After four years of hard work, City of Cortland Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Friedman has completed and graduated from the National Executive Fire Officer Program, which provides senior fire officers with a broad perspective on various aspects of fire administration.
A very small percentage of Chief Officers have completed this program. It’s been in existence for 31 years and only 200 students are selected annually across the US.
Deputy Chief Friedman is one of only 45 graduates from New York State.
“The intensive EFOP is designed to provide senior fire officers with a broad perspective on various facets of fire administration,” according to U.S. Fire Administrator G. Keith Bryant. “This program provides fire service officers with the expertise they need to succeed in today’s challenging environment.”
Six months after completing each of the first three courses, Friedman and the other students were required to complete a written Applied Research Project that applied course theory and concepts to real life situations within their own organization.
Each project was evaluated through a formal process and progression through the program was contingent on achieving each of these milestones.
Bryant also stated: “It is important that these senior fire executives apply what they have learned in the classroom to existing situations in their own communities. This makes completion of the EFOP and the Applied Research Projects particularly valuable to these fire service leaders.”
The required executive-level courses of the training include the following, each taking about a year to complete:
- Year 1: Executive Development— the entry-level course is intended to provide a framework in which leadership is
a process whereby you and others perform adaptive work.
- Year 2: Executive Analysis of Community Risk Reduction–a mixture of philosophy and application. It involves developing partnerships with the community to implement programs, initiatives, and services that prevent and/or mitigate the risk of human made or natural disasters. Traditional fire prevention programs are addressed.
- Year 3: Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management–This course is designed to enable students to better prepare their communities for large-scale, multiagency, all-hazard incidents. Students analyze emergency incidents and identify lessons learned and best practices to better prepare for future incidents. Students are introduced to emergency management and the workings of an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as a framework for their analyses.
- Final year: Executive Leadership— examines all aspects of executive-level leadership and ties together the educational experiences of the three previous years. Additionally, each student presents a 30-minute oral defense of one of their three previously submitted ARPs. The panelist uses an evaluation rubric to assess the student’s oral articulation of methodology, literature, procedures, results, and takeaways germane to individual leadership, organizational oversight, community involvement and the fire and Emergency Medical Services profession.