A brief ceremony in the lobby of city hall on June 18, 2012 recognized Ann Arbor firefighter Lt. Amy Brow for completion of the U.S. Fire Administration’s Executive Fire Officer Program. [photo 1] [photo 2]
It’s a program that takes four years to finish – with one 10-day course completed each year at the Emmitsburg, Maryland campus. The curriculum includes: (1) executive development; (2) executive analysis of community risk reduction; (3) executive analysis of fire service operations in emergency management; and (3) executive leadership. Each year requires the completion of an applied research project.
Brow’s applied research project for 2010 was an analysis of fire risk caused by upholstered furniture placed on porches. The 48-page report was entitled: “Reducing the Risk of Couch Fires on Porches in University Off-campus Student Housing.” The Ann Arbor city council passed an ordinance on Sept. 20, 2010 that bans upholstered furniture from outdoor porches, if the furniture is not designed for that use.
In a phone interview, Tom Olshanski of the U.S. Fire Administration press office explained to The Chronicle that admission to the executive fire officer program is highly competitive – with around four applications for each of the 160 spots offered annually. The cost to firefighters who are enrolled in the course, Olshanski said, is limited to their food while on campus. USFA covers travel, lodging and the cost of the course itself. Since the inception of the program 24 years ago, around 3,000 firefighters across the county have completed the executive fire officer program, he said.