: Inaugural Recognition Lunches

This year CPSE did recognitions a little differently: we rolled out recognition lunches for accredited agencies and credentialed officers at the Excellence Conference. These lunches replace the recognition banquets of years past. Now, one luncheon of each year’s Excellence Conference will be dedicated to recognizing accredited agencies and another luncheon will be dedicated to the recognition of credentialed officers. Each year will focus on those who received accredited status or credentials during the prior year.

New Accreditations

In conjunction with the 2017 Excellence Conference, the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) met to grant accredited agency status to 14 agencies. Accreditation is earned by an agency embracing quality improvement when that agency has addressed certain performance indicators and has been verified and validated by a peer assessment team.

Of these 14 agencies, five were accredited for the first time. These agencies are:

  • Ft. Knox Fire and Emergency Services, Fort Knox, Kentucky
  • Sumter County Fire & EMS, Wildwood, Florida
  • Davis-Monthan Fire Emergency Services, Tuscon, Arizona
  • Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Lawrenceville, Georgia
  • Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Fire & Emergency Services, Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island

Nine agencies received re-accreditation status:

  • Mokena Fire District, Mokena, Illinois
  • Red Deer Emergency Services, Alberta, Canada
  • Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  • MCAS Miramar, San Diego, California
  • Mt. Lebanon Fire Department, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • O’Fallon Fire Protection District, O’Fallon, Missouri
  • Red, White, and Blue Fire Protection District, Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Stoney Point Fire Department, Inc, Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services, Marietta, Georgia

For more information on accreditation or how your agency can embrace a culture of continuous quality improvement, contact Karl Ristow, CFO, CFAI Program Director at kristow@cpse.org.

New Designations

The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) met in conjunction with the 2017 Excellence Conference to conduct their twice annual in-person business meeting and consider over 100 designation applications. They granted the following designations during their meeting:

  • 27 first-time Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designations and 42 CFO redesignations
  • 3 first-time Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO) designations and 8 CEMSO redesignations
  • 4 first-time Chief Training Officer (CTO) designations and 2 CTO redesignations
  • 3 first-time Fire Marshal (FM) designations and 5 FM redesignations
  • 10 first-time Fire Officer (FO) designations and 12 FO redesignations

A number of these individuals were in attendance at the conference and were able to recognized at the inaugural Credentialed Officer Recognition Lunch.

CPSE and CPC would like to congratulate the officers on their designations and their dedication to quality improvement in their profession.

For additional information on CPC or designations, contact Debbie Sobotka, CPC Program Director, at dsobotka@cpse.org.

CPSE Raises Funds for NFFF

On Tuesday evening, and the first evening of Conference, attendees gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Orange County to support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) at a fundraiser event. This event offered light refreshments as well as opportunities for attendees to win door prizes. All proceeds from ticket sales went directly to the NFFF. Among the included prizes were an NFFF-donated cooler and duffle bag, two $25 Amazon gift cards, two complimentary nights at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, and one 2018 Excellence Conference fee.

The grand prize was a ticket to the Congressional Fire Services Institute Dinner, which included airfare and two nights’ hotel accommodation. The grand prize went to Chief Tommy Thompson, CFO. Congratulations!

At Wednesday’s General Session, Chief Bruegman, CFO, CPSE Board of Directors President announced the Fundraiser had raised $7000. This is excellent news, and we thank everyone for supporting their cause that “everyone goes home.”

Consortiums are our Connection

On Wednesday, March 22, in conjunction with the 2017 Excellence Conference, Consortium coordinators gathered to meet with CPSE CEO Preet Bassi and Communications and Outreach Manager Alexandria Pallat to discuss general concerns and how CPSE can better support the Consortiums. The following Consortiums were represented at the meeting: Arizona, California, Heart of America, Iowa, Michigan-Indiana-Ohio, Rocky Mountain, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Canada.

This meeting has become an annual event and is supplemented with a web meeting in the Fall. During this year’s in-person meeting, the attendees discussed the development of a mentor and mock site visit protocol for use by the consortiums, as well as how to build a community for credentialed officers, similar to the community accredited agencies find in the consortiums.

Wingspread Panel

At this year’s Excellence Conference, one panel was dedicated to Wingspread VI. The original Wingspread Conference was influential in establishing what is today the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Academy (NFA).

The goal of the Wingspread Panel was to have a 75-minute educated discussion on six of the topics in the Wingspread VI Report, the Report’s history, and how CPSE and our partners are working to resolve some of the concerns put forth in the Report. The Panelists included: Randy Bruegman, CFO, Bryon Kennedy, CFO, Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, Ron Siarnicki, CFO, and Trisha Wolford, CFO, with CPSE’s CEO Preet Bassi serving as moderator.

The Report calls for recognizing and addressing “the impact occupational related disease and injury is having on the industry.” NFFF and IAFF, both partners with CPSE, do important work in addressing this concern. Physical and behavioral wellness are important factors, and Dr. Moore-Merrell discussed the importance of being aware of the mental state of those in this profession.

The report also states that data collection and management is an important process to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in. CPSE is already working toward addressing this through some sessions that were held at the Excellence Conference.

It is clear that as the fire and emergency services industry grows and changes, the way the industry is managed must change as well. The Wingspread VI Panel aimed to discuss how organizations involved in the industry are partaking in enacting change and, as ever, aiming for excellence.

NFPA Forum and NFDS

Tuesday of the Excellence Conference proved to be a full day of heavy but informative material. Dr. Matt Hinds-Aldrich, Big Data Program Manager, and Kenneth Willette, Segment Director, for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provided attendees with an update on current data and standards projects within the Association.

In addition to this Forum, NFPA co-located their Fire Data Subject Matter Expert Workshop with the 2017 Excellence Conference. This meeting brought together stakeholders representing a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and types of organizations to address continuing fire and data challenges. Almost 15 CFAI agencies were represented at the workshop.

Awards and Scholarships

The Opening Session of the Excellence Conference allows the opportunity to recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to excellence. At Tuesday’s Opening Session at the 2017 Excellence Conference, the Ronny J. Coleman Leadership Award, Ray Picard Award, CPSE Ambassador Award, and the Mike Worthington Scholarship were presented to individuals to recognize their continued dedication to excellence.

The Ronny J. Coleman Leadership Award recognizes an individual who holds a credential through CPC and has shown superior leadership capabilities and actions, within the last five years, that have elevated the fire and emergency service profession. The individual is nominated by their peers and forwarded to the CPC selection committee. This year, the award was presented to Stephen A. Locke, CFO, Chief Engineer with Burlington Fire Department for his continued commitment to the Commission on Professional Credentialing.

The Ray Picard Award recognizes an individual who has shown superior leadership skills and provided outstanding contributions to the CFAI and the accreditation of fire departments within the last five years. The individual is nominated by their peers and forwarded to the CFAI Commission. This year, the award was presented to Chief Rob Ugaste, CFO, Fire Chief of Wauwatosa Fire Department for his dedication to the core values of accreditation and his dedication to excellence through not only his knowledge and abilities but also his creation of an accreditation consortium in Wisconsin.

The CPSE Ambassador Award is a CPSE staff-selected award that is given to an individual who has shown commitment and dedication to the organization’s mission and values. This year, the award was presented to Chief Josh Waldo, CFO, CTO, FM, Fire Chief of Bozeman Fire Department for his mentoring of officers through the credentialing process and assistance with curriculum development for CPSE workshops.

The Mike Worthington Scholarship was established in 2016 to honor previous Board Member Mike Worthington, who passed away in September of 2015. This Scholarship is awarded to up to five FO designees who, like Mike, exemplify continuous improvement and encourage others to constantly grow and improve in their profession. This year, the Scholarship was presented to the following individuals: Shawn Dunstan, Captain, City of Fairfax Fire Department; Keith Moore, Captain, Glenn Heights Fire Department; Tony Tindell, Lieutenant, Sumter County Fire and EMS; Steven Hall Jr., Lieutenant, City of Richmond Fire and Emergency Services; and James Jiron, Captain, Prince George’s County Fire & EMS. Steven Hall Jr. and James Jiron were able to accept the Scholarship in person at the Excellence Conference.

Congratulations, and thank you for your efforts in continuous quality improvement.

CPSE’s Social Media Presence Expands in 140 Characters or Less

On March 1, CPSE joined Twitter: @CtrPubSafExc. Take a look at Conference highlights with #ExConf2017 and keep up-to-date on events and educational opportunities. Come Follow us!

What’s Coming Up: CPSE Workshops

CPSE has several workshops scheduled over the next few months. Register today to reserve your seat at any workshop that meets your needs. Please pass these dates and locations on to colleagues at adjacent fire departments to help us promote these excellent learning opportunities.

For course details and registration, go to our Workshops & Events page.

April 12, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Greensboro, NC

April 27, 2017
Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring
Centennial, CO

April 28, 2017
Exceeding Customer Expectations
Centennial, CO

May 3, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Roseville, CA

May 8, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Fort Collins, CO

May 16, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Fargo, ND

May 17, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Lansing, MI

May 31, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Cedar Park, TX

June 12, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Calgary, AB

June 19, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Murfreesboro, TN

June 19, 2017
DoD Only: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Souda Bay, Crete