Bridging the gap to Tomorrows Fire Service

The 82nd Leadership Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs is this week in Louisville, Kentucky. What an outstanding opportunity for fire service leaders to gather and network. The company Officer’s own Christopher Naum is one of the presenters at this conference. I know budgets have everyone pinned down and travel for conferences have been reduced significantly. That leads me to the focus of this piece…”Bridging the gap to Tomorrows Fire Service”. The SEAFC will be streaming several programs live from the conference as we believe that education is paramount in the development of future leaders and our fire service nation.

Many people view training from a traditional style of delivery, well those times have changed and our culture demands we find new ways of educating our personnel. Often time’s organizations and individuals are criticized when they try to stand up and do something different or new, often times getting slapped right back down. In outstanding organizations, people try things that have never been tried or done before. These actions are often uncomfortable, may not work or may be the wave of the future. It is important that they engage in these behaviors and do so in an environment that supports their efforts. The organization encourages risk and allows for failure. Conceive, believe, Achieve is the message here.

So SEAFC is no different than any other organization. They are making their first attempt at changing the way we serve the fire service educationally with live feeds for several of the programs at the conference. Below is the schedule and description for use:

Opening ceremonies: Thursday June 24, 2010 4:30pm – 6:00pm

Key Note: Transforming the Culture of Fire Department Organizations
Kelvin Cochran, Fire Chief City of Atlanta, Former United States Fire Administrator
Shreveport, Louisiana native Kelvin J. Cochran, as a five-year-old boy, was spellbound by Shreveport Firefighters fighting a fire across the street from his house and dreamed that one day he would be a firefighter.

A proud student of Caddo Parish Schools, he graduated from Woodlawn High School (1978). Other education includes: the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Academy, Wiley College, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management (1999). He holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University (2004).

His employment with the Shreveport Fire Department began in 1981 as a firefighter. He was then promoted to Fire Training Officer and served in this capacity from 1985 – 1990, when he gained promotion to Assistant Chief Training Officer. His service in this position concluded when he was appointed Fire Chief of the Shreveport Fire Department on August 26, 1999. On January 2, 2008 he was appointed fire chief of the City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. On August 17, 2009 he was appointed as the United States Fire Administrator. Effective June 19, 2010 he has been re-appointed as fire chief of the City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.

International Association of Fire Chiefs: Former First Vice President-IAFC 2007, Second Vice President-IAFC 2006; Past Chairman of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Section; Southeastern Division IAFC; Safety, Health and Survival Section; Georgia Fire Chiefs Association, Metro Atlanta Fire Chiefs Association; Member of the Board of Visitors, National Fire Academy. Authored two chapters for Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Chief Fire Officers Desk Reference: Chapter 1-Leadership and Management and Chapter 25-The Fire Chief of the Future

Jeff Lindsey: Friday June 25, 2010 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Bridging the Gap: Leading the Generations

The Baby Boomers, Generation X, and now Generation Y. Who are those people? What values do they have? Join Dr. Lindsey as he discusses what makes each generation different. Learn the various values of each of the different generations. Identify what we, as leaders in the safety world have to do to make our work environment adaptable for each of the generations. Before you leave this session see why being a cusp may not be all that bad.

Bio for Jeffrey Lindsey, Ph.D., EMT-P, CHS IV, EFO, CFO

Dr. Lindsey is the Chief Learning Officer for Health Safety Institute. He is also an adjunct Assistant Professor in Emergency Health Services at The George Washington University and St Petersburg College. He retired from the fire service as the Fire Chief for Estero Fire Rescue in Estero, Florida. Additionally, he is an author for Brady Publishing.

He is an experienced leader, educator, lecturer, author, and consultant in emergency services. Dr. Lindsey earned his doctorate and master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from USF. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire and Safety Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and an associate in paramedic from Harrisburg Area Community College. He also has earned his Chief Fire Officer and Executive Fire Officer designation.

Dr. Lindsey has over twenty-nine years of diverse experience in the emergency services industry. He is an associate member of the Prehospital Research Forum. He serves as an Advisory Council member for the National EMS Advisory Council and the past member of the State of Florida EMS Advisory Council, and a representative to the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education EMS degree committee

Richard Gassaway: June 26, 2010 8:00am – 9:30 am

Emergency Scene Situation Awareness and Decision Making

Firefighters can live or die based on the decisions made on emergency scenes. One of the key components of effective decision making is developing and maintaining strong situation awareness in environments that are high-stress, high-risk and high-consequence. The focus of this program is to improve your situation awareness and decision making.

In 2007 and 2008, the National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System annual report identified situation awareness as the leading factor contributing to firefighter near-miss events. Supporting this finding was a study completed by the International Association of Firefighters on firefighter injuries and fatalities that cited issues with situation awareness is a leading cause. Firefighter fatality reports issued by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health frequently implicate issues with situation awareness to the casualty incident. Ok… we get it! Situation awareness is a big deal. Now that you know it, what can you do to improve it? The focus of this program is to help you become a better decision maker. We will explore and discuss:

This program is based on scientific research conducted by the presenter over a five-year period in the process of completing his doctoral dissertation on the topic of “Fireground Command Decision Making: Understanding the Barriers that Challenge a Commander’s Situation Awareness.” This is not a strategy and tactics class. The findings presented in this program are based on the presenter’s 30 years experience in emergency services, supported by his research involving expert-level incident commanders.

Because this program is the presentation of the findings of original research, the participants are going to receive information they’ve never previously been exposed to about the challenges faced by decision makers at emergency scenes.

Richard B. Gasaway has served as a fire chief for 22 years. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Leadership and has authored more than 80 journal articles, books and book chapters on leadership and command topics.

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