2nd iDELP Cohort to Help Foster More Diverse, Inclusive Fire Service

Chantilly, Va. – The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) today announced the participants accepted into the 2nd official IAFC Diversity Executive Leadership Program (iDELP).

iDELP is a 2-year program developed by the IAFC in 2017 to bring together a group of current and future leaders to help foster a diverse and inclusive leadership and workforce. The program aims to provide changemakers the tools necessary to become national leaders in the fire and emergency service and the IAFC.

The 2019-2021 cohort will meet for the first time in August at Fire-Rescue International in Atlanta, Georgia. The group plans to meet twice a year in person throughout the program. In between the in-person meetings, the group will communicate via KnowledgeNet, the IAFC’s online community.

Throughout the two-year program, the fellows will hear from experienced leaders at the IAFC and explore avenues in which they can become leaders on the national stage and assist others to do the same. They will also help advise the IAFC on important issues as it relates to fostering a more diverse and inclusive fire and emergency service.

Accepted into the 2019-2021 program are:

  • Fire Chief Joel Baker, Austin (TX) Fire Department
  • Assistant Chief Corey Beals, Halifax (NS) Regional Fire & Emergency
  • Fire Chief Robert Benoit, Lafayette (LA) Fire Department
  • Division Chief Special Operations Robert Collins, Hillsborough (FL) County Fire Rescue
  • Deputy Fire Chief William Garrett, Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue Department
  • Assistant Fire Chief Stephanie Harpring, Thornton (CO) Fire Department
  • Fire Chief/Emergency Services Director Scott LaVielle, City of Tumwater (WA) Fire Department
  • Deputy Fire Chief Kenneth Lay, Newport News (VA) Fire Department
  • Fire Chief Ernest Malone, Indianapolis (IN) Fire Department
  • Deputy Chief Keri Martens, Canmore (AB) Fire Rescue Services
  • Deputy Fire Chief Karen Roche, Burlington (ON) Fire Department
  • Battalion Chief Diane Schroeder, Louisville (CO) Fire Protection District
  • Captain Jason Shanley, San Diego (CA) Fire-Rescue Department
  • Assistant Fire Chief Corey Smedley, City of Alexandria (VA) Fire Department
  • Fire Chief Victor Williams, Gallatin (TN) Fire Department

The inaugural 2017-2019 cohort achieved several successes on behalf of the program, including speaking at national conferences, representing the IAFC on national summits, and providing feedback to make marketing materials more inclusive.

Seventy-five percent of the cohort were promoted or received new leadership positions at other departments.

“iDELP has been a tremendous success thanks to the hard work and dedication of the inaugural cohort,” said Chief Dan Eggleston, IAFC president and chairman of the board. “Fostering a more diverse and inclusive fire and emergency service is the primary mission of the program and it’s succeeding.”  

The IAFC is looking for corporate partners to help provide additional support to enhance the program. Contact Tim Hopkins for more information.  



About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more
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