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Executive Fire Officer Program Graduate Symposium

April 22‑23, 2022

The Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program Graduate Symposium is an annual event for alumni and EFO Program participants. The goals for this event are:

  • Provide a curriculum extension and update of the EFO Program.
  • Recognize and spotlight outstanding and innovative research by select EFO Program students.
  • Provide high-quality presentations by private and public sector representatives.
  • Promote continuous dialogue among EFO Program graduates and U.S. Fire Administration staff.
  • Facilitate networking between EFO Program graduates and leaders in the fire and emergency medical services (EMS) profession.
  • Officially recognize recent EFO Program graduates and research winners.

Who can attend

The symposium is open to all fire and EMS leaders, but priority in housing is given to EFO Program alumni. Current EFO Program students are encouraged to attend, and all fire service executives are welcome to bring their government management colleagues.


Each attendee must register through the National Emergency Training Center's online admissions application; however, there is no travel stipend for the symposium. Lodging is available. People staying in on-campus housing are required to purchase a meal ticket for the duration of their stay.


The event code for the symposium is R0120.

You need a Student Identification Number (SID) to register.


Friday, April 22

Time (EDT)Presentation/EventPresenter
7:30 – 8 a.m.Registration, E Building ground floor
8 – 8:15 a.m.Opening ceremony
8:15 – 8:45 a.m.Opening remarksEriks Gabliks
National Fire Academy (NFA) Superintendent
8:45 – 9 a.m.EFO Program course updatesNFA staff
9 – 9:20 a.m.Manno Awards
9:20 – 9:40 a.m.Break
9:40 – 10:40 a.m.Does Diversity Matter? A Candid Conversation About Race, Diversity and Inclusion in the Fire ServiceKwame Cooper
Assistant Chief (Retired), Los Angeles Fire Department
10:40 – 11 a.m.Break 
11 a.m. – NoonCreation of a Systems-Level Checklist to Address Stress and Violence in Fire-Based EMS Responders (Part 1)Dr. Jennifer Taylor
Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends
Noon – 1:15 p.m.Lunch
1:15 – 2:15 p.m.Creation of a Systems-Level Checklist to Address Stress and Violence in Fire-Based EMS Responders (Part 2)Dr. Jennifer Taylor
Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends
2:15 – 2:35 p.m.Break 
2:35 – 3:35 p.m.From the Laboratory to the Fireground: Leading the Change in Modern Fire Control StrategiesDan Madrzykowski
UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute
3:35 – 3:55 p.m.Break 
3:55 – 4:55 p.m.2019 / 2020 / 2021 GraduationNFA Staff
4:55 p.m.Administrative remarks

Saturday, April 23

Time (EDT)Presentation/EventPresenter
8 – 8:05 a.m.Administrative remarks / Pledge of Allegiance
8:05 – 9:05 a.m.Speaking Truth to PowerTiffanye Wesley
Deputy Chief, Arlington County Fire Department
9:05 – 9:20 a.m.Break
9:20 – 10:20 a.m.Fires in the Wildland Urban InterfaceErik Litzenberg
Chief (retired), Santa Fe Fire Department; IAFC Wildland Fire Advisor
10:20 – 10:35 a.m.Break
10:35 – 11:35 a.m.Closing the Perception Gap: Americans' Irrational Estimation of RiskJohn Waters
Chief Fire Marshal (retired), Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania
11:35 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.Lunch
12:35 – 1:35 p.m.Leading and Transforming OrganizationsCharlie Black
Lt. Colonel (retired), USMC
1:35 – 1:45 p.m.Break
1:45 – 2:30 p.m.National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (Safety)To be determined
2:30 – 2:45 p.m.Break
2:45 – 3:45 p.m.Just TrustAdam Thiel
Commissioner, Philadelphia Fire Department
3:45 – 4 p.m.Break
4 – 5 p.m.Everyone's a Leader: Driving Change, Every DayReginald Freeman
Chief, City of Oakland Fire Department
5 p.m.Closing remarks