This year the IAFC introduced Executive Chief Officer-Level II at Fire-Rescue International, which also marked the final level of the Officer Development Program (ODP). The IAFC gave special recognition to three attendees who finished the complete program, including all seven levels:
- Johnny Fong, Operator/Architect, Reno (Nev.) Fire Department
- Bill Harmon, Captain, Emporia (Kan.) Fire Department
- Steve Kuhlmann, Battalion Chief, Emporia (KS) Fire Department
After the conference, they each had some great things to say about their experiences in the program and the takeaways it has provided.
"I recommend attending all three programs," said Captain Harmon. "You get to see the administrative side of the fire service, which has encouraged my thought process to expand and be more open-minded to look at the department as a whole and not just my station."
Battalion Chief Kuhlmann stated, "I highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to advance their knowledge. As much information that you learn in this program, it opens your eyes to everything you do not know enough about. It stimulates you to continue your quest for knowledge when you return home to your department."
Chief Jack Taylor of Emporia (KS) Fire Department had this to say about his graduates, "Our department has made a commitment to the development of our most valuable assets, our people." It’s this outstanding philosophy that has brought new skills to his personnel and strengthened the overall leadership team of the Emporia Fire Department. They have 2 others from their department who are currently working through the ODP as well.
The ODP also recognized 39 graduates from the Company Officer Leadership Symposium, 40 graduates from the Chief Officer Leadership Symposium and 20 graduates from the Executive Chief Officer Leadership Symposium.
In looking for who will be the future fire service leaders, it’s encouraging to see energized and motivated attendees who come back year after year to continue their leadership education and pursuit of excellence.
For more on the IAFC’s Officer Development Program visit IAFC.org/ODP.