Changes are coming to the EFO Program that will impact current first-year and prospective students. Learn more about the changes.

Executive Fire Officer Program Applied Research Projects

National Fire Academy (NFA) Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program students are required to complete an Applied Research Project (ARP) for each of their four courses. The ARP allows students to investigate a key issue or problem identified as being important to their fire service organization.

On completing the investigation, students reach conclusions and offer recommendations that contribute to the improvement of their organization. Through this process, students translate what they have learned in each EFO Program course into real-world applications. By writing the ARP in a professional paper format, EFO Program students are contributing to fire service literature.

ARPs must receive a grade of 2.0 or greater to be considered acceptable. Papers are due six months after the end of each course. On successful completion of the fourth ARP, students are awarded an EFO Program certificate.

My experience in the EFO Program was the best learning experience that I have had in my fire service career. Not having engaged in research since college (over 30 years ago), I was somewhat nervous about writing papers. However, the instructions given were clear and concise ... my writing confidence has increased to the extent that I am now in the beginning stages of writing a book.

— Executive Administrator Drusilla Martin, City of Nashville, Tennessee Fire Department

ARP guidance for EFO Program students

Research consultations

While on campus, EFO students can schedule a one-on-one 30- or 60-minute consultation with a National Emergency Training Center librarian on a variety of research topics.

Schedule a research consultation

Applied Research Self Study (Q0123)
This online course provides you with the skills needed for successful completion of the research component of the EFO Program course “Executive Development” and the four ARPs. Available through NFA Online.
Data Gathering Instruments to Support Applied Research (Q0170)
This online course provides information and guidance on the use of common data-gathering instruments for applied research purposes.  Available through NFA Online.
Designing an Applied Research Project Proposal (Q0171)
This online course provides information on how to complete an effective Applied Research Proposal.  Available through NFA Online.
EFO Program Handbook – effective 11/15/15 PDF ~400 KB
Describes the changes and current policies that govern EFO Program and assists students in fulfilling the applied research requirements of the program.
Applied Research Project Proposal Summary DOC 60 KB
Documents the proposed title, topic, problem statement, purpose, research questions and research approach for the ARP.

Find ARP papers online

Outstanding Research Award Winners

Each year, NFA faculty selects ARP research projects that demonstrate creativity, excellence in research design, and results that will save lives and reduce property loss in the United States for years to come. Authors of these projects receive the NFA’s Outstanding Research Award.

A significant measure of the professionalism of any occupation is the quality and quantity of the research the discipline is based on. The Outstanding Research Award helps the NFA achieve its mission of increasing the professionalism of the fire service.

The faculty have selected these papers as examples of outstanding work that contributes to the fire service literature and may inspire others to achieve new heights of excellence.

2017 Outstanding Research Award winners

Browse all Outstanding Research Award papers (1994-2017)

More information for EFO Program students