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Beyond Hoses & Helmets: Putting the Pieces Together

12 hr 00 minutes BH&H Putting the Pieces Together

Presented by the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section.

The future of organizations staffed with volunteers or a combination of volunteers and career members is at a critical junction. Leaders will have to demonstrate to their communities the value of volunteers in the delivery of emergency services through a proactive approach to leading volunteers. Beyond Hoses & Helmets (BH&H) lays the ground work to prepare current and future leaders to lead and manage a fire department with creativity and innovation, as well as prepare them to address and face the unique challenges of leading a department staffed with volunteers, paid-on call and/or combination.

Leaders of volunteer and combination staffed departments from a cross section of the fire service designed BH&H with leaders in mind whether they are compensated or not. If you are currently a leader or desire to promote within a volunteer or combination staffed organization, you should attend and encourage your officers to attend.

BH&H is an interactive workshop presenting current successful techniques on retaining, recruiting, leading, marketing, building relationships and conflict resolution. The VCOS in cooperation with local fire department support can deliver this course in your region.

Attendees will receive a digital student manual and a certificate of attendance.

The Rogers, AK Fire Department will host the pilot delivery of this course after a major restructuring and information update on February 8, 2020 beginning at 8:00am ending at 4:00pm and convening again on Sunday February 9, 2020 beginning at 8:00am and concluding at 12:00pm.

The VCOS is able to provide this course at no cost due to the support of Pierce. There is no registration fee for this course. Travel, lodging and meals are the responsibility of the student.


Colby Cagle - is currently in his 18th year as a volunteer fire fighter and recently returned back to his hometown of Glencoe, Oklahoma. While volunteering he was a secondary educator and Principal. Colby earned his Masters degree in Educational Leadership and graduated the Oklahoma EFO program in 2015. He is currently the Managing Editor for Fire Protection Publications and IFSTA and serves on the VCOS Volunteer Workforce Solutions Recruitment and Retention Council.

Greg Render - served at the Signal Hill (Illinois) Volunteer Fire Department as a paid Fire Chief from 1992 until 2006. Chief Render began his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1971. Chief Render earned a bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy. Chief Render is the past chair of NFPA 1720, the Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Volunteer Fire Departments. Chief Render has presented the BH&H curriculum in more than 25 states and Canada. In 2009, the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association recognized Chief Render as Chief of the Year.

John M. Buckman III - served as Fire Chief of the German Township Volunteer Fire Department in Evansville, Indiana for 35 years. He served as President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2001-2002. He is the co-founder of the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS). He was selected by Fire Chief Magazine as the Fire Chief of the Year in 1996. He has authored over 200 articles for Fire Engineering, FireChief.com and other publications. He currently serves as Director of Government Relations and Regional Outreach for IamResponding.com. He is the Education Coordinator for the VCOS.

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