Keynote Speakers Announced for 2015 Excellence Conference

CPSE’s 2015 Excellence Conference offers our most exciting lineup of outstanding keynote speakers ever. Each morning begins with a nationally-recognized speaker sure to motivate and stimulate everyone to seek excellence. This year’s lineup of speakers includes:

Tuesday, March 17:

Chief Billy Goldfeder, EFO, currently serves as Deputy Chief at Loveland-Symmes FD in Ohio. Previously, Chief Goldfeder has served as a Fire Chief in Ohio, Virginia and Florida. He is a 1993 graduate of the National Fire Academy’s EFO program, and is the former chair of the IAFC VCOS. He is the recipient of numerous industry awards and in 2008 the Chief Billy Goldfeder Fire Service Organizational Annual Safety Award was created and sponsored by VFIS and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Chief Goldfeder is an Associate/Contributing Editor for, Fire Engineering and Fire Rescue magazines and he has a monthly column called “Close Calls” appearing in Firehouse magazine. He is a popular and intriguing speaker who will enthusiastically kick off the 2015 conference!

Wednesday, March 18:

Gordon Graham is a retired veteran of California Law Enforcement. He is a graduate of University of Southern California with a Master’s Degree in Safety and Systems Management. He later coupled that with a law degree and became a Risk Manager. Mr. Graham is now president of Lexipol – a company that standardizes policies, procedures and training within fire departments. He is the co-founder of the popular website and he helped IAFC develop their own version of the same concept, called In 2005 he received recognition from IAFC for his lifelong work in firefighter safety and performance. In 2008 he received the lifetime achievement award from California POST. His penetrating wit, vast knowledge and delivery style will energize conference attendees on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 19:

Tim Sendelbach, CFO, CTO, kicks off the Thursday program. Tim is a 29-year veteran of fire and emergency services, currently serving as Editor-in-Chief for As such, Tim is responsible for the content and editorial direction for Firehouse magazine,, Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World and related products. Tim is past president of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) and he is a former chief and training chief for departments in Nevada, Georgia and Texas. Tim has served as editor of the ISFSC publication, The Instructor, and is a contributing author to many other emergency services publications. Tim’s keynote presentation on Thursday launches an outstanding array of conference sessions later in the day.

Friday, March 20:

Dr. Denis Onieal leads off the last day of conference with a stirring presentation on the state of emergency services. Dr. Onieal is the Superintendant of the National Fire Academy (NFA) in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He has taught in both the Master’s and Doctorate programs in Education at New York University and has authored numerous articles in the field of fire service. During his tenure, the NFA has expanded its outreach to work more closely with state and local training agencies. The NFA’s online training program trained more than 40,000 people last year.

The 2015 Excellence Conference takes place at the beautiful Caribe Royale Orlando conference hotel in Orlando, Florida. Register early and plan now to join your colleagues and friends at the 2015 Excellence Conference. REGISTER HERE

Pass the Baton – Mentor a Fellow Officer and Win Prizes!

You can truly make a difference in someone’s career. Through CPSE’s “Pass the Baton” campaign, you have a chance to mentor officers in your own department, and in other departments, and encourage them to become designated officers. This year the “Pass the Baton” campaign will recognize one designated officer who has encouraged the most fellow officers to complete a Designated Officer application (either CFO, CTO, CEMSO, FM or FO) and submit the application to the CPSE offices before the end of December.

Likewise, the “Pass the Baton” campaign will recognize one individual who is credited with encouraging the most departments to submit a Registered Agency application by the end of the year.

The winner(s) will receive complimentary registration to the 2015 Excellence Conference in Orlando, as well as a personalized brick on the Walk of Honor at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

So – here’s the challenge: you have two months in which to reach out to officers in your organization and in nearby departments. Encourage them to use the CPC credentialing program as a guideline for career development. Urge them to become designated fire officers and begin their quest for top positions in the fire service.

Tackling the Root of Cardiovascular LODD

By Todd LeDuc, CFO

Research evidence has demonstrated that the American fire service is plagued with high rates of obesity, low fitness, metabolic syndrome, poor cholesterol profiles and high rates of cancer. Published literature also has estimated the rates of overweight and obese firefighters as high as 73% to 88%, which is actually higher than rates in the general population.1

Obese or overweight firefighters are more likely to suffer from conditions such as hypertension, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high LDL (bad) cholesterol, high triglycerides, lower cardio-respiratory fitness, reduced strength, more frequent fatal cardiac events, and higher risk of injury. Additionally, in the approximately 70,000 injuries occurring each year in the American Fire Service, obesity plays a large role. Studies have examined the causation of many of these injuries and found that obese firefighters are five times more likely as normal weight peers to sustain an injury.

Research by the Research in Prevention Laboratory at Arizona State University demonstrated in a PHLAME study (Promoting Healthy Lifestyles: Alternative Models’ Effects) that the average firefighter gained between 1 and 3.4 pounds annually further compounding the risk for injury and cardiovascular events.2 Cardiovascular disease line-of-duty deaths are the leading cause of death among firefighters. Furthermore, for every cardiovascular line-of-duty death another 17 firefighters suffer non-fatal cardiac events on-duty. Cardiovascular related line-of duty deaths are higher among firefighters than on-the-job deaths for all occupational groups as a whole.3

The health, safety and wellness of the fire service tackling its prevalence for cardiovascular disease rests in changes in nutritional habits along with exercise and regular medical exams and screenings for early detection and prevention. A recent study examined nutrition habits of nearly 800 firefighters from 11 Midwestern fire departments. Specifically, the benefits of adopting a Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, whole-grain breads and cereals, olive oil, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, trout, sardines) as well as moderate consumption of poultry and wine with meals was examined. The results were dramatic, with 35% of the firefighters studied demonstrating a decrease in their risk for metabolic syndrome (the combination of, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides and low HDL). Additionally, firefighters had a 43% reduction in their risk of weight gain compared to more traditional food staples of red and processed foods and sugars. In short, strict adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of dying from all causes as well as a reduced risk of obesity, high blood pressure, Type Two diabetes and other risk factors for heart disease.4

The addition of an annual medical surveillance examination that screens for preventable factors can reduce career-ending illnesses and disability as well as prevent needless line of duty deaths. National Fire Protection Association guidelines have established the recommended standards for such exams. Health care providers and firefighters should be knowledgeable in these parameters to assure thorough screenings.

Finally, with medical clearance in place the incorporation of fitness and exercise into an overall adopted lifestyle of healthy living can ward off cardiovascular and other co-morbid disease processes. In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers found that moderate exercise reduced the risk of heart disease by 27 to 41 percent.5

It’s estimated that only thirty percent of American fire departments have formalized health and wellness programs in place. The need is great for all departments and firefighters to incorporate the three principles of survival: nutrition, physical exams and exercise into their daily routines! Act now.

Todd J. LeDuc, MS, CFO, CEM, MIFirE is division chief of Broward County (FL) Sheriff Fire Rescue, an internationally accredited career metro department in SE Florida. He has served as a Board of Director and has been elected as Secretary to the IAFC Safety, Health & Survival Section. He was awarded the 2013 IAFC Gary Briese Safety Award and the 2013 Center for Public Safety Ambassador of the Year Award. He can be contacted at

  1. Haddock C, Poston, WSC, Haddock CK, Jahnke SA., Jitnarin N, Tuley NC, Kales, SN The Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Substandard Fitness in a Population-Based Firefighter Cohort. J. Occup Environ Med Am Coll Occup Med. 2011; 53 (3);266-273.
  2. Eliot DL, Goldberg L, Kuehl KS, Moe EL, Breger RKR, Pickering MA, The PHLAME firefighter study: outcomes of two models of behavior change. J. Occup Environ Med Am Coll Occup Environ Med. 2007; 49 (2): 204-213.
  3. CDC. Fatalities among volunteer and career firefighters- United States, 1994-2004. MMWR Morbid Motal Weekly Rep. 2006; 55 (16):453-455.
  5. Exercise and Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatment of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular DiseaseA Statement From the Council on Clinical Cardiology (Subcommittee on Exercise, Rehabilitation, and Prevention) and the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism (Subcommittee on Physical Activity) Paul D. Thompson, MD; David Buchner, MD; Ileana L. Piña, MD; Gary J. Balady, MD; Mark A. Williams, PhD; Bess H. Marcus, PhD; Kathy Berra, MSN, ANP; Steven N. Blair, PED; Fernando Costa, MD; Barry Franklin, PhD; Gerald F. Fletcher, MD; Neil F. Gordon, MD, PhD; Russell R. Pate, PhD; Beatriz L. Rodriguez, MD, PhD; Antronette K. Yancey, MD; Nanette K. Wenger, MD

FEMA Releases New Videos for Individuals with Disabilities

The Individuals with Disabilities Section of the Just-In-Time Disaster Training Library has been up-dated with additional videos. The videos have been released by the National Preparedness Community and are available at no cost.

The section contains preparedness videos on the following subjects:

With over 1,700 disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery training videos the library is the most comprehensive, easy to search, FREE internet based source for training curriculum for today’s emergency responders.

The library can be accessed at the following web site:

Question of the Month

“How has becoming an accredited department improved your overall delivery of services to your community?”

“Our department started the accreditation process in 2009. We recognized early on that accreditation was a trademark of excellence and professionalism in the public safety industry. We felt that our efforts to improve and enhance service needed to be validated and galvanized through outside review and scrutiny. After our site visit and official accreditation award, it became apparent that the process was more than we originally envisioned. While all of our departments know that it is supposed to be a process and not a project, actually doing that takes significant effort and leadership. We decided to talk about accreditation and use our Standard of Cover anytime we were faced with associated deployment and service delivery questions. Integrating accreditation and the SoC into our operations and DNA validates our decisions and gives our elected officials confidence in our rational and objective resource requests during the budget year. It has directly contributed to the relocation of a new fire station, the replacement of over four million dollars’ worth of fire apparatus and the hiring of 15 additional firefighters since our site visit. Without a doubt, our citizens are safer and our elected officials more confident in our decisions thanks in large part to the accreditation process.”

Chief Tom Jenkins, CFO
Rogers Fire Department
Rogers, AR

News from the CPSE Community

Deputy Fire Chief Ralph Ensign, CFO has been selected to become the new fire chief of Glenview Fire Department, Glenview, Illinois. Chief Ensign will succeed Chief Wayne Globerger, who will retire in December, 2014.

Chief Ensign is a 28-year veteran of the fire service and has served as Deputy Chief with Glenview since 2008. He began his fire service career as a firefighter/paramedic with the Winnetka Fire Department in 1976. Hired by the Highland Park Fire Department in 1978, he was promoted to lieutenant in 1989, to captain in 1991, and left in 2008 having advanced to the rank of Battalion Chief.

As Deputy Fire Chief, Ensign has been responsible for managing daily operations for the department’s more than 80 employees and five fire stations. For the last two years, Chief Ensign has been planning and managing construction of a replacement fire station in the downtown Glenview area. The new fire station is expected to be operational by the end of the year. Chief Ensign was a founding member of and assisted in the development of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Division III Hazardous Materials Response Team. MABAS Division III is a partnership of 19 north suburban communities to provide personnel, equipment and resources to one another when needed.

Chief Ensign has a Bachelor’s in Fire Science Management from Southern Illinois University. He was awarded Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation in 2011 and serves as a Technical Advisor and Peer Team Leader for the CPSE.

New Designated Officers Announced by CPC

The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) met on October 8th and conferred 28 new officer designees:

Chief Fire Officer (CFO)

  • Gary Bird, St. Charles, MO
  • William Burns, Rockledge, FL
  • Michael Byrd, Forsyth, GA
  • Dane Carley, Fargo, ND
  • Craig Clinton, Snowhomish, WA
  • Frank Drayton, Vacaville, CA
  • Mark English, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Dale Lock, Memphis, TN
  • James Parker, Wylie, TX
  • Denise Pouget, Frederick, MD
  • Randy Villines, Springfield, MO
  • Michael Walton, Yuma, AZ
  • Lynn Washburn-Livingston, Davenport, IA
  • Peter Webb, Dothan, AL
  • Robert Whitaker, III, Brown Deer, WI

Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO)

  • Allen Baldwin, Winchester, VA
  • Juan Cardona, Coral Springs, FL
  • Robert Fish, Riverside, CA
  • Robert Horton, Las Vegas, NV
  • Robert Mitchell, Lake Buena Vista. FL
  • Charlie Smith, Yuma, AZ

Chief Training Officer (CTO)

  • Jeffery Dean, Forsyth, GA
  • Spencer Kimura, Riverside, IL

Fire Officer (FO)

  • Andrew Askren, Kansas City, MO
  • Brian Hoover, Portsmouth, VA
  • Joe Skrumbellos, Coral Springs, FL
  • Brent Smith, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Robert Vogel, Ann Arbor, MI

Learn more about taking the next step towards excellence in your career by visiting the CPC web page or contacting Debbie Sobotka, CPC Program Director at

Who Should Accept the Standard of Cover?

By Chief Jim White, CFO

It’s often said that the process of accreditation involves the community buying a level of service. Whether it is fire protection, emergency medical care, hazardous materials, or technical rescue capabilities, an agency should develop a working community risk assessment process which includes a standard of cover. Having these tools in place allows the community to know what response they can expect and what they are paying for with their tax dollars. One question which is commonly asked during our training session is who, or how, should the standard of cover be adopted or approved by a community?

When done correctly, a comprehensive risk assessment should examine and qualify all the potential risks a fire agency could be faced with. During the development of the risk assessment, the agency also examines their baseline performance capabilities and compares them to the response expectations found in the Commission on Fire Accreditation International’s Fire and Emergency Services Self-Assessment Manual (FESSAM).

Most agencies have never considered this “all-inclusive” view of their services when preparing for a discussion with their citizens. Communities have routinely based their emergency services more on non-scientific and emotional data. These methods have often led to a deployment model that fails to meet the expectations of the community; resulting in increased costs. These valuable financial and physical resources are wasted when agencies add equipment in response to something other than an identified risk. Elected officials need to know what they are spending tax dollars on. Educating these leaders on the standards process will pay dividends when requests for additional assets or personnel are made. In order to understand the need, the elected officials must be educated on the risk and understand the agency’s standards of cover.

Returning to our original question: should the standard of cover be approved or adopted by the elected body? To answer this, we need to look to what would make the agency’s business plan credible. The FESSAM is fairly clear and states “it is ultimately up to the community’s elected officials to adopt the standards of cover” (SOC). What is not included in the FESSAM is a clear statement within any of the criteria or performance indicators directing the adoption of the agency’s standards of cover. This leaves the agency in question; do we present this information to the council? Does the SOC need to be adopted by formal Resolution or Ordinance?

Without a specific performance measurement to address this issue the suggested path with adoption of the standards of cover is to present the information to those who make policy and financial decisions for the agency. If this means the elected fire board or commission, or the city or county mayor or council, then this is where the decision to adopt the standards should be made. The point is that to truly have an adopted community standard of cover, the policies must be presented, understood, and adopted by those who make the decisions. The point of a community standard of cover is that it cannot be developed and kept on the fire chief’s desk, it must become understood and shared with everyone.

Fire & Emergency Services Self-Assessment Manual, 8th Edition, 66-66. (2009).


Jim White, CFO
Fire Chief, Winter Park Fire and Rescue
Winter Park, 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:

October 24, 2014
Peer Assessor Workshop

October 27, 2014
Marketing and Managing your Dept’s Image and Reputation through the Power of Social Media

November 03, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Germantown, MD

November 03, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Miami Beach, FL

November 03, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Grand Junction, CO

November 06, 2014
Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring
Miami Beach, FL

November 10, 2014
Technical Competency – Writing to Achieve Designation

November 12, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Atlanta GA #1

November 17, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Atlanta, GA #2

November 19, 2014
Data Analysis & Presentation Using Excel
Sandy Springs, GA

December 03, 2014
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Anaheim, CA

December 08, 2014
Data Analysis & Performance Measurement for Fire-Based EMS Management
Culver City, CA

December 09, 2014
BIGGIE SIZE it NOT – Reducing Preventable Cardiac LODD and Injuries

December 15, 2014
DoD Only: Self Assessment & Community Risk/SOC
Camp Pendleton, CA

December 15, 2014
Data Analysis & Presentation Using Excel

January 27, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Alabaster, AL

January 27, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Brighton, MI