News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Fire officials complete national training

Two officials from the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District (SCSFD) have completed training programs through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Academy (NFA).

Firefighter/Paramedic Damon Frutos has completed the managing officer program, and Deputy Chief Tim Craig has completed the executive fire officer program.

“The managing officer program is designed to provide company-level fire/emergency medical service (EMS) officers with a broad perspective of today’s fire/EMS management, leadership, and administration,” according to the USFA. “This program provides fire service officers with the expertise they need to develop professionally and to make significant contributions to both their departments and communities.’’

The two-year program requires the completion of four courses that promote and enhance the professional growth of fire service leadership while preparing future leaders through a combination of education and linking people and ideas. Firefighter Frutos received instruction on leadership, community risk reduction, firefighter and community safety, contemporary training issues, and analytical tools for decision-making. He also gained critical insight concerning national response planning and incident management.

In order to complete the program, Frutos had to complete a peer-reviewed capstone project that directly benefits his home agency. Frutos developed an on-scene decontamination program that allows firefighters, on the scene of a structure fire, to conduct a decontamination process that reduces the chances of transporting carcinogens and other harmful chemicals back to the station. This program has been adopted not only by the Sisters-Camp Sherman district, but by Cloverdale and Black Butte Ranch fire districts as well, providing a critical health and safety resource to three fire service agencies in Deschutes County.

“This program was a tremendous opportunity to network with other fire service leaders from across the country as well as gain valuable training and insights, which I can use to benefit our community,” said Frutos. “The classes required several weeks of time commitment away from home. I am grateful for the tremendous support from SCSFD as well as my spouse and family for allowing me to participate in this educational experience.”

The EFO program is the premier fire service executive development program, and the flagship program of the NFA. Completion of the EFO program requires four years of study, completion of three comprehensive applied research papers, and the oral defense of one of the papers in front of a panel of National fire service leaders. Chief Craig completed four separate classes with fire service leaders from all over the country.

Executive development is the foundational course for the EFO program. The major goals are to improve the executive fire officer’s ability to build high-performance teams, exercise adaptive leadership skills, manage change, value diversity, and use critical thinking skills to develop applied research projects.

The next course in the sequence, Executive Analysis of Community Risk Reduction, is a mixture of philosophy and application of the value of the community risk reduction and the process of applying risk reduction to the community. It involves developing partnerships with the community to implement programs, initiatives, and services that prevent and/or mitigate the risk of human-made or natural disasters.

For the third year, participants complete the executive analysis of fire service operations in emergency management course. This course is designed to help students to better prepare their communities for large-scale, multiagency, all-hazard incidents. In this course, students analyze emergency incidents and identify lessons learned and best practices to better prepare for future incidents.

Additionally, students are introduced to emergency management and the workings of an emergency operations center (EOC) as a framework for their analyses. Some of the areas covered in the course are risk assessment, incident documentation, standards and legal mandates, capability assessment, damage assessment, and multiagency coordination systems including the EOC.

The final course, executive leadership, examines all aspects of executive-level leadership and ties together the educational experiences of the three previous years.

“Completion of the EFO program has been a long, hard process that would not have been possible without the support of several great fire service leaders including SCSFD Fire Chief Roger Johnson, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Assistant Chief Les Hallman, who both encouraged me to complete this incredible adventure. Most of all I need to thank my wife and kids for supporting me along the way,” said Craig.


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