Managing Officer Program

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The National Fire Academy’s (NFA’s) Managing Officer Program is a multiyear curriculum that introduces emerging emergency services leaders to personal and professional skills in change management, risk reduction and adaptive leadership. Acceptance into the program is the first step in your professional development as a career or volunteer fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) manager, and includes all four elements of professional development: education, training, experience and continuing education.

How the Managing Officer Program benefits you

As a Managing Officer Program student, you will build on foundational management and technical competencies, learning to address issues of interpersonal and cultural sensitivity, professional ethics, and outcome-based performance. On completion of the program, you will:

The Managing Officer Program consists of:

A certificate of completion for the Managing Officer Program is awarded after the successful completion of all courses and the capstone project.

Selection criteria for the Managing Officer Program

The selection criteria for the Managing Officer Program are based on service and academic requirements.

Service Requirement

At the time of application, you must be in a rank/position that meets either the Training or Experience requirements below. Your chief (or equivalent in nonfire organizations) verifies this training and experience through his or her signature on the application.

1. Training

You should have a strong course completion background and have received training that has exposed you to more than just local requirements, such as regional and state training with responders from other jurisdictions.

This training can be demonstrated in one of many forms, which may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Certification at the Fire Officer I level (based on National Fire Protection Association 1021, Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications).
  • Credentialed at the Fire Officer designation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
  • Training at the fire or EMS leadership, management and supervisory level.
  • State/Regional symposiums, conferences and workshops supporting leadership, management and supervision.
  • Other training that supports the competencies identified for the Managing Officer in the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Officer Development Handbook, Second Edition.

2. Experience

You must have experience as a supervising officer (such as fire operations, prevention, technical rescue, administration or EMS), which could include equivalent time as an “acting officer.”

Academic Requirement

To be considered for the Managing Officer Program, you must have:

Earned an associate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

OR

Earned a minimum of 60 college credit hours (or equivalent quarter-hours) toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution of higher education.

In addition, you need to pass these courses before applying (available both locally and online through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the NFA):

How to apply to the Managing Officer Program

You may submit an application package at any time during the year, but not later than Dec. 15. The first sessions of the Managing Officer Program will be offered in April and August of 2015. Students who apply by Dec. 15, 2014 will be selected for one of the 2015 sessions or a session offered in 2016 at a date to be determined.

To apply, submit the following:

  1. FEMA Form 119-25-1 General Admissions Application Form (PDF, 337 Kb). In Block 9a, please specify “Managing Officer Program.”
  2. A letter requesting admission to the Managing Officer Program. The letter should include (with no more than one page per item):

    • Your specific duties and responsibilities in the organization.
    • A description of your most substantial professional achievement.
    • What you expect to achieve by participating in the program.
    • How your background and experience will contribute to the program and to fellow participants.
    • A description of a challenging management topic in your organization.
  3. A letter from the chief of the department (or equivalent in nonfire organizations) supporting your participation in the Managing Officer Program. The letter must certify that you have supervisory responsibilities and that all of the information in the application packet is true and correct.
  4. A copy of a transcript from an accredited degree-granting institution of higher education.
  5. A resume of professional certifications including date and certifying organization.
  6. A resume of conventional and online management and leadership courses completed, including title, date, location and host of the training.
  7. The Managing Officer Program checklist. Download and use this checklist (PDF, 48 KB) to help you track the minimum application requirements for the Managing Officer Program. Please submit this checklist with your application package.

Send your application package to:

National Emergency Training Center
Admissions Office
16825 South Seton Ave.
Emmitsburg, MD 21727

Curriculum for the Managing Officer Program

For now, you may take prerequisite courses before, during or after the NFA on-campus first and second year program. Starting Oct. 1, 2017, prerequisite courses must be completed before beginning the on-campus program.

Select a course code below to see the course description.

Prerequisites First-year on-campus courses Second-year on-campus courses
“Introduction to Emergency Response to Terrorism” (Q0890) “Applications of Community Risk Reduction” (R0385) “Contemporary Training Concepts for Fire and EMS” (R0386)
“Leadership I for Fire and EMS: Strategies for Company Success” (F0803 or W0803) “Transitional Safety Leadership” (R0384) “Analytical Tools for Decision-Making” (R0387)
“Leadership II for Fire and EMS: Strategies for Personal Success” (F0804 or W0804)    
“Leadership III for Fire and EMS: Strategies for Supervisory Success” (F0805 or W0805)    
“Shaping the Future” (F0602 or W0602)    

Managing Officer Program Capstone Project

The Managing Officer Program Capstone Project allows you to apply concepts learned in the program toward the solution of a problem in your home district.

You and the chief of your department (or equivalent in nonfire organizations) must meet to identify a problem and its scope and limitations. The scope of the project should be appropriate to your responsibilities and duties in the organization, and it should be appropriate to the Managing Officer Program. Possible subjects include:

Before initiating the project, you must submit a letter from your chief indicating the title of the project, projected outcomes, how it will be evaluated or measured, and approval for the project to go forward. When the project is completed, your chief must submit a letter indicating that it was completed successfully.