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Fire and Rescue
Virginia Fire Officer Academy Graduates 2013

Congratulations Graduates Lieutenants Tom Rish and John Gillis

The Virginia Fire Chiefs Association and the Virginia Fire Chiefs Foundation hosted its annual Virginia Fire Officer Academy (VFOA), June 2 - 7 and June 9 -  14.  Lieutenants Rish and Gillis were among the eighty fire officers selected from 100 applicants to participate in the VFOA Safety through Leadership (STL) Program conducted at the University of Richmond in the prestigious Gottwald Center for the Sciences.

The selected students represented different geographic areas within Virginia, including metropolitan, rural and suburban communities. Applicants were nominated by their respective departments and selected by the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association selection panel.  The students are members of career, volunteer and combination fire departments.
The development of the VFOA Safety through Leadership program is based upon the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives program known nationally as the Everyone Goes Home (EGH) program. This year’s academies were led by Captain William Moreland of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue; in collaboration with Nick Caputo of the Virginia Fire Chief Association. Significant planning, organizational and operational support for the 2013 was provided by fire personnel from the Counties of Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Roanoke, James City, Prince William, Spotsylvania and New Kent; and the Cities of Richmond, Manassas Park, Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg and Winchester. 
The VFOA curriculum focuses on improving leadership techniques, personal accountability, and fostering the cultural change required to improve firefighter safety through the implementation of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.  Modules for the program include: the impact of the leader’s attitude on safety, leading under stressful conditions, employee coaching techniques, correcting unsafe behaviors, managing conflict and dealing with employee stress.  During the course, students manage leadership challenges by participating in real-world role playing situations typically encountered by fire officers. 
Graduation ceremonies were held on June 7 and June 14 for each respective academy  in the Tyler Haynes Commons at the University of Richmond.
VFOA - Gillis3.jpg
 Chief Steve Cover, Virginia Beach Fire Dept. &
President of the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association
congratulates Lieutenant John Gillis

VFOA Staff 2013.jpg
Chief Steve Cover, Virginia Beach Fire Dept. &
President of the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association
congratulates Lieutenant Tom Rish


2013 VFOA Staff pictured left to right: Tech II Nick Baskerville,
Lt. Anthony Adamo, Lt. Andrew Jeremiah and Lt. Regina Bell



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