WESTFIELD–Two deputy chiefs from the city’s fire department graduated from the Massachusetts Fire Academy’s Chief Fire Officer’s Training Program this week.
Deputy Chiefs Eric Bishop and Patrick Kane completed the 14-week course over five months, learning a variety of non-fire suppression aspects of their careers, including a variety of management techniques. Bishop and Kane were the only two representatives from the western Massachusetts area in the class, which had 31 total graduates and had over 80 applicants. The program came at no charge to the city, since it was sponsored by the Massachusetts Fire Academy.
“We’re very excited for our chief officers to continue to attend classes and seminars to be able to better serve our community, and as chief I’m very proud,” Westfield Fire Chief Mary Regan, said. “It’s a great learning experience for their entire career.”
The program focused on a variety of management techniques and modernized topics. This included leadership skills, legal issues, human resources and personnel development, modern firefighting services, resource management, as well as communications, including with both the media and on social media platforms.
Also, in order to complete the program, according to the State Fire Marshal’s office, “participants are required to write a formal applied research paper that identifies a current problem or challenge faced by their organization and proposes a viable solution… then present their proposal to a panel of municipal officials for their consideration.”
Of the program, Kane said “it really enhanced the knowledge of our core management.”
Both Bishop and Kane added that they were grateful for the support the department, as well as the residents, provided them during the program. Additionally, Bishop felt that the training was necessary to help provide for others in a leadership capacity.
“Leadership and training, they go hand-in-hand,” Bishop said. “You can’t have one without the other.”