Fairfax, Va. — Every year that TargetSolutions attends Fire-Rescue International (FRI), it's special. The IAFC's annual conference, scheduled this year for Aug. 13-16 in Dallas, is one of the most important and well-attended events on the fire service's calendar.
This year's conference will be especially memorable for the 2014 Training Officer Recognition Award ceremony, which is presented jointly by the IAFC's Volunteer & Combination Officers Section and TargetSolutions, the industry's leader in online training and records management.
Captain Chip Everett of Oshtemo Township Fire Department in Michigan edged out a large group of worthy candidates who were nominated for the special honor. Everett will accept the award, created to acknowledge exemplary conduct befitting a training officer, at a special ceremony during the VCOS annual section meeting on Aug. 14.
When Everett first learned he was being recognized for the training he delivers as his department's training and safety officer, he was taken aback.
"I was really surprised and very humbled, I didn't even know I had been nominated," said Everett, whose combination department employs 6 full-time and 30 on-call members responsible for answering around 2,000 calls each year.
"It is always nice to be recognized for the work you do and the time you put in. But at the same time, I don't know about having the focus on me, necessarily. We have a really solid group in our county and we do a lot of joint training. It's not just one person, it's a broader effort."
That might be true, but Oshtemo Deputy Chief Rick Griffin believes Everett's impact on the department and the Kalamazoo County Training Committee has been monumental. In his nomination form, Griffin cited numerous areas where Everett has gone above and beyond, including his work to help standardize training throughout the county, working with the NIST committee, attending the National Fire Academy and train-the-trainer classes to improve his delivery techniques and many other contributions to the department's training program.
"Chip continues to develop new ways to provide training," Griffin said. "One of the recent additions to our department training is a 'road rally.' This not only allows our drivers to pick the best route to addresses, but gives the crews tasks to complete at each address. The team with the best time to complete all tasks gets rewarded with dinner. This has helped build teamwork and camaraderie. ... His tireless effort to make sure we are one of the leaders in our county makes him the go-to-guy for not only our department, but for members of all of our county's departments."
The opportunity to work with the VCOS and honor Everett is a special opportunity for TargetSolutions, according to Executive Vice President Thom Woodward. The fact it's all going to happen at this year's biggest conference makes it even more significant.
TargetSolutions will be presenting its online system at booth No. 5508 in FRI's Expo Hall. This is a great opportunity for attendees to learn more about the industry's most comprehensive online-training management solution.
"FRI is a premier event for the fire service," Woodward said. "We find it very valuable to be an exhibitor. The FRI Expo Hall allows our prospects and clients to experience what's new from TargetSolutions. We present live demos, are available to talk one-on-one and collect information about needs and interests. It's also the venue where we have the privilege of recognizing the Training Officer of the Year, an IAFC/VCOS award TargetSolutions sponsors. Stop by our booth. We look forward to seeing you there!"
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