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NOTE: The schedule is subject to change and any changes will be shown in the Conference App. Attendees will be sent instructions on downloading the app prior to the Conference.

Accreditation: A Five-Year Engagement

This session will focus on how to institutionalize the accreditation process within your department.

Accreditation and Credentialing from a DoD perspective

From an accreditation manager perspective, this session will discuss the direct effect of going through the CFAI process. Topics will include discussing successes, getting through animosity, selling the change to the workforce, and ultimately achieving accredited agency status.

A Dual Model All Hazards Community Risk Assessment

This session will provide instructions for creating a risk scoring matrix based on GIS data and creating risk profiles based on internal stakeholder feedback.

A Flashlight or a Hammer – Analyzing Data for Improvement

Brief overview of data outliers and 90% percentile and deeper dive into using the data to improve all types of operations not just emergency response.

An Accreditation Adventure – Whether to Go? What to Pack? How to Get There?

An introduction to the Accreditation Bootcamp focusing on why to pursue accreditation, what you’ll need to start (and be successful), and what to do first, second, third, etc.

Ask the Peer Reviewer

The experts will address your questions regarding the designation process. Peer Review representatives from each designation will participate.

Beyond Incidents and Insurance: Using Risk Management to Help Achieve Organizational Success

Participants learn risk management tools and techniques that help achieve organizational goals and objectives.

Chronicles of Real World Accreditation Managers

Moderated panel discussion with accreditation managers from different regions/organization types and sizes/positions.

Community Risk Assessment – An Expedition

High level overview of 2A focusing on need to truly understand uniqueness of each community and high level overview of 2B focusing no how to rate risks and thereby identify priorities.

Community Risk Reduction for the Modern Fire Department

Today modern progressive fire departments are mining data to formalize more targeted prevention programs. Harnessing the power of data and leveraging technology to affect change in the community is a new venture for many fire service organizations. This session is a case study of one department’s efforts to synthesize technology and data to drive community risk reduction.

CPSE Exchange

  • Open only to members of currently accredited agencies. Registered conference attendees will be given an opportunity to sign-up to attend the Exchange one-month prior to conference.
  • The goal of CPSE Exchange is to gather a diverse set of organizations and be a big tent for attendees regardless of rank. Ideal attendees are higher performing, organizational leaders, solutions-minded, and forward-focused. The dialogue during CPSE Exchange will be open and honest.
  • Accredited agencies that register for the conference will receive further information about the CPSE Exchange prior to the conference and will be given an opportunity to sign up for this session.

Creating a Culture of Excellence: What to do Between Accreditation Cycles

Excellence starts with accreditation, but that can’t be where it ends. Top-performing departments have a culture of excellence where every firefighter understands the principles of accreditation and applies them to their job every day. This might sound like a massive undertaking, but with the right tools and processes in place, your department can develop a culture of excellence that is reflected in every shift and every call.

Developing, Implementing, and Tracking Your Strategic Plan

This session details a process used to develop a strategic plan around predetermined priorities.  The process engages teams of department members to develop the plan using institutional knowledge, feedback from external stakeholders and strategies borrowed from organizations outside of the fire service.

Dissecting Goals and Competencies

This session will provide an in-depth look at requirements for addressing both the technical competencies and the Designee Development Goals of the credentialing candidate applications.

Ensuring the Future

Provides the fundamentals of the strategic planning process to ensure the success of the organization within today’s rapidly changing environment.

Ethics Assurance through Accreditation

The fire service is known for a strong workplace culture, timeless traditions, and impeccable reputations.  However, ethics are not a given and departments must create and sustain a culture that ensures integrity, transparency, trust and ethical behavior. This session will introduce principals, resources, and examples of ethical behavior, high integrity, transparency, and the values and expectations necessary to institutionalize a culture of ethical behavior.


FireCARES is a system designed to assist community leaders to better understand how safe they are based upon a risk score, a performance score and safe grade that compares the fire department to industry operations standards like National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

NFORS uses technology to capture data from computer aided dispatch (CAD) systems or records management systems (RMS) and analyze that data to provide resources and operations insights for chief officers and the rank and file. To the fire officer, firefighter and paramedic actually responding, NFORS is also a personal database providing a detailed history of your work and exposures in a private, encrypted, secure online environment, all available on a mobile device. The NFORS Exposure App becomes a firefighter career diary to assure evidence of career exposures, should physical or behavioral health issues arise long-term or even in retirement.

Fire Service Ethics: Another Wicked Issue?

Session focuses on recent ethical issues within the fire service and have an open dialog on their impact to our image in the community. Additionally, ideas for improvement individually and organizationally to prevent and recover from ethical issues will be discussed.

From Project to Process: Overcoming Tactical Bias to Deliver Better Strategic Outcomes

Using discrete examples and case studies from the last decade this presentation will describe the methods used to develop more comprehensive data and strategic analysis processes to assist decision-makers. A primary focus will be the recent use of machine learning technology to generate predictive data for application in strategic modeling and response simulation.

Future Incident Modeling for Strategic Planning

This session will explore the application of new developments in applied statistics and machine learning to what has been described as “the holy grail” of fire/EMS strategic planning: modeling the effects of growth and change on future incident demand.

Give the People what they Want – Community-Driven Strategic Planning

Guidance on CFAI-model compliant strategic planning focusing on community input and SMART goals.

It Takes a Village: 10 Steps to Fix Fire Data in Your Community

You would be forgiven for saying “enough about data already”; data has begun to permeate every corner of the fire and emergency services. So how and why did “data” all of a sudden become the buzzword du jour?  This session will highlight some of the most important and pressing ways NFPA, CPSE, and other national organizations (top-down) are actively working to improve and standardize the diverse types of data fire departments collect, maintain, and use.

Measuring and Reporting Outcomes that Matter –

Session will focus on the importance of presenting complex data in a format that is more quickly and easily understood by elected officials, the media, and community members. The focus will be on how agencies can report out publicly on their performance but with heavy emphasis on the employment of graphics to emphasize the right outcomes and less emphasis on activities/ inputs/outputs that maybe in accurate or counterproductive for the key stakeholders.

More Than a Designation:  Utilizing Credentialing as a Professional Development Tool to Drive Accreditation

To those new to the process, accreditation can appear both intimidating and overwhelming.  Professional development for your personnel, however, is something that should be embraced by all agencies both big and small. This session will discuss how agencies across Tennessee, in partnership with the Tennessee Fire Credentialing and Accreditation Consortium, have adopted CPC Credentialing as their professional development framework in compliance with PI 8A.5 and are utilizing this model as an inroad to introduce and promote agency accreditation both within their own jurisdictions as well as statewide.

Navigating Through Politics:  An Elected Leaders Perspective

As a current Accreditation Manager, Council Member, and past Mayor, Chief Long will discuss what is important to elected leaders, possible hurdles, and how to gain their support.

Next Level Professional Development – Developing Innovative Professional Development Plans through Professional Credentialing Data

Creating, structuring, and implementing effective and relevant professional development plans can be a challenge. Specifically, plans that can be looked at as the gold standard in content, quality, and diversity. Collecting aggregate data from credentialed officers across the country numerous training and educational opportunities were identified that many may have never heard of and recognize trends that assist in creating a professional development road map that everyone can benefit from. This presentation will highlight findings and discuss professional development plans that encompass education, training, and certification.

NFORS User Session

NFORS users and potential users are invited to attend the inaugural “NFORS Hands-On Training”.  Bring your laptop or tablet and join us for a live interactive session with NFORS developers providing insights and training on newest features.  Get your questions answered and be the first to see the rollout of the new capability to auto fill your data tables for CFAI Accreditation.  NFORS reduces the barrier to accreditation… and reaccreditation preparation of annual reports.

Numbers Don’t Lie – Data Collection 101

High level overview of easily-obtainable data and deeper dive into where/how to find more difficult data.

Out with the Old and in the with New – Transitioning to the 6th Edition CRA-SOC

Specific instruction on Category 2 changes and implications between editions.

Program Appraisals

The 9th edition of the CFAI model requires agencies conduct formal annual appraisals of all their programs. This session will showcase one department’s use of data and processes to evaluate their programs as part of their continuous quality improvement efforts.

Randy R. Bruegman Agency Innovation Award Recipient

Department receiving the 2019 award will present on their innovative practice.

Self-Assessment: It’s Not Just for Your Department

Are you conducting the right self-assessment? Learn how self-assessment allows you to take control of your own destiny.

Setting Expectations and Creating a Shared Culture in Increasingly Diverse Recruit Classes

Today’s fire service, like other industries, experiences challenges related to the multigenerational workforce, diversity and inclusivity. There are risks that arise from poor personal decision-making and unethical behavior that quickly become part of the news cycle or “live” permanently in social media, eroding the public’s trust in the fire service. These issues create problems that relate to financial management, performance management, and risk management. Fire departments can mitigate these issues with early, targeted education in the principles of personal leadership and ethics.

Side Effects of Community Risk Reduction (CRR)

Community Risk Reduction (CRR) in the United States is beginning to replace our traditional and blanketed approaches to fire prevention. We call can list the community-focused benefits derived from CRR programs, but few address the organizational side-effects. CRR provides real benefit to more than just the community, agencies find desirable side effects that are often overlooked and frequently not capitalized upon.

#Squadgoals – How to Build an Accreditation Team and Fan Base

Guidance on building an effective accreditation team and gaining support from city/county management, elected officials, command staff, and firefighters.

Standards of Cover – A Commitment

High level overview of 2C and 2D focusing on current response and how to improve it by providing quality examples of baseline and benchmark performance statements

Surviving the Fire Service: Translating a Decade of Science to the Street

A look at the most relevant research that has been conducted on fire service health, wellness, and survival during the past decade. In particular, focus is on the three largest preventable occupational health threats to firefighters: cancer, cardiovascular, and behavioral health. Personal and departmental case studies and strategies that have been effective in mitigating these risks and assuring the highest level of firefighter and organizational survival are shared.

Tell Your Story – Writing for Accreditation

Primer on template with large focus on appraisal including tips for good technical writing.

The Final Frontier – Surviving the Commission Hearing

Brief overview of CFAI Hearing (e.g. report review, Q&A) with moderated panel discussion and Q&A with current Commissioners.

The Laws of Growth for Continual Learning

Using John Maxwell’s book “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” Chief Ruiz reminds us that potential is one of the most powerful words in any language. A person’s potential implies possibilities, it heralds hope, and it unveils greatness. In this session Chief Ruiz shares the core of what he has learned about developing yourself so that you have the best chance of becoming the person you were created to be.

The Leadership Tree

An interactive presentation and discussion around critical elements of leadership based on observations and experience over close to 20 years in executive levels of the fire service.

Those Three Little Words – Annual Compliance Report

Specific instruction on completing the Annual Compliance Report (ACR).

Tools for Community Risk Reduction: Using NFPA 1300 to drive CRR efforts

Are you looking to boost your Community Risk Reduction (CRR) program but not sure where to start? NFPA 1300 could be the answer! This session will provide an overview of the NEW NFPA 1300 – Standard on Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction Plan Development and explain how this standard can guide successful soup-to-nuts CRR programming.

Transformational Growth and the Fire Service

The argument for cultural change in the fire service has been constant for decades. This interactive session offers relevant case studies of past efforts to achieve cultural change while offering key elements that shaped success or failure.  A discussion of current research on fire service culture will be offered with an evaluation of past public safety efforts.  The outcome will be the identification of key elements for consideration-which will be associated and aligned with the CFAI accreditation process-in implementing strategies for creating and sustaining transformational growth for the fire service.

Understanding People; Preparing for Change

Proposing new initiatives, implementing new programs, or just changing the status quo can lead to conflict, fear, and hesitation among the members of any organization. Understanding the history, the workforce, and the current culture before proposing or implementing significant change will develop trust, establish “why”, and articulate the need to change. Additionally, taking the time to prepare for change through communication, transparency, education, and data driven assessments will reduce back sliding, improve support, and create opportunity for actionable change. This presentation will highlight and discuss various preparation strategies to make change successful.

What Have You Been Doing All These Years…It’s Time to Make a Difference!

Culture plays a major role in our lives every day, whether at work, at home or where ever we happen to be. Sometimes this culture can dictate our actions through peer pressure or group think, and these actions may not always be practical, or worse safe!  A review of superb leadership practices, dealing with others (especially in a work setting), and personal continuous improvement will be discussed and resources given to make a professional plan for self-improvement in the future.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road – Preparing for the Site Visit

Brief overview of CFAI site visit prep requirements (e.g. document review, scheduling, travel logistics) with moderated panel discussion/Q&A with current AMs.

Why Credentialing

Moderated Panel – Importance of credentialing shared by a City Manager, CPC Commissioner, and Peer Reviewer.