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.

Register Online
PDF Registration Form

*If you are registering using a NYSAFC Department Member number for discounted pricing, you must download the PDF registration form and fax, mail, or email it to the NYSAFC office. Online registration for Department Members is not available at this time.

2018 Dates and Locations:

January 26-27, 2018 – Capital District
Latham Volunteer Fire Department • 226 Old Loudon Road • Latham, NY 12110

March 2-3, 2018 – Monroe County
Hilton Fire Department • 120 Old Hojack Lane • Hilton, NY 14468

April 13-14, 2018 – Erie County
Orchard Park Fire Company • 30 School Street • Orchard Park, NY 14127

Lectures (For All Sites/Dates):

"First Due – What Do I Do?”
Battalion Chief Jim McDermott, FDNY

This interactive program will include a combination of short lectures and scenario based training. Several topics, including size up, safety, and communications will be reviewed. Strategies and tactics will be reinforced with the use of fire simulations. The dangers and correct procedures for “routine emergency responses” will be addressed in detail. Student participation will be encouraged.

 “The Volunteer and the Career Chief Unplugged... We Have More in Common Than What Members Want to Believe”
Commissioner/Ex-Chief Joseph Badala, West Islip Fire Department and
Deputy/Operations Chief (Ret.) Paul Melfi, City of Olean Fire Department

Over the years, members of the volunteer and career fire service have seen conflict and faced many challenges. It’s time we put to rest any confusion regarding the difference between the volunteer and the career service. It’s time to come to the table to discuss the true differences, assist each other in dispelling myths, and advance the discussion so that we provide the best service possible and ensure the safety of our members. There is much to be learned from each other. This lively discussion between two friends from different regions of New York will entertain and educate you, as well as provide ideas for your department’s improvement. The program will explore leadership, recruitment, retention, fiscal issues, and how to keep your people informed.

Registration Fee:
$175 per person – NYSAFC Individual and Department Members
$200 per person – Non-Members
On-site registration will be available at all sites.
*If you are registering using a NYSAFC Department Member number for discounted pricing, you must download the PDF registration form and fax, mail, or email it to the NYSAFC office. Online registration for Department Members is not available at this time.

Schedule (For All Sites/Dates):

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. “First Due – What Do I Do?” Part 1
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 – 4:30 p.m. “The Volunteer and the Career Chief Unplugged…”

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
“First Due – What Do I Do?” Part 2
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion


Joseph Badala is an ex-chief of the West Islip Fire Department, a commissioner with the West Islip Fire District, a fire instructor for the Suffolk County Fire Academy, and a Suffolk County deputy fire coordinator. In addition to 23 years in the volunteer service, Badala was a career firefighter at Long Island MacArthur Airport, Hazardous Materials Response Team leader for the town of Islip, and director of airport emergency services. He also served as the deputy incident commander for the town of Islip OEM during Hurricane Sandy. Badala is currently fire district manager for the North Patchogue Fire District.

James McDermott has been in the fire service for over 36 years and is currently a battalion chief with the Fire Department City of New York (FDNY). He is an ex-chief and active firefighter with the Centereach Fire Department in Suffolk County. Additionally, McDermott is a deputy chief instructor at the Suffolk County Fire Academy.

Paul Melfi, EFO, is the Hands-On Training coordinator for NYSAFC. He retired as a deputy fire chief, chief of operations for the City of Olean Fire Department after 26 years of service. Melfi also served as an instructor for the FDIC H.O.T. program and Firehouse Expo. He graduated from the National Fire Academy as an executive fire officer and has a bachelor’s degree in fire administration and health and human services. Melfi represents the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Everyone Goes Home/Courage to Be Safe® Program.