Saying Goodbye to our Friend and Colleague Max Baker

I first met Max in the early 2000s while he was serving as the County Administrator of Los Alamos County, New Mexico and when he was appointed as the county representative on the CFAI. Max served on the Commission for almost two years and during that time I had the opportunity to begin to see his leadership style and the way he would negotiate difficult discussions and issues. In that short period of time of watching him on the commission I could see a quiet, but visionary leader. When an opening occurred on the CPSE Board I asked him to step up and take a seat representing County Administrators. Max joined the CPSE board on December 1, 2007 and served in that role until 2014, the last two serving as CPSE Vice-President. Over that time, the CPSE was facing some significant challenges, financial constraints during the economic downturn, growth, staff turnover, and the maturing of a young organization into what it has grown into today.

Several of those years were turbulent as we lead through these issues, yet Max was always the calm one in the room. I can remember many conversations as we were grappling with very difficult decisions, some that would have long term impacts on the sustainability of the CPSE; it was often Max that would slice right to the heart of the issue, to bring clarity to the real issue at hand. He was masterful at being able to sit back and absorb the information and synthesize it in a simplistic way. His influence on the CPSE and the direction we have taken is a reflection of the type of leader that he was. Thoughtful, methodic, fair, accountable, visionary and, above all, committed. His commitment to his family, to his church, to his profession, and to the CPSE family was unwavering. He was such a great example to all of us.

In the course of our careers we have the opportunity to work with many different people, and there are always a few that stand out. Max is one of those people for me and I know for many of you, who have had the opportunity to know and work with Max. When Max passed away, on October 19th, 2016, at his home in Farmington, Utah at the age of 65, I know we all felt great sadness in the loss of our friend and colleague, but we have to cherish the time that we got to spend with him, and the life lessons that he taught each of us through his actions.

God Bless, Max

Randy R. Bruegman
President, CPSE

CPSE Welcomes New Volunteer Leader

The Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) recently appointed a new volunteer leader to its Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).

Chief Gary Fredericksen , CFO, Fire Chief, Yocha Dehe Fire Department recently joined the eleven-member CFAI. CFAI is tasked with monitoring the process for fire agency accreditation and granting accreditation during public hearings. Chief Fredericksen was nominated by the IAFC to represent agencies serving communities less than 25,000 and replaces Chief Steve Olson, CFO on the Commission.

Chief Fredericksen has been the fire chief for the Yocha Dehe Fire Department (YDFD) since 2012. Prior to that he served as Division Chief for the West Sacramento Fire Department in charge of Operations and Administration where he oversaw an $11.5 million budget with sixty line and seven administrative personnel. At YDFD, Fredericksen commands 32 uniformed personnel, three full-time administrative employees, and a full complement of fire suppression, emergency response and rescue equipment.

Fredericksen has served as chair of the Yolo Emergency Communications Agency (YECA) Board, where he played a vital role in securing a $1.5 million communications grant to purchase a new computerized automatic dispatch system. Over the past three years, Chief Fredericksen has been instrumental in creating and establishing the Yolo County Emergency Medical Services Agency, which is responsible for reducing ambulance response times throughout Yolo County. He serves as the Chair of the Yolo County Fire Chiefs Association and is the Yolo County Fire/Rescue Mutual Aid Coordinator for the California Office of Emergency Services (OES). In addition, he serves as the tribal representative for Cal OES Region 4 Peer Review Committee and the Secretary for the California Tribal Fire Chiefs Association. Chief Fredericksen recently received the designation of Chief Fire Officer (CFO) from the Commission on Professional Credentialing.

The Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award

In 2010, the CPSE was pleased to announce the creation of the Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award (RJCLLA) named after the first Chair of the organization that would eventually become CPSE.

This annual award recognizes the individual(s) who exemplifies the ability, character, and dedication to lifelong learning and displays the leadership attributes exemplified by Chief Ronny Jack Coleman in developing the personal self-assessment process that is the basis for officer designations for the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC).

When asked what it meant to have CPSE name an award after him, Chief Coleman stated “Having an award named after me as part of the Center for Public Safety Excellence Program is a great honor. Each year I look forward to the recipient as a reflection of our legacy of pursuing excellence.”

Nominations are currently being accepted and must be received no later than December 15, 2016. Nomination criteria includes:

  • Accomplishments (in mentoring and professional development, including the CPC credentialing process beyond their own agency)
  • Initiative (including helping others beyond their own agency through mentoring and professional development, including advocacy for the CPC credentialing process)
  • Technical competence (including serving as a peer reviewer, credentialing mentor or instructor)
  • Additional information/contributions (including volunteer activities with the CPSE)

Past recipients of the RJCLLA are: Ronny Jack Coleman, Marc Revere, James M. Stallings, Richard Mason, Richard Marinucci, Stephan Cox, and James White.

Visit the CPSE website to download the award criteria and nomination form.

The award recipient will be formally recognized during the opening general session of the 2017 CPSE Excellence Conference, March 21, 2017, Orange County Hyatt Regency, Garden Grove, CA.

The Ray Picard Award

Each year the Center for Public Safety Excellence recognizes a leader in the fire service industry that exemplifies the abilities, characteristics, dedication, and leadership attributes of Chief Ray Picard. Chief Picard retired as fire chief for the City of Huntington Beach, CA in 1990. He was one of the founding fathers of the self-assessment and accreditation process for the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). His vision and leadership provided a process for improvement that is still contemporary to the fire service today.

The annual award given in his name recognizes individual superior performance and outstanding contributions to CFAI and the accreditation of fire departments. Those eligible to compete for this prestigious award are current peer assessors and members of accredited agencies including former CPSE board members or former CFAI Commissioners.

Past recipients of the Ray Picard Award are: Bill Killen, Randy Bruegman, Martel Thompson, Ray Flowers, Ronny Coleman, Dennis Gage, Gary Curmode, Gary Tokle, Mark Puknaitis, Ken Helgerson, Mike Brown, Barry McKinnon, Cliff Jones, Ernst Piercy, and Brian Dean.

Application packages can be obtained on the CPSE website. All application packages are due by December 15th, 2016.

The award recipient will be formally recognized during the opening general session of the 2017 CPSE Excellence Conference, March 21, 2017, Orange County Hyatt Regency, Garden Grove, CA.

One Month Left for Conference Early Registration

Early-bird registration for the 2017 Excellence Conference is $675 and closes December 23. On December 24, regular registration fees increase to $745. Join us as we hold our first-ever conference in California, March 21-24, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, CA.

First time attendees to the conference will be welcomed during the opening session and will receive an orientation of what to expect before they embark on a week of learning and networking. All four of the bootcamps have been designed to guide those wishing to learn more about accreditation, standards of cover, data, and/or credentialing through the nuts and bolts.

Regular attendees will be glad to see some changes to this continually-evolving conference based on their feedback from prior years. These fire and emergency service professionals committed to continuous improvement, progressive leadership, and achieving outcomes will learn a great deal during the 44 unique education sessions.

Registration includes entrance to the opening session, general sessions, all education sessions, three lunches, and multiple networking opportunities. The full agenda and further information about the conference is available on the CPSE website.

CPSE’s room block at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, CA is also open. Room Rates are $179 per night (plus taxes) for a single/double occupancy, $204 per night for triple, and $229 per night for quadruple occupancy. To receive the group rate, you MUST identify yourself as an attendee of the CPSE Excellence Conference at the time of booking. To book on-line, visit: To reserve via telephone, contact the Hyatt Regency at 714-750-1234.

Consortiums Update

Iowa Consortium
The Iowa Accreditation Consortium met at West Des Moines Fire Station 17, IA on October 17, 2016. The meeting was coordinated by Dennis Eads, Fire Management Analyst of the Davenport Fire Department and brought together in person and via web almost 20 individuals, representing the DOD, fire district, and municipal fire agencies from across Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Agencies shared their current accreditation status and activities, and future leadership options for the consortium were discussed.

Technical Advisor Program Director, Rick Fagan, CFO attended the meeting to provide updates on CPSE activities and to answer questions from agencies attending concerning accreditation or credentialing. Great interest was expressed in the CFAI IT Specification Sheet and in the Excellence Conference Boot Camp activities.

Rocky Mountain Consortium
The Rocky Mountain Accreditation and Professional Credentialing Consortium met in conjunction with the Colorado State Fire Chiefs Association Conference in Keystone, CO on October 18, 2016. The meeting was coordinated by Battalion Chief Holger Durre, Poudre FA, and Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dubay, Colorado Springs FD, and brought together nearly 30 people from across the state of Colorado. Durre and Dubay began the meeting by recognizing Assistant Chief Will Gray, CFO, Pueblo FD and Division Chief Neil Rosenberger, CFO, Fairmount FPD, for their efforts in creating the consortium and leading it for the past few years.

CFAI Program Director, Karl Ristow, CFO attended the meeting to provide updates on CPSE activities and answer questions from agencies concerning accreditation and credentialing. Karl gave a presentation concerning the philosophy behind the changes in the 9th edition CFAI accreditation model. Gray, Durre, and Rosenberger, having recently attended the CFAI Team Leader Symposium, discussed the changes in Category 2 of the new model. They went through each of the performance indicators to provide answers to attendees’ questions and recommended that agencies first go to the interpretation guide as a primary reference for the answers.

Consortium Coordinators Meeting

On November 2nd, 2016, CPSE brought together the coordinators of the 15 state/regional consortiums for an update meeting. This web meeting, which will become a regular part of CPSE’s outreach to consortiums, supplements the in-person meeting of consortium coordinators held annually at the Excellence Conference. During the meeting, CPSE CEO, Preet Bassi, provided the attendees an update on the recruitment for the new Communications and Outreach Manager, changes to the consortium toolkit, and CPSE’s continued desire to attend consortium meetings in-person throughout 2017. She also debuted the new consortiums webpage on CPSE website. Each consortium represented on the meeting, provided an overview of their group’s activities allowing for sharing of best practices amongst the coordinators.

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:

December 13, 2016
DoD Only: Data Analysis & Presentation
West Point, NY

January 09, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Naples, FL

January 24, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Geneva, IL

January 24, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Columbus, GA

January 26, 2017
Nurturing Fire Service Leaders through Mentoring
Riverside, CA

February 14, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Goodyear, AZ

February 21, 2017
DoD Only: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Parris Island, SC

February 22, 2017
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Roseville, CA