Past Award Recipients

This is a listing of YLD scholarship recipients for the years 2016-1989, with their affiliation at the time of their award. Each awardee’s view on leadership is also included.

2016


Mr. Hugh O’Callaghan, Captain, Hazardous Materials Unit, Town of Hamden Fire Department, Hamden CT (Chief John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient)

Views On Leadership

My leadership philosophy has developed into a leader, leader type of thinking. I used to be of the mindset that firefighters should follow their officers and when the time came, promote into the Lieutenant rank and start leading. With this old school thought process I learned that firefighters would come to me and ask for permission to do small tasks and in many cases they were afraid to just make a small decision on their own.
When I was two years into the rank of Lieutenant I sat my firefighters down and told them we are going to make some slight changes. I informed them that they would no longer need to ask me for permission to do small tasks. I would back their decisions fully as long as they were not against the law and did not violate department policy. I told them that if they were not sure how far they could go with their decision making, they were to check with the senior firefighter first before asking me.
This new way of doing business for my group freed up time for me to complete projects and allowed for the development of soon to be great fire officers. Firefighters were forced to learn the departments SOPs to make sure they were not in violation and it gave the senior firefighter a sense of what it was like to lead people. What I observed was a new feeling of belonging. I showed the firefighters that I trusted them and they appreciated the chance to help guide the department into the future. I am now several years into my plan and it has generated three Lieutenants, one Captain and several very strong senior firefighters.

Mr. Gamaliel David Baer, Firefighter/EMT, Special Operations Division, Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, Scaggsville, MD

Views On Leadership

“My leadership philosophy is that leaders make a habit of growing their mind, body, and soul and help others to do the same. I believe leadership is action, not position. Colin Powell said that “Leadership is the art of doing more than what the science of management says is possible.” This is true because we can only lead others as far as we have led ourselves. When we talk about “leadership”, we are referring to the verb that describes affecting positive behavioral change in ourselves and others. Management cannot quantify attitude and emotions.”

Southern Alleghenies EMS Council, Inc., Altoona, PA

Views On Leadership

We believe that by building strong EMS leadership, you can build a stronger EMS system thus providing better care to the patients in the community. The EMS system is truly reaching a crisis point. Agencies need to be looking to the future and building upon their current strengths in order to survive in the ever changing EMS world.
Many EMS managers and supervisors do not have formal training or education in business skills and management. It is imperative that we further develop these skill sets and improve the capabilities of our managers to move them toward becoming true leaders of their organizations and the overall EMS system, and to give them the tools to make appropriate and forward-thinking decisions for the agencies they serve.

2015


Mr. Garrett Christensen, Staff Sergeant/Assistant Chief of Logistics. Luke Air Force Base Fire Department, Luke AFB, AZ

Views On Leadership

“Two distinct leadership traits – passion and humility – have enabled me to overcome many challenges, progress quickly through the enlisted ranks and be placed in positions of greater responsibility than my peers. Passion to stay committed to my people, our mission and our great nation despite adversity, and humility to seek the input and talents of others in order to complete tasks as efficiently as possible. Leadership includes a dedication to our people and meeting them where they are. When we take the time to invest in those around us, our teams are much more effective and have the ability to achieve extraordinary objectives. My style of leadership begins with sacrifice and ends with service.”

Ms. Mariya Dimitrova, Emergency Medical Technician, St. Lawrence University Emergency Medical Services, Canton, NY
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“I believe that a good leader is not only one who can make difficult decisions and be group-minded, but also one who can lead by example. Working in the Army has taught me the importance of putting my squad’s or my platoon’s needs before my own. It has also taught me the importance of making and implementing quick decisions. I have been the platoon leader on numerous unit training missions, where I am able to practice those skills under harsh physical and mental conditions. In addition, I implement those skills everyday on my job as an Emergency Medical Technician at St. Lawrence University. I have also realized that being an involved leader is the most important aspect of successfully managing a stressful situation. Being able to delegate work is not as important as showing your crew that you are willing to help, that you would not make them do anything that you would not do yourself. This creates positive morale within the crew, where instead of being told what to do, individuals volunteer to contribute to the overall mission. I am regularly the lead EMT on calls, which means I have to ensure my crew arrives at the scene, assign duties to each person, and make sure each task is complete. However, I never hand-off work to others. Instead, I am always an active member of the overall mission, in the Army or on a St. Lawrence EMS call.”

Mr. Jason M. Krusen, Special Operations Chief, Columbia Fire Department, Columbia SC
(John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“I believe it is important for the leadership of a metropolitan department to be well educated in order to manage a large department more effectively. While a formal education is not the entire answer to being an effective manager, it definitely assists a person in being better well rounded. On the job experience cannot be taught in school, but the valuable information educational institutions have to offer can teach managerial, political and financial abilities that are invaluable for upper level management.”


2014


Mr. Charles Hillman, Firefighter/Paramedic, City of Norwalk Division of Fire, Norwalk OH
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“I have a strong philosophy that any true leader is a product of hard work. Leaders are the first people to arrive and the last to leave. In the time in between, they work harder than anyone else to become great at whatever they are striving to achieve. I personally have never met a true leader that is not the hardest working individual in their organization. Because of this, I strive to be a leader by constant reading, studying, and training to become the best firefighter that I can be. In the fire service, a leader must also be the person that will do whatever he/she asks of the people below them. For this reason, a leader must constantly train to his weaknesses. A strong leader should also allow the people subordinate to them to take a lot of credit for the successful outcome of a situation. They should also be the first in line to accept the blame when something goes wrong. I feel very strongly about encouraging and boosting the self-esteem of your fellow teammates. A strong leader is constantly giving credit where credit is due, and they never give criticism in the
midst of other people. Another attribute of a strong leader is to have solutions to problems and not constantly complain about the things that are wrong within the organization. A person that truly wants change will find some way to make that change happen.”

Mr. Christopher Roark Sr., Captain, Kansas City Fire Department, Kansas City MO

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is one based on leading by example, including returning to school and working hard, both in school and on the job, to enhance my skills. As a front line company officer, I take my responsibilities extremely seriously. I feel an effective leader should never ask someone to do something that they would not do or have not already done. As a leader, I take advantage of every opportunity to pass along to younger firefighters the lessons that I have learned during my career. This is crucial because these individuals will the fire service’s future leaders.”

Mr. Steven San Filippo, Battalion Chief, Hazmat Operations FDNY, Brooklyn NY
(John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“My philosphy of leadership revolves around what I have believed from the day I became an officer and leader in this department, and that is, I don’t ask anyone to do anything I haven’t or wouldn’t do. My life experiences whether it was my 3 years active duty in the Navy 1975 to 1978, Reserve 1978-2005, or my time with the FDNY, have exposed me to many different leadership styles. I feel that I have learned from each of them.”

2013


 

Mr. Sean T. Jones, Chief, Citizen’s Hose Fire-Rescue-EMS, Natrona Heights PA

Views On Leadership

“A good leader leads without realizing that they are leading. They hold themselves to an upstanding moral character that, in itself, others want to emulate. They expect nothing but the best from themselves and in turn, those who follow expect the same.”

Mr. Glen D. Rudner, Instructor, Technology Test Center Inc. – Security and Emergency Response Training Center, Pueblo CO
(John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“Different personal characteritics and cultures can help or hinder a person’s leadership effectiveness and require formalized programs for developing leadership competencies. However, everyone can develop his or her leadership effectiveness by learning to adapt to the changing conditions. Achieving such development takes focus, practice and persistence more akin to learning a musical instrument than reading a book. By grasping an understanding of this approach, an effective leader will expand the scope and responsibilities of the personnel that he or she will work with.”

Mr. Michael J. Willie, Paramedic, Baltimore City Fire Dept., Baltimore MD
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is a very simple one. “Don’t ask anyone to do anything that you wouldn’t do youself.” A leader is someone who walks into a room and says “we” have a lot of things to get done today. If you assist your people in getting these tasks completed, you will gain miles of respect from them. A respected leader goes out and gets dirty with the people that work for him or her. It is my belief that once you get all of your responsibilities taken care of as the Officer in Charge, always make sure that you go out and help with the rest of the work. If they are a good crew, you will only have to go out and help them once. They would be too embarrassed to let it happen again.”

2012


 

Mr. Nathaniel J. Contreras, Paramedic Lieutenant, Scarborough ME
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“Warren Bennis had a great vision when describing a leader. “No leader sets out to be a leader. People set out to live their lives, expressing themselves fully. When that expression is of value, they become leaders.” I feel this vision fits strongly when describing the modern day fire service officer. When today’s fire officer is able to link the values and goals of all of the emergency responders based on their own ethics that they have acquired through past experience, this allows them to lead the organization and its members in a positive forward direction.”

Mr. Chad Lannon, FIrefighter/EMT, College Park Volunteer Fire Dept., College Park MD

Views On Leadership

“I believe being an effective leader comes down to being ethical, responsible, and confident. A leader has to believe in the mission of the group, they need to be a good communicator and they have to make the right decisions in the face of adversity. They have to be selfless and available to their team members. A good leader will mentor, motivate and provide constructive feedback to others so that they can be the best they can be. A great leader has to be willing to teach others and educate the people around them. A leader understands that training their group is essential because one day, that leader will need to pass the torch to someone else and that person has to be prepared to lead the group. In order to understand both perspectives of a team, a leader must also be able to take orders and follow someone else’s guidance. Most importantly, a leader has to be competent. They need to be confident in all of their decisions because in some instances, the leader’s decisions can impact the welfare of the members of the team.”

Mr. Michael Parissi, Hazardous Materials Specialist II, San Joaquin County Environmental Health, Stockton CA
(John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“Leadership is more than being in charge. I believe a leader is a mentor, trainer, educator, and friend. I follow the “Lead by Example” philosophy. As such it is important to encourage and support those I am leading.”

2011


 

Ms. Tabitha Browne, EMT-B, Central Juniata EMS, Mifflintown, PA
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

Quote not available.

Ms. Tracy Moore, Fire Captain, Minneapolis Fire Department, Minneapolis, MN

Views On Leadership

“Warren Bennis had a great vision when describing a leader. “No leader sets out to be a leader. People set out to live their lives, expressing themselves fully. When that expression is of value, they become leaders.” I feel this vision fits strongly when describing the modern day fire service officer. When today’s fire officer is able to link the values and goals of all of the emergency responders based on their own ethics that they have acquired through past experience, this allows them to lead the organization and its members in a positive forward direction.” Mr. Chad Lannon, FIrefighter/EMT, College Park Volunteer Fire Dept., College Park MD Mr. Chad Lannon: “I believe being an effective leader comes down to being ethical, responsible, and confident. A leader has to believe in the mission of the group, they need to be a good communicator and they have to make the right decisions in the face of adversity. They have to be selfless and available to their team members. A good leader will mentor, motivate and provide constructive feedback to others so that they can be the best they can be. A great leader has to be willing to teach others and educate the people around them. A leader understands that training their group is essential because one day, that leader will need to pass the torch to someone else and that person has to be prepared to lead the group. In order to understand both perspectives of a team, a leader must also be able to take orders and follow someone else’s guidance. Most importantly, a leader has to be competent. They need to be confident in all of their decisions because in some instances, the leader’s decisions can impact the welfare of the members of the team.” Mr. Michael Parissi, Hazardous Materials Specialist II, San Joaquin County Environmental Health, Stockton CA (John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient) Mr. Michael Parissi: “Leadership is more than being in charge. I believe a leader is a mentor, trainer, educator, and friend. I follow the “Lead by Example” philosophy. As such it is important to encourage and support those I am leading.” 2011 Ms. Tabitha Browne, EMT-B, Central Juniata EMS, Mifflintown, PA (Sellers EMS Recipient Ms. Tabitha Browne: (not available) Ms. Tracy Moore, Fire Captain, Minneapolis Fire Department, Minneapolis, MN Ms. Tracy Moore: “I am committed to leading with integrity, which to me means that as a leader I must lead by example. I must have a strong work ethic if I expect others to work hard. I believe that it is important to lead with a transparency that demonstrates honesty, which is supported with facts and action. My philosophy of leadership includes a service aspect where I am aware of the desires of the people I lead. That awareness comes from listening and being willing to stand in their shoes. A leader is able to understand different perspectives and respect them even when those views differ from my own. As a leader I must be open to learning from others. A leader must have confidence in her decisions and be willing to carry out those decisions even when it casts an unpopular opinion. Therefore I believe a leader must possess a strong character not only to carry out an unpopular decision but also to be open to another perspective when it will work better than her own. A true leader hears the little things and makes the decision based on the big picture. My philosophy of leadership is one that would strive toward fairness and consistency based on the good of the whole, without forgetting the important process along the way.”

Mr. Nick Zamiska, Firefighter/Hazmat Deputy Director, Brecksville Fire/SERT Hazmat, Brecksville, OH
(John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“I believe that there is a significant difference in someone who leads a group versus one who manages. Often times you will see a boss manage his/her group towards meeting the bottom line by “going through the motions.” On the other hand there are those who lead their group towards a common passion/goal. A charismatic leader is one that is RESPECTED for both their knowledge and passion for what they believe in. Leadership is a quality that can transform a group towards seeking greatness, despite outside stressors such as the economy and pessimists.”

2010



Mr. Andrew E. Dinkel IV, Firefighter, Fire Department-City of New York
(John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“A leader serves at the pleasure of his or her people. Without them you are merely at the front of a line that doesn’t exist. To be a good leader, one must always consider the best interest of their people. This doesn’t mean a leader will always make the most popular decisions, but in considering others, typically a good decision will be made. Leaders do not necessarily hold an advanced rank or certain tenure in an organization. Anyone can become a leader by setting good examples, being a good listener, and gaining the respect of peers. What does it mean to be a good leader? Taking care of the members.”

Mr. Timothy P. Koller Jr., EOC Manager/Firefighter, NS Norfolk Emergency Management/Edenton (NC) Fire Department

Views On Leadership

“Leadership is an art in itself that must be mastered not by position or privilege but by experience and interaction. One of the greatest misunderstandings in fire service leadership is that leadership is the same as management. They are actually two totally different skill sets and are mastered differently. However, to be completely effective in a leadership position, proper mastery of both must be achieved. If one of these aspects falls short, then the leadership as a position will suffer. My personal philosophy on leadership is that a good leader must have balance: balance between quality experience, training and education, coupled with a positive and relatable personality.”

Ms. Rebecca J. Watters, Firefighter III/EMT, Woodbury (MN) Public Safety
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“Anyone can be the boss. It takes a specific and special type of person to be a leader. Leadership is not only a skill, but a feeling, attitude and perception. Often a good leader wears it like someone who can actually pull off wearing a Hawaiian shirt – there’s no mistaking who has the shirt on. Many different elements mix together to form a good leader. Confidence, humility, strength, knowledge, motivation, empathy, level-headedness, and charisma to name a few. A true leader can wield these skillfully and in harmony to reach goals, mitigate situations, and keep himself or herself organized and in place. A strong leader is a member of the team, but that metaphorical Hawaiian shirt is what sets him or her apart from the rest.”

2009


Mr. Patrick Joseph Jessee, Firefighter/Paramedic, Chicago Fire Department, Chicago, IL
(John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“A person that possesses effective leadership possesses drive, vision, and ability. The drive makes a leader pursue more from both himself/herself and any group that he/she is associated with. This drive moves both the leader and group forward. Progress occurs as a result of this drive and goals can be obtained. Vision gives a direction for the goals of a leader and group to obtain. This vision must be communicated to all members so that the goals can be known to all involved. This inclusion of fellow members is
important since effective leadership is not possible without a collaborative effort from all involved. Ability arises in leadership as a means of achieving goals of the group. This ability can be seen in either efficient use of current resources or by a paradigm shift which allows new means of achieving goals to come to light. Leadership is always inclusive and brings success to everyone involved, it causes results to occur that benefit all, not simply the leader.”

Mr. Tyler Knutson, Firefighter/Paramedic, Cleburne Fire Department, Cleburne, TX (Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“I believe leadership is an important character trait. I believe that in our line of work, we all have to possess at least some sense of leadership. We are all setting an example for the citizens, most especially the children of our community.”

Ms. Jennifer Utz, Fire Captain, Baltimore County Fire Department, Baltimore, MD

Views On Leadership

“I believe that a true leader is one who is self motivated to achieve higher goals not only for personal and professional satisfaction, but to become a positive role model and mentor for aspiring leaders under their command. I feel that if a leader exhibits a high level of dedication and integrity while engaging subordinates to become the same proactive type of leaders, then the department will grow substantially toward being a more productive organization.”

2008


Mr. Shawn Bloemker, Captain/Training Officer, Godfrey Fire Protection District, Godfrey, IL

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is when leading, look for the positive in all members, not the negative. I also feel that leadership is setting the pace for the organization, looking forward and developing goals. I feel that I would create the style of management where all members believe that they are part of the team that is second to none. I would make the Godfrey FIre District the best combination fire district in the USA.”

Mr. Andrew Edward Doyle, Volunteer Firefighter/EMT, Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department, Hyattsville, MD
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“Leaders need to be the best. By receiving this scholarship, I could obtain the highest level of pre-hospital care. This will allow me to serve as a leader within my organizations and teach my fellow colleagues. This will allow the operation of the department to become enhanced because now they will have an additional member who has a Paramedic license and can ensure that the newer members have a great role model as well as an educated mentor.”

Mr. Jeffrey A. Grote, Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations, Kansas City Fire Department, Kansas City, MO

Views On Leadership

“Leadership walks hand and hand with respect. Firefighters and fire officers must respect the individual within a given leadership role for that individual to be able to lead. Additionally, the character trait of truth has equal merit. I base my ethical and moral foundations on the virtue of truthfulness. Without this component, leaders fall into the class of managers. I believe that leaders should stand next to the men and women of the fire service, not in front of or behind them.”

Mr. Tony Mussorfiti, Lieutenant, Fire Department of New York, Bayside, NY
(John M. Eversole HazMat Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy towards leadership is the same as it is towards life: Lead by example, and leave everywhere we go better than we found it. Receiving the Yvorra Leadership Development Foundation Scholarship and then completing my Bachelor’s degree will serve as an example to others.”

Mr. Danny Hershel Wright Jr, Deputy Chief, East Chilton Volunteer Fire Department, Clanton, AL

Views On Leadership

“Most importantly, I lead by example. My philosophy is to always have an open door and an open mind. My style when working on a project is to make it a team effort.”

2007


Mr. Jason C. Brezler, Firefighter, FDNY, Bronx, NY

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy is “leadership from the front.” This philosophy includes continuously setting an example for subordinates while always displaying a personal standard of moral, mental, and physical excellence. This philosophy demands that leaders are “first in, last out,” continuously demonstrating their ability to decisively take charge of a situation as they possess a superb knowledge of their people, organization and environment. This philosophy also requires that those in positions of strategic and operational authority understand firsthand the challenges that their subordinates face down to the lowest level. This leadership philosophy is not the norm in corporate settings, but is a time honored tradition in the U.S. Marine Corps and the FDNY. This approach to leadership has consistently proven effective, yielding unparalleled operational results while also ensuring the welfare of personnel.”

Mr. David W. Broch, Lieutenant, Colorado Springs Fire Department, Colorado Springs, CO

Views On Leadership

“As a leader I believe in ‘Leading by Example,’ guiding others, developing others through coaching and mentoring, as well as being a servant leader or supporting employees, citizens, and supervisors. Sometimes being a good leader means being a good follower. I also believe in challenging myself and others to do the best they can in every situation. By leading by example I would not expect anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do. To show them an example of what I mean I work beside the crews in the trenches as a first-level manager and part of the crew. I am committed to performing any task competently, as all my subordinates have to be skilled at their respective tasks as a responsibility of their job. Leading by example also means acting the part, respecting all citizens and co-workers, while realizing, everyone is an individual.”

Ms. Stacy Kundinger, Firefighter/Paramedic, Northbrook Fire Department/Tinley Park Fire Department, Northbrook, IL

Views On Leadership

“The consummate leader needs to know the ins and outs of each person’s role in the department. They are the backbone and sounding board for each firefighter and paramedic on staff.”

Mr. Andrew D. Thompson, Engineer/Paramedic, Orlando International Airport Fire Rescue, Orlando, FL
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is simply to lead by example. Provide shift personnel and students with the directions, critical thinking skills, parameters, and tools to complete the task with minimal interference. Be available as a resource, mentor, and coach for personnel that need assistance. Allow members to complete tasks and assignments, while interacting only to provide positive or corrective feedback. Many fire department managers do not allow personnel to complete the task or even fail without intervention and micromanaging.”

2006


Mr. Blakeslee Gale Davis, Firefighter/EMT, Falmouth Fire-EMS Department, Falmouth, ME
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“I believe that leadership is best developed through hard work and selflessness. A good leader is someone who is always on the frontlines, but at the same time is behind the scenes making sure that day-to-day operations go off without an issue. It is not the company officer that deserves the credit when a job is done well, rather the men and women working under that leader. This shows subordinates that their leader is to be trusted, which makes the organization as a whole a more efficient machine.”

Mr. Edward J. Klima, Director of Emergency Services, Dover, DE

Views On Leadership

“While I believe my philosophy of leadership is evolving I would currently define it as facilitating change and maintaining existing practices through the development and fostering of relationships with integrity and honesty coupled with knowledge of subject matter.”

Ms. Adria Paesani, Hazardous Materials Specialist, Fountain Valley Fire Department, Fountain Valley, CA

Views On Leadership

“A leader is a person who has the resources and tools to move an organization in a positive, efficient, forward-moving direction. Positive leadership begins with people and the concept of teamwork. Giving people the tools and skill sets to succeed not only benefits the morale of the individual, but benefits the organization as a whole. Leadership does not mean having answers to all the questions, but knowing where to find them and how to access them. No one person leads an organization, but relies on a superior team of people to drive the organization in a positive and efficient direction. One cannot lead an organization without the approval and respect of others, whether under your command or in your peer group. Forging professional relationships is a chief component of effective leadership and can benefit an organization exponentially. Internal relationships and relationships with other city departments, county and state agencies are essential in our careers in the fire service and have a direct correlation to the success of the organization.”

Mr. Patrick J. Wineman, Regional Training Coordinator, State of Oregon, Cornelius, OR

Views On Leadership

“Leadership isn’t a tangible item to hold, rather, it is an attitude and a way of living your life. Leaders are dependent on two sources to help them make sound decisions in the station and on the fire ground – EXPERIENCE and TRAINING. In today’s world, we are seeing fewer and fewer fires, and experiencing unacceptable levels of poor judgment, injuries and line-of-duty deaths. In the absence of EXPERIENCE, when it comes time to make decisions, many times all we have to fall back on is TRAINING.”

2005


Mr. LeRon T. Lewis, EMT, Spotsylvania Volunteer Rescue Squad, Spotsylvania, VA

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is lead by example from the top down. I believe that all organizations should always strive to improve themselves and not be satisfied with status quo. In the fire service it is easy to sit back and go with tradition because it is comfortable, but I believe we need to be breaking new ground to meet the public’s continuously changing needs. We need to remember that it is the public we serve. It is up to the officers of the organization to remind the personnel that we are in the customer service business.”

Mr. Richard “Bernie” Sebold II, Captain, Alton Fire Department, Alton, IL
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is lead by example from the top down. I believe that all organizations should always strive to improve themselves and not be satisfied with status quo. In the fire service it is easy to sit back and go with tradition because it is comfortable, but I believe we need to be breaking new ground to meet the public’s continuously changing needs. We need to remember that it is the public we serve. It is up to the officers of the organization to remind the personnel that we are in the customer service business.”

Mr. Christopher A. Vecchi, Firefighter/Paramedic, Clearcreek Fire District, Springboro, OH

Views On Leadership

“I feel the key to leadership is not power, but influence. Many individuals seem to be under the impression that to be influential they must be in a position of leadership or power. I feel that to make a real impact on the organization, I must be influential in whatever position I am placed. By establishing good habits and displaying motivation, initiative, and self-discipline I feel that I set an example for my coworkers. I take pride in mentoring new firefighters, sharing my experiences and setbacks all along my career. Through this behavior I feel that I am able to give back to my organization and my occupation as a whole, just as they gave to me when I first set foot within a firehouse.”

Ms. Genevieve Whitcraft, Lieutenant, Collings Lakes Volunteer Fire Department, Williamstown, NJ

Views On Leadership

“Being a Lieutenant I have found that leadership is a very complex subject. Almost everyone has a different view or opinion when it comes to leadership and how one should execute their responsibilities. I believe that no matter what level of authority the individual holds, their job is extremely important. To make a good, effective leader the individual has to realize the importance of their role, and the obligation to better the fire department and its members. Some might say that to be the boss and a friend is impossible.I agree that it is a very fine line but it can be accomplished and is being accomplished. Our fire department is very family oriented, everyone feels like part of the group. That is the key to leadership. No matter how small the task assigned, or who the individual is completing the task, make them feel like part of the team and that what they are executing is bettering the department and themselves. After all, without the firefighters there is no fire department, so treat them with the utmost respect and appreciation.”

2004


Mr. Mark Cleck, Captain, West End Fire and Rescue Company No. 3, Shippensburg, PA

Views On Leadership

“I believe that the ability of an individual to lead develops through their experiences and interactions with other individuals. With education, the abilities of a leader can be greatly enhanced.”

Ms. Christine M. Fowler, Firefighter/Paramedic, Placer Hills Fire Department, Meadow Vista, CA

Views On Leadership

” Management practices the act of controlling situations or systems. Leadership is demonstrated by someone who inspires his/her team to complete the tasks or projects presented. It is my strong desire to be a leader with strong management skills. This will develop within me as I continue to pursue additional responsibilities, education and experience. As long as I marry the above qualities with such as humility, compassion and loyalty, the opportunities to enhance the emergency service organization or any other may be limitless.”

Mr. Peter C. Webb, Fire Captain/Master Sergeant (USAF Reserve), Dothan Fire Department/919 Fire Protection Flight, Dothan, AL

Views On Leadership

“Leadership through followership. Before one can lead they need to learn how to follow. Leaders must set the examples and subordinates should follow, but subordinates learn their leadership skills at this level. They learn to listen, communicate and make decisions. They strive to be like their leaders. Leaders must know their job, be able to make decisions, care for their people, go against what is popular, understand the organization’s mission, and communicate effectively. These skills are not learned overnight nor are they learned by just attending schools; they are learned through following leaders. They must be learned and then practiced. Through following one can learn from their own mistakes and can be mentored by their leaders.”

Ms. Judy Yannayon, EMT-B, Barton County Ambulance District, Lamar, MO (Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership involves being smart, able to make decisions quickly and for the good of the people. The leader must be willing to listen to others and get along with his/her organization. Leadership involves always trying to do things better and for the good of the department.”

2003


Mr. Kenneth R. Watkins, Deputy Chief of Technical Services, Westminster Fire Department, Westminster, CO

Views On Leadership

“Coming up through the ranks I am a big proponent of participative management and leading by example. I try to stay involved with all members of the organization through frequent communications, either electronically or face to face. Our members know that I have a very open door policy and they can come to me anytime. I try to also spend time in the stations by just stopping by for a cup of coffee or by working a shift. These are great opportunities for communication and to get a real feel for the “pulse” of the organization.”

Mr. Shawn Murray, Fire Chief, Hudson Fire Department, Hudson, NH

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy is similar to the various leadership styles. I believe that no one person remains with any one leadership philosophy or style for long periods of time. The dynamic fire service environment and shifting of paradigms within organizations mandates today’s fire service leaders to adopt a wide range of philosophies and styles.”

Ms. Jennifer L. Barocsi, Firefighter/EMT, Springfield Township Fire Department, Holland, OH (Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“I feel that I will be a valuable leader, and an asset to my Department because I truly believe that I can accomplish anything… It’s simply a matter of finding the time to learn how. I am fortunate enough now to have the time and I will make the most of it.”

Mr. Charles W. Scholl, Firefighter/Medic, Cape Canaveral Volunteer Fire Department, Cape Canaveral, FL

Views On Leadership

Not available.

2002


Ms. Kathy Bennett, First Responder, River Falls Area Ambulance Service and First Responders, River Falls, WI (Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“Leadership is all about getting involved, starting something new, and getting others involved.”

Mr. Richard M. Carani, Asst. Fire Chief/Emergency Operations, Libertyville Fire Department, Libertyville, IL

Views On Leadership

“My leadership philosophy is simple. As a leader I need to be an agent of change. I need to lead when leadership is needed and follow when following is needed. I feel that a good leader also needs to be a good follower. I feel a leader needs to have drive, a leader must have the desire and motivation to lead, a leader must have integrity, a leader must be self-confident, and finally a leader must have great knowledge of his or her profession. I also feel that as a leader you need to reward good behavior and correct bad behavior through guidance or coaching.”

Ms. Laurie Lee Mooney, Battalion Chief, Longwood Fire Rescue Department, Longwood FL

Views On Leadership

“My personal philosophy of leadership is great leaders do not command subordinates to follow; instead, great leaders instill in subordinates an intrinsic desire and drive to move forward to accomplish and conquer personal and organizational objectives. Great leaders live what they preach, lead by example, and do not expect others to do things the leaders would not do themselves.”

2001


Mr. Paul R. Martin, Deputy District Chief, Chicago Fire Department, Chicago, IL

Views On Leadership

“If one were to look in a dictionary under the word “lead” it would most likely define it as guiding, showing the way, influencing, directing along a certain path or direction, and controlling. Obviously, throughout history, individuals who were considered leaders certainly exhibited these qualities and attributes. In my opinion, being a leader encompasses the “dictionary” definition and much more. Leaders must accomplish their objectives with professionalism and class, they must be approachable and open to the opinions and suggestions of others. A leader should set an example and encourage everyone’s evolution and professional development. A leader creates an environment that attracts the best, brightest, most creative, and energetic. They should be consistent in their actions and aligned with the goals they seek to implement or accomplish.”

Ms. Amy Beth Quigley, Volunteer EMT-B, Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Dept, Berwyn Heights, MD
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“A friend often recites a quote about leadership (attributed to Loa-Tzu) that I find to be quite remarkable: a leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him; worse when they despise him. Fail to honor people, they fail to honor you; but of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled they will all say, “We did this ourselves.” To me this quote says a great deal. A leader is not one that boasts about his or her leadership abilities, but one who is a leader when it is deemed necessary. A leader knows better than to work alone, but recognizes that working in teams is far more efficient than turning your back on the help of others.”

Mr. Thomas R. Wood, Deputy Fire Chief, Boca Raton Fire-Rescue Services, Boca Raton, FL

Views On Leadership

“I lead by example. I routinely attend training classes and keep abreast of all new equipment and procedures. At least once a month I ride on an Engine or Rescue for 4 hours and eat dinner with the station crew. I keep in touch with all our personnel to see first hand what they are dealing with and how best to improve the situation. I echo Vince Lombardi in terms of philosophy: ‘The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen endeavor.”

Mr. Adam Thiel, Lt. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

Views On Leadership

“My thoughts of leadership is certainly nothing new and can be summed up with the phrase, “lead by example.” As difficult as this can be sometimes, the rewards are immeasurable. Like it or not, as leaders we are role models. While I certainly do not purport to lead a mistake-free existence, when I do make a mistake I acknowledge it and take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This same behavior I expect from my teammates.”

2000


Mr. Stephen J. Elliott, NREMT-P, Flight Paramedic/Volunteer Fire Lieutenant, Lake Monticello, VA

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is based on respect and leading by example. I believe you must respect the other members of your team. A leader must recognize that each individual brings his or her own special skills and abilities to an organization. A leader must provide the atmosphere for individuals to apply their talents toward accomplishing the goals of an organization. When a leader respects the individuals under his or her command, the leader will gain respect in return. This atmosphere of mutual respect will allow the team to function at its highest potential. I also try to lead by example.”

Mr. Ronald D. Lopez, Emergency Medical Services and Disaster Specialist, EMS Section, City and County of San Francisco, CA (Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“My leadership philosophy is a complex interplay of the traits and characteristics of individuals who have inspired me throughout my life. The main parts of my philosophy involve: a) humble and full assumption of responsibility for decisions and activities; b) gaining and keeping trust and respect of others; c) honesty with self as a prerequisite for expecting it from others; d) understanding the nature of change, and therefore its impediments; and e) belief that, when it is truly happening, leadership motivates and empowers others to maximum achievement.”

Ms. Deborah J. Weymouth, Captain, Henrico County Fire, Richmond, VA

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is to truly care and respect other people. As a leader in an occupation such as firefighting, true concern for others is mandatory. I treat people the way I like to be treated, and this philosophy gains respect from others.”

West End Fire and Rescue Company, “Child’s Dream Weekend” program, Shippensburg, PA

Views On Leadership

“Jim Yvorra became an active and prominent member of our department in the mid-1970’s. Jim helped promote active volunteerism in our community and spent many nights as duty officer with our bunkroom crew. Jim would have been one of the first people to get behind and promote a project like our Child’s Dream Weekend.”

1999


Ms. Robin Brabb, Captain, Fremont Fire Department, CA

Views On Leadership

“My leadership philosophy is to lead by example. I think that an effective leader has to be motivated to constantly strive to better not only themselves, but those around them and the organization which they represent. A true leader earns the respect of their subordinates by doing and knowing the job, and utilizing the knowledge of their most important resource, their coworkers. Leaders need to be proactive rather than reactive. They need to be able to project the future of the organization and which direction it needs to follow, and then be able to motivate and influence others toward the achievement of those goals. I think that a leader needs to be flexible and be able to communicate as well as listen, to be decisive and take action. I strongly fee that a true leader realizes that there are always going to be things that they don’t know or have an answer for, but that should motivate them to seek answers. Education is the key to motivation and improvement.”

Mr. H. Michael Drumm, Fire Chief, City of Markham Fire Department, IL

Views On Leadership

“I believe in shared leadership. I use my leadership skills in three ways: 1) for my own personal growth and development; 2) for the growth and development of my fire department; and 3) to help fulfill our department mission by achieving our strategic goals and objectives. My leadership philosophy is quite simple: What is most important to the newest and least senior person on my department must be important to me. I use many tools and processes in the daily practice of leadership. Some of them, like incident command, are formal and very autocratic. Others, like our strategic planning committee, are formal but with shared responsibility and consensus decisions. Yet others are like my professional development program, an opportunity to use leadership as a means of developing others’ skills and knowledge.”

Ms. Stacy Morton, Pre-Paramedic Student, Our Lady of the Lake Medical College, Baton Rouge, LA
(Sellers EMS Recipient)

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is to strive for excellence while setting outstanding examples.”

Ms. Kelli J. Scarlett, Chair, Fire Prevention Committee, Chalfont Fire Company, Furlong, PA

Views On Leadership

“I believe in leading by example and by providing opportunity and guidance. I believe that the only thing that can really change the world is education. I believe that a good leader provides the opportunity, tools and knowledge that enable and encourage others. I believe that a good leader listens to the people he or she is leading, even when it is difficult to hear what they are saying. I believe that a good leader continually aspires to become even better. A good leader inspires and empowers and facilitates. I believe that a good leader must have the trust of the people he or she leads and be willing to trust them in return.”

1998


Mr. Christopher A. Blair, Acting Battalion Chief, Santa Barbara City Fire Department, CA

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is to empower the “team” and value each individual, encouraging and helping them to visualize opportunities, and helping to make each work day interesting and fun. A leader is a proactive, collaborative problem-solver. By acknowledging my commitment to professionalism, the YLD scholarship recognition will benefit my department and will impact others to lead by my positive influence. I can provide greater direction and balance the higher I go in my organization and in the Fire Service. I will continue to train and lead.”

Ms. Cecilia N.H. Causey, Asst. Coordinator of Emergency Services, Stafford County Dept. of Emergency Management, VA

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy is simple, I lead by example. I would not ask or expect anything from my personnel that I do not expect of myself. I promote a “We Can” attitude and I think proactively. The YLD Foundation Scholarship is an investment in my future potential. The financial support I receive will enable me to acquire my degree. I believe this degree will provide the opportunity for my advancement to upper management that is not possible without it. If given the opportunity, I will put my new management concepts, knowledge and philosophies into daily practice, such as “management in motion” and “management by example.””>”The true definition of a great leader is that he never has to tell his or her organization that he or she is the leader. In other words, a leader is one that is respected by their organization for not only their knowledge and achievements in the fire service, but for their personality as well. My current supervisor (Rick Brisbin) once told me that a great leader never has to lead, only to steer. So to explain my definition of leadership, a leader is a person who stands in support of his organization, always providing growth opportunities for employees. I believe that instinctively people strive for more responsibility and will seek it out. I believe a leader needs to know when to be visible and when to stand behind his or her staff. The two most important traits of a leader are to provide a good example for people to follow, and to build avenues of professional achievement for their employees.”

Mr. Jeffrey A. Grote, Chief Fire Marshal, Kansas City Missouri Fire Dept.

Views On Leadership

“The true definition of a great leader is that he never has to tell his or her organization that he or she is the leader. In other words, a leader is one that is respected by their organization for not only their knowledge and achievements in the fire service, but for their personality as well. My current supervisor (Rick Brisbin) once told me that a great leader never has to lead, only to steer. So to explain my definition of leadership, a leader is a person who stands in support of his organization, always providing growth opportunities for employees. I believe that instinctively people strive for more responsibility and will seek it out. I believe a leader needs to know when to be visible and when to stand behind his or her staff. The two most important traits of a leader are to provide a good example for people to follow, and to build avenues of professional achievement for their employees.”

Mr. William A. Lowe, Captain, E.M.S. Division, Clayton County Fire Department, GA

Views On Leadership

“My personal philosophy of leadership is that all people are inherently good but crave recognition and challenge in their jobs. Officers have a duty to vary tasks and assignments because firefighters do not get in trouble when working, but rather when they are sitting around the fire station thinking about ways to fight boredom instead of fires. Personnel problems and morale problems can be minimized when officers invest in the subordinates education and career goals.”

1997


Mr. David W. Nichols, Director of Public Safety, Bedford County Department of Public Safety, VA

Views On Leadership

“My personal philosophy of leadership is that anyone who is placed in a leadership role carries a great responsibility to the “followers.” Those that lead must ensure the safety and well being of their subordinates. Being granted the leadership role is a privilege, not a right. I consider my career position an honor to serve the citizens and the many volunteers that staff our individual agencies. I am continuously striving to improve myself as a person and as a professional. Only by attending current training can I maintain a current level of competency in today’s emergency services field. Today’s leaders require today’s technology and expertise.”

Ms. Cynthia L. Patterson, E.M.T-B, E.M.T-D, Spring Lake First Aid Squad, NJ

Views On Leadership

“I don’t view a leadership position as just being the person at the top, but rather having the wisdom to use one’s knowledge to set a good example for others to follow. The skills I have acquired on my squad will enable me to teach by example and encourage other younger members to learn what they too may accomplish. I think this will help to attract other younger members to our squad, all of which is necessary if we are to be able to continue to meet the growing needs of our community.”

1996


Mr. Vincent P. Mulray, Fire Lieutenant, Philadelphia Fire Department, PA

Views On Leadership

“My basic philosophy of leadership is to use a form of contingency leadership that matches a style with the problem or situation at hand. With the employee being the most valuable resource that an employer has, it would be self defeating not to look for input from seasoned veterans or fresh ideas from the newer members.”

Mr. Michael H. Gabelman, Lieutenant-Training Division, Saint Lucie County Fire District, FL

Views On Leadership

“Management begins with communication. Developing effective communication skills is my primary concern. The ability to motivate people toward goals achievement, the ability and knowledge to earn the trust of others, having foresight and vision toward the future, leading by example, fairness, tolerance and strong ethics in business and in my personal life are qualities that I strive to keep developing in order to have an impact on the the most important resource at our department, our personnel. In aiding their development, anything is possible for our department, our community, the personnel, my family, and me. Everyone wins.”

Ms. Tori L. Jennings, Paramedic-Captain, City of Littleton Fire Department, COMs

Views On Leadership

“Leadership, in my opinion, is a service that encourages employees to succeed in their career, to gain confidence at job tasks, and achieve future career goals. Fundamental to the leadership equation is an individual who thoroughly understands him or herself. Good leaders place the needs of their employees first. By placing employees first, a good leader can create a safe, efficient, and professional work environment.”

Mr. John Caufield, Fire Captain, Rochester Fire Department, NY

Views On Leadership

“I believe in a few simple concepts with regard to leadership. I like to lead by example when possible and appropriate. I firmly believe that a successful example provides confidence, and promotes motivation in others. As a leader, I try to encourage “my” firefighters/officers to offer their insight and opinions for my consideration. I recognize that no one person can solve all the problems in an organization, and therefore it is important to solicit different ideas from as many “good” sources as possible. I strongly believe in the concept of Total Quality Management (TMQ), particularly with regard to team building, and group problem solving. Whenever possible, I try to use the concept of empowerment and encourage my officers to do the same. Lastly, I do not endorse the idea that labor and management are, by definition, adversarial. I think that labor and management should work in conjunction toward common goals.”

1995


Ms. Elizabeth Dawkins, Public Education Officer and EMS Trainer, Pacific Grove Fire Department, CA

Views On Leadership

“Leadership is a critical skill for today’s fire service professional. I have experienced many forms of leadership because the fire service offers much variety: from the progressive, personal motivation type leader to the older “let’s not get excited until we see the whole picture” practical type leader. It is my personal goal to continue to incorporate, from these examples, the best of all that I have admired and to create my own view with a genuine concern for individuals and a commitment to solid management techniques. We must all do our part. Each of us committing to our own educated vision of leadership will naturally raise the standard of the organization as a whole and by extension raise the standard of the fire service profession.”

Mr. Michael E. Crawford, Firefighter, EMT, Frederick County Fire Rescue and Walkersville Volunteer Fire Company, MD

Views On Leadership

“My basic feelings on leaders and leadership is that leaders need to develop the skills and talents of the personnel under them. By allowing subordinates to grow professionally, it allows employees to achieve greater satisfaction on the job, and to aspire to higher positions within the organization.”

Mr. Todd R. Gorham, Lieutenant, Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, MD

Views On Leadership

“Being a leader is a very difficult role to fill in the fire service. A leader must encompass a wide range of knowledge in fire safety operations, as well as in human and public relations. Because a leader has such a great responsibility in the fire department, I believe a good leader should never stop learning. It is also my philosophy that an operation works best when the people in the organization feel that their work is needed and appreciated.”

Mr. Don Stangle, Deputy Chief, East Fork Fire and Paramedic District, NV

Views On Leadership

“Most importantly, I lead by example. My philosophy is to always have an open door and an open mind. My style when working on a project is to make it a team effort.”

1994


Mr. David Brent Fulmer, Instructor/Assistant Training Officer, Illinois Fire Service Institute and Savoy Fire Department, IL

Views On Leadership

“I believe in setting the example for the others to follow and try to emulate and surpass. I believe that a leader should work with others in all aspects of the job. One has to fully understand what the job is, what the limitations are so his or her expectations are not so high that the goal is unreachable. I do however, expect the most. If I can strive to be the best and the people around me see that I practice as I preach, a positive atmosphere is created. I look after the ones who work for me because they get the job done and can make all the difference in the world.”

Mr. George L. Thomas, IV, Firefighter III, EMT-A, Trustee, Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (Independent Hose Company), MD

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is that true exercise of authority entails caring for others’ needs. Leaders must work with and for their staff, encouraging them to be the best they can be. This is accomplished in part when leaders work their way to the top from the bottom. Experience allows leaders to understand the position of the people working for them. Leadership is also enhanced by education.”

Mr. Ronald D. Blackwell, Fire Marshal, Wichita Fire Department, KS

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy is based on seven principles. Among those are the primary tenets to make others feel important, promote a vision, and admit mistakes. I believe that a combination of formal education and experience are essential for people in leadership positions.”

1993


Mr. Franklin R. Burke, Jr., Battalion Chief, Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, SC

Views On Leadership

“Leadership to me is to set an example for the personnel under my supervision as well as those in the various associations I participate in. I need to set the example of caring and being dedicated to the furtherance of progressive, modern and efficient management and operation of an organization. I need to set this example by further educating myself continuously, formally and technically. In doing this I would hope to lead others to follow and hopefully surpass my goals to carry emergency services into the future.”

Mr. Joseph P. McCool, Fire Captain, Philadelphia Fire Department, PA

Views On Leadership

“I believe that leadership is motivation. To effectively motivate is to serve as a role model for subordinates, and more importantly, to be used as a role model by peers and superiors. A role model must possess personal qualities, technical ability, and motivation of the highest levels. He always aspires to the next level in training, education, or position.”

Mr. John G. Dahms, Assistant Chief-Support Services, Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, WI

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy is simple. Share your vision, involve others and allow them to do their best. Plan and prepare for the future through continual improvement, seek opportunities and challenges that will develop and refine needed skills.”

Mr. Don Stangle, Deputy Chief, East Fork Fire and Paramedic District, NV

Views On Leadership

“Most importantly, I lead by example. My philosophy is to always have an open door and an open mind. My style when working on a project is to make it a team effort.”

1992


Mr. Russell Clark Mitchell, Firefighter, Driver Operator, EMT, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, FL

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is TEAMWORK. I believe that all fellow employees, administration and labor have ideas to offer. Leadership is a skill which can be learned. Effective management and leadership can be accomplished through education and guidance of fellow employees.”

Mr. Allen B. Clark, Jr., Rescue Lieutenant, Bell Township Fire Department, PA

Views On Leadership

“I believe in leading by example in a participatory setting whenever possible. There are instances, such as emergency response and command, that do not allow, or restrict this methodology. My organizations have always promoted and encouraged education, primarily because as Chief I made it a priority. My example of continuing my education while belonging to three departments, working full time and other interests can serve as a model that others can do so, to the benefit of all.”

Mr. Mark Lee Martin, Firemedic, Training Officer, City of Stow Fire Department, OH

Views On Leadership

“My leadership philosophy can be summarized by the following: Be fair and honest with all people, do the very best at all times and in all ways, and treat people as you would want to be treated.”

1991


Mr. Marcus H. Billington, Operations Officer, Corona Fire Department, CAMr.

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is the accomplishment of goals (vision) through others. It is the ability to help individuals or organizations surpass themselves and their abilities and to motivate them to exceed and succeed in their personal as well as the organizations goals. I believe a leader develops visions for his or her organization and a roadmap on how to get there. A leader views roadblocks only as hurdles and overcomes them and continues on and remains on course. A leader must get commitment on the visions with others in the organization so all travel the same road. The traits to be a leader are the same ones our friends from the Wizard of Oz went in search of: heart or compassion like the Tin Man; brains or wisdom like the Scarecrow; and, courage to make decisions like the Lion. And finally, like Dorothy, to have faith in yourself.”

Mr. Bernard D. Dyer, Acting Deputy Chief, Chief of Communications, Philadelphia Fire Department, PA

Views On Leadership

“I have a simple philosophy of leadership: treat everybody as I would like to be treated, listen to your people, set the example, let subordinates make decisions, but be ready and willing to make the hard decisions. I don’t know everything nor is my way the best way all the time, so I make sure I listen to someone else’s ideas and suggestions. On the same token, I do realize that I have 19 years of experience in line and staff units so I may know a better way. However, it’s important that I present this to my subordinates in a fashion that does not denigrate their confidence or enthusiasm. I encourage new ideas, I try to challenge people and I think they respond accordingly.”

Mr. Kevin M. Taylor, Lieutenant, King County Fire District 10, WA

Views On Leadership

“My personal philosophy of leadership involves creating an environment where the employee can excel. Although most emergency scenes require a military style of management, the rest of the job does not normally entail this. I believe that the employee who is able to participate in decision making and to manage entire “sections” of his or her job is happiest. I assign employees tasks, such as prefire inspection management, direction of pub-ed programs, and so on. I am available to assist as a resource, but they are given the freedom to “run with the ball.”

1990


Mr. Lance Denno, District Chief, Syracuse Fire Department, NY

Views On Leadership

“An effective leader is a strong role model for his or her subordinates. He or she must possess specific skills; a comprehensive knowledge of the field is essential, but not sufficient. The effective leader must have the ability to inspire a shared vision of purpose, provide an environment which enables others to act effectively, demonstrate to others that their commitment can and does make a difference, and provide the emotional rewards that promote commitment and dedication. Finally, I sincerely believe that anyone who would be a skilled leader must first recognize his or her own limitations and be prepared to be an equally skilled follower.”

Mr. Gary E. Pedigo, Battalion Chief, Westminster Fire Department, CO

Views On Leadership

“I prefer a participatory style of management. In this organization a manager that cannot delegate quickly becomes overwhelmed. The involvement of as many of the personnel at all levels in the organization is imperative. Not only does this spread the work load, it enhances the morale of the organization.”

Ms. Victoria Chames, Volunteer Firefighter, Alameda County Office of Emergency Services Fire Department, CA

Views On Leadership

“My philosophy of leadership is to develop and promote strong character traits as well as physical skills. Exercise always produces an increase in strength, and practice produces skill and confidence. Exercising self-discipline, responsibility, pride in accomplishment, dedication, and team loyalty, produces strength in these areas also. Some may have more natural ability, but all individuals have the potential. I see the development of that potential as an essential element of leadership. I believe that the best leaders are those who not only organize and motivate personnel, but also evoke their best efforts, ability, and desire in a continuing growth process. Any leader who is able to produce leaders is a strong leader. He or she has been given a special gift and has a responsibility to use it. Recognition is not an issue. Responsibility is.”

1989


Mr. Robert G. Stewart, Driver/Fire Prevention Officer, Butler Fire Department, PA

Views On Leadership

“A leader, to me, is a tireless, take charge individual who strives for educational goals and then shares his or her experience with the newest member to the most senior members in such a way as to make every one a part of the total operational goal of the department.”

Mr. Donald Lee Cox, Fire Service Education Specialist, Iowa State University-Fire Service Institute, IA

Views On Leadership

“My basic philosophy of leadership is that it can be learned. Leadership is not something only a blessed few are born with, BUT it takes an effective educator to teach leadership. Leadership should be humanistic. Human Resource Development may be a buzz word but I sincerely believe it identifies the challenge that confronts us. There is much wasted talent in the world of Emergency Services and we need to cultivate that talent in order to make a difference. Leadership is finding the GOOD in everyone and then helping them to their BEST!”