Announcing the Reimagined 9th Edition

On April 27, 2015 the CPSE Board of Directors approved the 9th edition of the accreditation model.

Numerous changes were made to the content of the categories, criteria, performance indicators and core competencies. Through consolidation of redundant requirements and reorganization of requirements within the entire model, however, the net change was minimal.

CPSE is launching a 90-minute webinar to explain the significant changes between the 8th and 9th editions. Each paid registration for the webinar will receive a complimentary copy of the 9th edition of the Fire and Emergency Service Self-Assessment Manual (FESSAM) when it is published.

Five identical sessions of the webinar will be held on June 12, June 26, July 8, July 21, and August 6, 2015. All run from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinars will be instructed by Jerry Nulliner, who led the technical working group that developed the 9th edition.

The fee per attendee is $79 and this includes the printed copy of the 9th edition of the FESSAM. Register here.

Starting this fall, look for the 9th edition of the FESSAM, the 6th edition of the Community Risk/Standard of Cover publication, and updated Self-Assessment and Community Risk/Standard of Cover workshops.

Agencies coming before the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) beginning in March 2017 will be required to comply with the 9th edition. Agencies coming before the CFAI prior to that meeting will comply with the 8th edition.

An interpretation guide is also in development and will be available with the publication of the 9th edition. This guide will be a living document providing insight into the intent behind performance indicators and core competencies. The guide will ensure consensus among the CFAI and assist agencies, assessors, and instructors during the accreditation process.

CPSE Welcomes New Volunteer Leaders

The Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) recently appointed new volunteer leaders to its Board of Directors, Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), and Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC).

Joining the Board of Directors as an At-Large member is Darin Atteberry, City Manager for the City of Fort Collins, CO, a position he has held since December 2004. Prior to that, Darin served as the Fort Collins Assistant City Manager for more than 8 years.

As City Manager, Darin has led the City government through a time of transformational change, moving the organization from a “trust us” model to one that uses a data-driven, performance based approach. Darin is an advocate for community collaboration and has built strong relationships with both public and private sector partners. Darin is also a board member for the Alliance for Innovation and the ICMA Center for Performance Measurement.

Jim Brinkley is a new Commissioner on the CFAI. Jim is the Director of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Department of Occupational Health and Safety. The IAFF, headquartered in Washington, DC, represents more than 298,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. More than 3,100 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada.

Prior to coming to the IAFF Jim served for more than 21 years with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, and 14 years as a member of the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association, IAFF local 1619 Executive Board. Jim has received several awards and commendations for his work in fire fighter health and safety.

Ken Holland also joins CFAI as a new Commissioner. Ken is a Senior Emergency Service Specialist with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Ken’s work at the NFPA involves working with several technical committees that develop and maintain various safety standards revolving around Fire Service Occupational Safety and Health (FSOSH), the EMS community, Fire Department Apparatus, and the new NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances.

Ken has 23 years of experience working in EMS, of which 19 years were devoted to being a paramedic. Before the NFPA, Ken was a member of the Bridgewater, Massachusetts Fire Department for 5 years as a fire fighter/paramedic and the ALS coordinator for the department. Ken has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

The CPC welcomes Chris Christopoulos, Jr. as a new Commissioner. Chris is the Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director for the City of Lebanon, New Hampshire. Chris chairs the Hanover-Lebanon Local Emergency Planning Committee, Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team, and Regional Public Health Emergency Preparedness Planning Region and represents the New Hampshire Fire Chiefs on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Preparedness and Security. Chris has been with the City for 13 years.

Chris is a graduate of Mount Wachusett Community College in Garner, MA with an Associates of Fire Science, Granite State College in Concord, NH with a Bachelor’s of Science in Emergency Services Management, and the Naval Post Graduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, CA with a Master of Arts in Security Studies.

Also joining CPC as a new Commissioner is Matthew Vinci, Director of Education, Training and Human Relations for the International Association of Fire Fighters, a position he has held since 2013. Prior to coming to the IAFF he served on the Executive Board of the Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont for 15 years, with 6 as the President where he successfully passed several pieces of legislation in the Vermont Legislature to increase the funding and resources for the Vermont Fire Academy.

Matt served as a Captain with the South Burlington (VT) Fire Department where he started his fire service career in 1993.

Upcoming Deadlines

Nominations for Fire Chief of the Year – May 29

Designation candidate applications for recognition during the
2015 CPSE awards dinner – June 5

Nominations for Ray Picard Award – June 26

Nominations for Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award – June 26

Designation renewals for recognition during the
2015 CPSE awards dinner – June 30


Nominate Someone Today for an Annual Award

The Center for Public Safety Excellence is currently accepting nominations for the following prestigious awards:

  • Fire Chief of the Year
  • Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award
  • Ray Picard Award

We ask that you take time to review the criteria and nomination procedures for each award and think about who you want to nominate.

Fire Chief of the Year Award

The CPSE, along with other select organizations, are invited to submit nominations for the IAFC/Pierce Manufacturing Fire Chief of the Year Awards.

CPSE can submit one nomination in both the Career and Volunteer Chief category. The following information is taken from the IAFC webpage to describe the award criteria:

  • volunteer fire chief is defined as one who earns his or her principal livelihood by some means other than serving as a fire chief, even if the position of chief carries some compensation.
  • career fire chief is defined as one who earns his or her principal livelihood as a fire chief.
  • In each category, the status of the fire department as a whole – paid, volunteer or combination – is not considered.
  • Individuals who are eligible for nominations and selection as Fire Chief of the Year are limited to active chiefs of departments. Previous Fire Chief of the Year winners are not eligible.
  • Selection criteria will emphasize leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public and contributions to the fire service as a whole.
  • All of a nominee’s fire service activates and accomplishments will be considered, but, because this is the Fire Chief of the Year award, special emphasis will be placed on the period from 2012 through 2014. A nominee’s command role at a major emergency incident, while relevant, will not be enough to place that individual into contention for the award.

CPSE will accept nominations from within our communities of designated Chief Fire Officers (CFOs) and accredited fire departments.

Nomination packages must be received no later than May 29, 2015. An internal selection process will determine the individual who will receive CPSE’s nomination to Fire Chief of the Year.

Click here to download the nomination form.

Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award

This annual award recognizes an individual who holds the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Designation for their significant achievements and/or contributions to the international Fire and Emergency Service in the following areas:

  • Accomplishments (in mentoring and professional development, and can include the credentialing, accreditation process beyond their own agency)
  • Initiative (including helping others beyond their own agency through mentoring and professional development, and includes advocacy for the credentialing and accreditation process)
  • Technical competence (including serving as an instructor, mentor, peer assessor, peer reviewer)
  • Demonstrated leadership and mentoring ability (including advocating professionalism, mentoring, credentialing and accreditation)
  • Additional achievements/contributions

Click here to download the award criteria and nomination form.

Nomination packages must be received no later than June 26, 2015.

Ray Picard Award

This annual award recognizes individual superior leadership and outstanding contribution to the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) and the accreditation of fire departments in the following areas:

  • Accomplishments (within the accreditation process)
  • Initiative (including helping others with the accreditation process)
  • Technical competence (including serving as a peer assessor, team leader or instructor)
  • Leadership ability (including spreading the word)

Click here to download the award criteria and nomination form.

Nomination packages must be received no later than June 26, 2015.

The award recipients will be formally recognized at the annual CPSE awards ceremony being held Thursday, August 27, 2015 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA.

Fire Officer Scholarship Program

Application Deadline: June 30, 2015

The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) is currently accepting applications for participation in the Fire Officer (FO) designation scholarship program. This scholarship is designed for those who need financial assistance with the application fee for FO designation, but meet the eligibility requirements of such and wish to apply for professional credentialing. The cost to cover the scholarship program is made possible by the generous donation of Pierce Manufacturing.

The FO designation scholarship is open to all Company Officer level (either full-time or intermittent acting for a minimum of 12 months) that has supervisory responsibility. An applicant seeking the FO designation scholarship must be an active member of a fire/EMS organization at the time of application and not be in a chief level position.

Scholarship Specific Requirements:

  1. Scholarship is open to first-time FO designees that are not currently serving in a chief position.
  2. Scholarship applicants shall submit an essay, no less than 500 words and no more than 1,500 words, demonstrating their desire and need for scholarship.
  3. Recipients of the scholarship shall agree to mentor and provide assistance to members of their respective departments to promote a career excellence culture.
  4. Scholarship applicants shall submit a brief letter from their Fire Chief or Level I Officer verifying the support of the FO designee and their efforts for credentialing. This letter should include the department’s reason for not providing funding for the designation.
  5. Upon receiving official notice of the scholarship award, recipients have up to 90 days to submit a completed FO designation application to the CPSE office. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of scholarship.

Scholarship recipients will be announced at the 2015 CPSE Awards Ceremony held Thursday, August 27, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA.

Click here to download a copy of the scholarship application.

CPSE Launches New Workshop – Exceeding Customer Expectations

CPSE’s Commission on Professional Credentialing has released a new one-day, onsite workshop entitled “Exceeding Customer Expectations.”

The Exceeding Customer Expectations (ECE) workshop is an 8-hour class designed for fire service professionals looking to gain a better knowledge of the processes, tools and techniques required by progressive fire service agencies today. It will assist those seeking to improve upon the quality of the services they provide to their customers.

Topics include:

  • Our Future by Choice, Not by Chance
  • Creating a Culture of Excellence
  • Using Quality to Lead in a Changing Environment
  • Making Sound Decisions & Project Management
  • Data Collection and Analytics
  • Benchmarking for Top Performance
  • Measuring Customer Expectations & Satisfaction

Each student receives a workshop participant manual and a copy of the newly published Exceeding Customer Expectations, 3rd edition.

Sign-up today to participate in the pilot class being held Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Anaheim, CA. Click here for additional information and registration.

Next Stop on the CPSE Consortium Tour – Florida

On May 20, 2015, Preet Bassi, CPSE CEO, attended a meeting of the Florida Association for Fire Accreditation & Professional Credentialing in St. Petersburg, FL. This was the first in-person meeting of the consortium for the year. Chief James White, CFO, EFO, MIFireE, Fire Chief, Winter Park Fire Rescue, leads the consortium. Approximately 30 attendees represented registered, applicant, candidate, and accredited agencies and credentialed officers.

During the meeting, CPSE’s staff briefed the consortium on important corporate activities and provided updates on the accreditation, credentialing, and technical advising programs. There was a great deal of curiosity regarding the 9th edition of the accreditation model among the attendees, so staff provided an overview of how the 9thedition was developed and a high-level summary of the changes between the 8th and 9th editions.

During each meeting, the consortium focuses on a topic of accreditation or credentialing and holds a group discussion on challenges departments face or solutions they may have related to that topic. Risk assessment methods was the focus topic for this meeting and there was a lively discussion on the ways departments conduct their risk assessment and the various tools they use.

At the closing of the meeting, the agenda shifted to general discussion topics including the preferred frequency and format for consortium meetings. All attendees indicated their participation in this and prior meetings has been beneficial, and they look forward to continuing to participate.

Accredited agencies and credentialed professionals have found that banding together to form regional consortiums is an effective networking opportunity. Through the important work of these consortiums agencies and individuals that are new to CPSE programs gain local support in gaining and maintaining accreditation and/or designation. Of the fourteen consortiums in existence, some have been long-established while others are early in the development stage. CPSE staff looks forward to attending at least one of each consortium meeting in-person during 2015.

If you are interested in getting a consortium started in your area, contact Karl Ristow at for assistance.

Designees in the News

Anthony E. McDowell, CFO, chief of the Henrico County Division of Fire, has been chosen as the 2015 Career Fire Chief of the Year by the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs.

McDowell has led the Division of Fire since October 2012. He was selected from 15 nominees and will receive the award June 20 at the organization’s annual awards banquet in Birmingham, AL.

“Henrico County is thrilled that Tony’s excellent public service has been recognized by his peers in the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Henrico enjoys a high quality of life in part because of the work and dedication of the men and women of the Division of Fire. As chief, Tony leads from the front and by example. He is driven by a passion for helping others and is guided by a commitment to his faith, his family and his community. Tony, in addition to being a designated Chief Fire Officer, is also a peer assessor and leads an accredited agency.”

McDowell will be the fourth recipient of the regional award since it was established in 2012. His selection also will serve as a nomination for Career Fire Chief of the Year by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. A winner will be announced at the group’s annual conference Aug. 25-29 in Atlanta.

The city of Murrieta (CA) announced the selection of Scott Ferguson, CFO, as its new Fire Chief following the retirement of Fire Chief Shobert in December. The appointment is effective May 18. Chief Ferguson previously served as Fire Chief for the Santa Monica Fire Department since 2010. Prior to that he served as the Fire Chief of the Manhattan Beach Fire Department; Deputy Chief of the Peoria, Arizona Fire Department and various positions in the Vancouver, Washington Fire Department.

“Chief Ferguson has an outstanding background and his reputation among his peers is impeccable. He has exactly the right skillset to lead the Murrieta Fire Department as we move forward,” said City Manager Rick Dudley.

Mr. Ferguson holds a Master’s degree in Psychology and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer’s Program. He has served as an instructor at a variety of venues including Los Angeles Area Fire Chiefs Executive Chief Officer Development; the Firehouse World Expo and the Arizona State Fire School, and was recently approved as an instructor for the National Fire Academy. He is very active in his community and was named the 2013 Rotarian of the Year. Mr. Ferguson and his family plan to relocate to Murrieta.

CPSE Signs Learning Partnership MOU with Columbia Southern University

As a learning partner, members of an accredited department and those designated by CPC may take advantage of the following benefits with Columbia Southern University (CSU):

  • 10% tuition discount on all classes and waiver of the Application Fee. This benefit extends to spouses and children of the member of the accredited department or designee.
  • Waiver of application fee.
  • Textbooks provided at no cost.
  • Scholarship opportunities.
  • A complimentary evaluation of previously earned educational credits and training/professional certifications for consideration of transfer credit.
  • Complimentary access to CSU’s Writing and Math specialists through the Student Success Center.

To learn more about Columbia Southern University and the CPSE Learning Partnership benefits, visit

Firehouse Expo 2015

Baltimore, MD

Registration for #‎FirehouseExpo2015‬ is open!

Start Date/Time: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 – 8:00 am Eastern Time
End Date/Time: Saturday, July 18, 2015 – 3:00 pm Eastern Time

Watch this video message from Editor-in-Chief Tim Sendelbach and sign up for this year’s exciting education lineup and special events now:

Discover Firehouse Expo. Where Your Training Has Been Upgraded. Learn skills and tactics to take back to your firehouse at Firehouse Expo, committed to providing the most progressive based training and education that current and future leaders need to meet the demands of the ever-changing fire service. Show highlights include:

  • 1st Annual Fire-Rescue Competition
  • All New Preconference Sessions
  • Hands-on Training
  • Firehouse Fitness Showcase
  • Rip and Run Tailboard Training Sessions
  • Fire Family Life Program
  • Product Debuts from Leading Fire Service Companies

Special Discover Firehouse pricing applies for Center of Public Safety Excellence agencies and designated officers! Click here for details.

CPC Confers New Designees

The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) met on May 5th and conferred 53 new designees across the designation programs.

Congratulations to the following new designees:

Fire Officer (FO)

Kathlene Bankowski, Temperance, MI
Ryan Bump, Derry, NH
Alan Cagle, Greensboro, NC
Dina Dalessio, Las Vegas, NV
Ryan Downs, Carrboro, NC
Robert Fleming, Tucson, AZ
Todd Hutchinson, Lancaster, PA
Kirk Keane, Temperance, MI
Jeffrey Kemp, Lake Havasu City, AZ
Charlie Kempton, Hampton, VA
Michael McMahon, Tucson, AZ
David Messer, Jr., Morrisville, NC
Mark Moore, Wildwood, MO
Michael Nalley, Decatur, GA
Richard Nason, Portage, MI
Ralph Nell, Kansas City, MO
Kevin Olejniczak, Coral Springs, FL
Matthew Patterson, Greensboro, NC
David Ratledge, Decatur, GA
Patrick Talley, Tucson, AZ
Richard Tamilow, Fairfax, VA
Albert Thomas, Rogers, AR
James Wheatley, Lebanon, NH

Fire Marshal (FM)

Frederick Chun, Anaheim, CA
Gordon Goodsell, Federal Way, WA
Jeffrey Lucas, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Patrick Shipp, Webster, TX
Anthony Valdez, Centennial, CO

Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO)

Timothy Mock, McKinney, TX

Chief Training Officer (CTO)

Dustin Davey, Smyrna, GA
David Jones, Addison, TX
Timothy Mock, McKinney, TX
Bryan Newberry, Battlefield, MO
Leonard Peterson, Brentwood, TN
Patrick Shipp, Webster, TX
Chris Wagers, Prairie Village, KS

Chief Fire Officer (CFO)

Paul Bearce, Rio Rancho, NM
William Blackley, Wilmington, NC
Michael Dalsing, St. Joseph, MO
Jeffrey Devlin, Knoxville, TN
Robert Edgar, Milton, GA
Joseph Fernandez, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mark Fyffe, Cincinnati, OH
Christopher Garrison, Lake Forest, IL
Sterling Jones, Augusta, GA
William Nemick, Pueblo, CO
Mitchell Randles, Temple, TX
Hezedean Smith, Orlando, FL
Paul Smith, Mobile, AL
Mike Swails, Greensboro, NC
Karl Tucker, Wildwood, FL
Dustin Ulrich, Chambersburg, PA
W. Young, Tarpon Springs, FL

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:

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 12, 2015
The Reimagined 9th Edition Webinar

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

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

June 24, 2015
The First Year as a Newly Promoted Chief Officer

June 26, 2015
The Reimagined 9th Edition Webinar

July 08, 2015
The Reimagined 9th Edition Webinar

July 14, 2015
Firehouse Expo
Baltimore, MD

July 15, 2015
Small Data Sets – Challenges in Measuring Performance

July 21, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Prescott, AZ

July 21, 2015
The Reimagined 9th Edition Webinar

July 22, 2015
CFAI Peer Assessor Workshop
July 2015

July 30, 2015
Exceeding Customer Expectations
Anaheim, CA

August 03, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Oklahoma City, OK

August 03, 2015
Data Analysis & Presentation
Manassas Park, VA

August 06, 2015
The Reimagined 9th Edition Webinar

August 11, 2015
DoD Only- Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Ramstein, Germany

August 18, 2015
Creating a Perpetual System of Continuous Improvement in the Organization

August 24, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Cripple Creek, CO