City of Kissimmee Fire Department Chief Jim Walls successfully graduated from the prestigious Executive Fire Officer Program (EFO), as reported by the U.S Fire Administration/National Fire Academy, on Thursday, March 24, 2022.
The intensive program consists of a two-week class every year for four years at the National Fire Academy (NFA) in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Each class is equivalent to an upper-division baccalaureate or graduate-level course.
In four years, Chief Walls took part in Executive Development, Executive Analysis of Community Risk Reduction, Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management, and Executive Leadership, which focuses primarily on issues and areas of personal effectiveness.
Within six months after each course was completed, a written Applied Research Project (ARP) was required from Chief Walls. The ARP must be related to actual life concepts that could influence the City of Kissimmee Fire Department.
For the last course on Executive Leadership, Chief Walls had to present an oral defense before a panel of chief officers defending one of his three ARPs. At the end of the course, he received his EFO Program certificate. As an EFO graduate, he is honored to join a group of fellow graduates that make up less than 1% of senior fire officials from around the country.
“The Executive Fire Officer Program allowed me the opportunity to identify situations and conduct research that could then be applied to improve both our department and community. My first ARP was on the possible benefits of going through fire service accreditation. We are now working towards obtaining that accreditation based on that research,” Chief Walls said.
Chief Walls thanked City Manager Mike Steigerwald, who gave the approval and allowed him two months away from work to complete the course. He also thanked his department for their support and his family’s encouragement and support. “None of this would have been possible without everyone’s support, the Chief shared”