On Thursday, February 1, 2018, 36 fire service leaders from across Massachusetts graduated from the 25th offering of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program. This fourteen-week program was developed in accordance with National Fire Protection Association Standards for chief fire officers, and is delivered jointly by the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. It is a comprehensive course providing training in the non-fire suppression aspects of managing fire departments.
Chatham Deputy Fire Chief David Depasquale is among this session's graduates.
State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said, “These fire service leaders are committed to continually developing their management and leadership skills in order to provide the highest level of service to the communities they protect.”
The thirty-six graduates serve the following fire departments: Amesbury, Andover, Ashland, Bellingham, Belmont, Berlin, Bourne, Cambridge, Centerville-Osterville-Marston Mills, Chatham, Chicopee, Dartmouth District #3, Fitchburg, Foxborough, Franklin, Kingston, Ludlow, Malden, Natick, Plainville, Randolph, Rockland, Saugus, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Stoughton, Stow, Walpole, Wareham, Wayland, Weston, Weymouth, Whitman and Wrentham.
The curriculum covers a spectrum of topics considered essential for effective public sector management. It includes human resource management, ethics, executive leadership and legal issues, governmental and organization structures, information management, customer-focused strategic planning, legal aspects, budgets and public finance, community awareness and public relations, and labor relations.
The Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program expects to help fire officers improve their ability to lead and manage personnel and the department, to provide skills to understand employees’ needs and problems, to promote personal productivity, to increase the capacity to manage both human and technical resources, and to increase inter-agency cooperation.
Participants are required to write a formal applied research paper that identifies a current problem or challenge faced by their organization and proposes a viable solution. The officers must then present their proposal to a panel of municipal officials for their consideration.
The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program, tuition-free.