New York State
Association of Fire Chiefs

Providing Service to Those Who Serve

Company Officers Leadership Training (COLT)

Where do chiefs that recognize the need for leadership development send their officers for that type of training? NYSAFC’s COLT program.

The demands on today’s fire officers are constantly increasing. Traditional training is not enough for today’s fire service leader of all ranks. NYSAFC recognizes that leadership development is necessary now if we are to protect the future of the fire service. It is also crucial for chief officers to support those individuals performing the day-to-day operations of the fire department, as sharpening the leadership skills of your line officers will enhance the overall strength of your team.

For the COLT program, NYSAFC assembles a cadre of instructors, all nationally renowned experts on company officer leadership both on and off the fireground, for an energizing learning experience.

2017 Company Officers Leadership Training (COLT) Registration Form

Dates and Locations:

January 28-29, 2017 – Capital District
Latham Volunteer Fire Department • 226 Old Loudon Road • Latham, NY 12110

March 4-5, 2017 – Onondaga County
Solvay Fire Department • 1925 Milton Avenue • Solvay, NY 13209

April 8-9, 2017 – Chautauqua County
East Dunkirk Fire Department • 10949 South Roberts Road • Dunkirk, NY 14048

Lectures (For All Sites/Dates):

“Sound the Alarm”
Chief David Campbell, Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department

The fire service is heading toward a crisis and the writing is on the wall! As leaders, we better wake up and do something about it. This program will examine recruitment, retention, and most importantly morale within today’s fire service and how most of us, as fire service leaders, are screwing it up. While geared toward volunteer and combination fire department company and chief officers, all fire service leaders and future leaders can benefit from and contribute to the discussion that will take place in this highly interactive program. Students will be engaged through honest and open dialogue with an instructor that will pull no punches. You might leave offended or mad about what he has to say, but you will leave thinking about your fire department’s future.  

“Developing Effective Followers: One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Gold”
Lieutenant John Lewis, Passaic (NJ) Fire Department and Chief Robert Moran, Brewster (MA) Fire Department

As many current and aspiring company officers are aware, being in the position can be a lonely, ugly, and dark experience if you are unprepared and unable to acquire the precise leadership competencies required of the rank. During your career you will face a multitude of unique fireground and personnel related challenges each and every day you step into the fire station. In order to develop the talents required to tackle these difficulties and cultivate individual firefighters or “followers” into effective team members capable of operating on the fireground and surviving in the station, officers must become thoroughly familiar with a number of supporting people skills and leadership traits essential to the process. Using an interactive forum based on years of experience as company and chief officers, case studies, and videos, the instructors will discuss several fireground and administrative based leadership styles, traits, and learned competencies they have applied during their careers that have allowed them to build successful teams and organizations. Focus will be targeted to positive leadership styles, such as transformational, situational, and servant, which support collective based methodologies and foster team building, shared vision, respect, empowerment, honesty, discipline, loyalty, competency, and operational and organizational excellence. The importance of the beneficial concept of emotional intelligence will be reviewed, and students will learn how acquiring the ability to implement this philosophy can be used to reach individual and group goals in any work environment. While many of us wish the days of “because I said so” leadership still thrived in the fire service, the reality is that we will never see those times again. Today’s employees are smarter, more communicative, better educated, socially adept, and inquisitive. This dynamic, group based discussion on how to become the type of company officer that is capable of surviving in today’s fire service leadership world will help you turn one man’s trash into your gold!  

Registration Fee:
$175 per person – NYSAFC Individual and Department Members
$200 per person – Non-Members
On-site and pre-registration available.

Schedule (For All Sites/Dates):

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“Developing Effective Followers” Part 1 with John Lewis and Robert Moran
1:30 – 4:30 p.m. “Sound the Alarm” with David Campbell

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
“Developing Effective Followers” Part 2 with John Lewis and Robert Moran
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion with the instructors moderated by Paul Melfi


David Campbell has over 25 years of experience as a first responder, both paid and volunteer. He is currently chief of the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department. Campbell is retired from the FDNY EMS command. Before retiring, he was a hazardous material and terrorism response instructor at the FDNY Fire Academy. Campbell is a graduate of National Foam’s Advanced Flammable Liquids Firefighting Program at Texas A&M University and is nationally certified by the Department of Homeland Security as a highway emergency response specialist. He is an instructor for the National Fire Academy and New Mexico Tech, has provided training for NYSAFC, the United States Coast Guard, and Sunoco Oil, and has conducted hands-on training across New York state on flammable liquid firefighting.

John Lewis joined the volunteer fire service in 1978 and began his career as a firefighter/ EMT in 1985. He recently retired as a ladder company lieutenant with the City of Passaic (NJ) Fire Department, where he was assigned as officer in charge of the Training and Safety Division. Lewis is an instructor at the Bergen County Fire Academy and an adjunct instructor at Kean University. He holds New Jersey state certifications as fire inspector/fire official, Level 2 fire instructor, and fire investigator. Lewis has co-authored several articles for national fire service publications and was the co-author of the Rapid Intervention Awareness Curriculum for the state of New Jersey.

Robert Moran is chief of the Brewster (MA) Fire Department. He retired in 2011 after a 27-year career with the City of Englewood (NJ) Fire Department, where he served as chief of department. Moran holds a bachelor’s degree in fire science from New Jersey City University, a master’s degree in administrative science from Fairleigh Dickinson University, national certification as a certified public manager, and chief fire officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. During his career in New Jersey, Moran served as a safety officer on the New Jersey Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1, an investigator with the Bergen County Arson Squad, and was a 29-year member and former chief of the Leonia Volunteer Fire Department. He is an instructor at the Barnstable County (MA) Fire Academy and adjunct instructor for Kean University and the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety.