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Lynnfield Fire Chief Thomas P. Bogart recently graduated from the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) at the United States Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. Chief Bogart graduated from the EFO program after completing all the requirements, which included attending four annual two-week residences at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, a suburb of Washington, DC.
The EFOP spans a four-year period with four core courses. Each course is two weeks in length. Bogart began the program in the summer of 2007 when he took the first of the four courses: Executive Development while he was a full-time Lieutenant on the Lynn Fire Department. The following year he completed Executive Analysis of Community Risk Reduction and went on to complete the third-year course Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management in 2009. After being appointed as Lynnfield’s new fire chief in July of 2010, Bogart completed Executive Development, his final residence at the National Fire Academy.
Following each course, an Applied Research Project (ARP) must be completed by each student. The ARP identifies a problem or issue that presently exists within the participant’s organization and/or jurisdiction which has significance to the course just completed. ARPs are evaluated by contract reviewers. A minimum grade of 2.0 (based on a 4.0 academic scale) is required for each of the ten ARP sections. ARPs must be completed according to the USFA/NFA guidelines and the American Psychological Association (APA) style format. EFOP participants must complete an Applied Research Project (ARP) that relates to their organization after the completion of each of the four courses.
EFOP is an initiative of the United States Fire Administration/National Fire Academy designed to provide senior fire officers and others in key leadership roles with an understanding of the need to transform fire and emergency services organizations from being reactive to proactive with an emphasis on leadership development, prevention, and risk-reduction. Transforming fire and emergency services organizations to reflect the diversity of America's communities and understanding the value of research and its application to the profession, as well as the value of lifelong learning are key concepts of the Executive Fire Officer Program.
EFOP is an initiative of the USFA/NFA designed to provide senior officers with a broad perspective on various facets of fire and emergency services administration. The curriculum and research framework examines how senior authority figures can exercise leadership when deal¬ing with difficult, adaptive problems within their jurisdictions. Graduates are taught enhanced executive-level knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to lead these transformations, conduct research, and engage in lifelong learning. The officers enhance their professional development through a unique series of four graduate and upper-division-baccalaureate equivalent courses. A certificate of completion for the entire EFOP is awarded only after the successful completion of the final research project. Bogart’s final ARP was successfully completed in November of this year, which was the final requirement for being awarded the prestigious EFO designation.
“I am thrilled and honored to complete this program. This is the pre-eminent executive fire training program in the world. I have met and studied with fire executives from all over the United States and beyond,” said Bogart. “It was a long haul, but it was well worth the effort,” said Chief Bogart.
EFOP began as a three year profes¬sional development program in 1985 expanding to its current length of four years in 1988. The post-course Applied Research Project (ARP) com¬ponent was implemented in 1990 and many of these ARPs are now archived and available to the public through the National Emergency Training Center Learning Resource Center. Twenty-five years later USFA/NFA is nearing a threshold of 3,000 EFOP alumni and a completion rate of ARPs in the thousands. Together, EFOP alumni and their research have resulted in significant changes to fire/emergency services organizations and their com¬munities in the United States and internation¬ally.
Academically, there are a number of higher education institutions that have created degree programs which recognize EFOP courses and research, some doing so at the graduate level. EFOP is recognized both within the Fire Emergency Services Higher Edu¬cation (FESHE) Model and within the Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFOD) criteria. Bogart received the Chief Fire Officer Designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Commission on Professional Credentialing in 2009. In addition, he was awarded the Fire Chief designation from the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission in December of 2010.
EFO applicants must have attained a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning as a condition of acceptance. Bogart received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science Administration in 1990. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Fire Science and Administration in 2003 while he was a member of the Lynn Fire Department where he served for twenty-seven years before becoming only the second full-time, permanent fire chief in Lynnfield Fire Department history in 2010.
EFOP graduates are acknowledged as having demonstrated a commitment to reduce the nation’s loss of life and property from fire and related emergencies by pursuing professional development through completion of the National Fire Academy sponsored courses. Chief Bogart, along with all other graduates of the year (2011), will be awarded his graduate EFO certificate at a ceremony as part of the EFO Graduate Symposium held at the National Fire Academy on May 2, 2012. I am looking forward to attending the graduation this spring and seeing many of my colleagues, many of whom have become close friends. It was truly a rewarding experience,” said Chief Bogart.