Mr. Gabliks' interest in the fire service began in 1982 when he joined his neighborhood volunteer fire company in Adelphia, New Jersey. Over the years, he would serve with four volunteer, combination and career fire agencies, including Howell Township Fire Company #1 (New Jersey), the Howell Township Fire Bureau (New Jersey), Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (Oregon), and the City of Dallas Fire and EMS Department (Oregon). He would serve in positions ranging from entry-level firefighter to deputy fire chief.
In 1991, he joined the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). DPSST sets professional training and licensing standards for more than 41,000 public and private safety professionals in the state of Oregon. DPSST also operates the Oregon Public Safety Academy, which provides training to more than 25,000 first responders on an annual basis.
During his tenure at DPSST, he served in various roles including training coordinator, fire program manager, assistant director, division director and deputy director. Mr. Gabliks served as the director of DPSST from 2010 to 2020, overseeing a staff of more than 450 employees. He is the first employee in DPSST's history to have ascended to this position from the internal ranks. Oregon's training and certification programs are created in partnership with a 24-member, governor-appointed and Senate-confirmed Board on Public Safety Standards and Training.
Mr. Gabliks holds a bachelor's degree in fire service administration from Western Oregon University and a master's with honors in public policy and administration from the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. He has also completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the NFA.
Mr. Gabliks is past president of the North American Fire Training Directors and serves on various state and national organizations, including the Oregon Fire Chiefs Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs and its Safety and Health Section, Drexel University Fire Injury Research and Safety Trends Advisory Committee, and many others.
He is a first generation Latvian and speaks, reads and writes the language. Mr. Gabliks is married to his wife Kelly.
About the National Fire Academy
The superintendent for the NFA is responsible for advancing the professional development of fire service personnel and of other persons engaged in fire prevention and control activities. This is accomplished through curriculum development and course evaluation; resident course delivery in the areas of all-hazard emergency incident management; emergency organization leadership; management and executive development; related instructor qualifications development; an online educational system, NFA Online; and an outreach delivery program which includes off-site course delivery and advanced educational programs at academic institutions.