COS Election

Voting for the COS elections begins April 18 for three at-large director seats.

The elected at-large directors will serve three-year terms, beginning at FRI 2021 in Charlotte, NC.

The 2021 COS election will be run exclusively online; the voting period opens on April 18 and ends May 17.

Additional details on how you will receive your ballot will be posted closer to the start of the election.

For general election questions, email or phone 703-273-0911.

Review Proposed Bylaw Changes

The COS Section Board of Directors has submitted minor changes to our bylaws. Please review our changes and vote to pass them in this year's election.

COS Proposed Bylaw Changes

Meet the 2021 COS Board Candidates

Candidates appear in alphabetical order by last name.


Devin Flannery, FO, MO, GIFireE, South San Francisco (California) Fire Department
Fire Captain

My name is Devin Flannery, and I am a Fire Captain with the South San Francisco Fire Department (SSFFD).  I have been with the SSFFD for the last 18 years, where I have had the opportunity to work as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Preceptor, and Field Training Officer.  I firmly believe in the National Fire Academy (NFA) model of professional development between education, experience, continuing education, and training.  Currently, I am completing my master’s degree in public safety leadership from Arizona State University, and I hold a bachelor’s degree in career and technical studies from Sacramento State University.  I am writing my thesis on developing and managing a coaching or mentorship program for mid-level managers.  I am a graduate of the managing officer program at the NFA, where I implemented a community risk reduction program for smoke detector installations at my home agency.  I advocate for professional credentialing, and I hold a Fire Officer (FO) designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.  If I am given the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors in an at-large seat, I would be fully committed to serving the Company Officers Section members.  I am a true ‘pracademic’ of the fire service, bridging theory to practice.  My goal is to inspire others to be leaders in the fire service to drive our occupation into the professional domain. Please check out my LinkedIn profile for additional information on my career.


Randall Hanifen, Ph.D., West Chester (Ohio) Fire Department
Assistant Chief of Operations

Dr. Randall W. Hanifen is the current Chair of the IAFC Company Officers Section, serving as the vice chair and chair since the creation of the section. Dr. Hanifen is the Assistant Chief of Operations for West Chester Fire, an Associate Professor at the American Public University, and a Fire Service Consultant.  He is a member of NFPA 1021 Fire Officer Committee. He is also a credentialed Chief Fire Officer by the CPSE and has been designated as a Fellow to the Institute of Fire Engineers. Randall has provided presentations and trainings for Fire conferences, as well as serving as a contract instructor for the National Fire Academy’s EFO Program. He has a M.S. in Fire Service Executive Leadership and a Ph.D. in Executive Management of Homeland Security. Randall can be reached at

IAFC/COS Accomplishments

  • Chair & Vice Chair of the Company Officers Section
  • Lead development of mentoring program
  • Coordinated the development of the Sections' first Strategic Plan
  • Lead Author/Editor of Succession Management for the Fire Service

Future COS Goals

  • To establish COS as the authority on Company Officer issues in the fire service and develop revenue streams that allow COS to remain funded at a level that allows national engagement.
  • Development of white papers and training materials that allow current company officers to promote to the chief level
  • Development of programs that will allow aspiring officers to become company officers
  • For COS to become more involved with national fire service events (NFFF Weekend, CFSI, FDIC)

Stephen Ludwig, Middletown (Ohio) Fire Division
Deputy Chief

I began my full-time fire department career in 1996 with the Middletown Fire Department and I am currently in my 25th year. In my time with Middletown Fire, I have served as a promoted paramedic and the department’s fire marshal prior to promoting. I was promoted to lieutenant in 2008 and captain in 2015 serving as a company officer in both capacities. After a short time as a station captain, I was moved to a forty-hour work week where I oversaw the department’s fire operations and training division. I voluntarily moved from that position to the same capacity for the department’s EMS division. Most recently, I was promoted to the rank of deputy chief and I returned to a 24-hour schedule. As deputy chief I oversee one of the department’s three platoons. MFD operates out of four stations and I supervise the company officers that run them. My education includes a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree in safety, security, and emergency management with a fire science concentration from Eastern Kentucky University. I am also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program from the NFA. I am an advocate for personal and professional development and feel the IAFC Company Officer Section is the perfect place for the new company officer to start that journey. I would like to serve on the board the facilitate this mission of the COS.


Demond Simmons, Oakland (California) Fire Department
Battalion Chief

It is with great elation that I seek re-election to the IAFC/Company Officers Section (COS) as a board member.  Since its inception as a committee, I have had the opportunity to serve as a board member and a team player on a number of important initiatives.  While I currently serve as chief officer with the Oakland (CA) Fire Department, I still remain steadfast that the company officer is the most important position in the fire service.

Throughout the years, the COS has launched a number of educational initiatives that have and continue to benefit the men/women who serve as company officers.  My commitment as a COS board member will remain focused on offering training/educational opportunities that will benefit both the aspiring and incumbent company officer.  In particular, we will continue with the following initiatives: Professional Development Speaker Series, Book of the Month Series, and the Company Officer Coaching Program.  Equally important, we will continue to identify opportunities to collaborate with other fire service groups with a similar focus.

Let us all continue working together to promote professionalism, advancement, and innovation aimed at the company officer! Thank you in advance for your support!


Joe Zatylny, Edmonton (Alberta) Fire Rescue Services
Fire Chief

Joe Zatylny is the Fire Chief of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. With more than 25 years of emergency service experience, including 15 years in senior fire leadership roles, he leads the three-time, internationally accredited department into its next chapter as the City of Edmonton continues to grow and change.

As a transformational leader, Joe is positioning the 1300 Edmonton Fire Rescue Services’ staff to meet the continually evolving needs of nearly 1 million citizens of a rapidly changing modern municipality. Joe’s extensive experience leading change will be instrumental in the attainment of the vision he has for EFRS to be a fire service leader in equity, diversity and inclusion, work-place safety and mental-health wellness, organizational development, data and research informed service innovation, community engagement and relationships, and culture.

With a commitment to collaboration and engagement, along with proven success in building consensus among diverse stakeholders, Joe brings his passion and commitment to life in his day-to-day work by focusing on building and maintaining solid relationships, leading people through change, and maximizing service delivery.

Joe’s education and training experience includes a Bachelor’s Degree from Lakeland College Canada in Applied Business of Emergency Services and an Advanced Certificate in Labour and Industrial Relations from Queen’s University. He also holds a Master’s Certificate in Municipal Leadership from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

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