Leadership for Emergency Responders

Going Live Tuesday, January 25

Leadership skills are critical tools for success, and emergency responders are no exception. Whether you aspire to rise in the ranks or are committed to being the best teammate or community partner you can be, developing leadership skills can help drive effective performance and deliver improved results. This program looks at three dimensions of leadership specific to emergency responders—personal leadership, technical leadership, and community leadership—to help you perform better, regardless of your role. Programming will cover a range of topics, and we are excited about the industry experts we’re lining up to deliver you valuable insights. Some of the things you can expect to learn about are transformational leadership; diversity, equity, and inclusion; mental health and resilience; data-driven leadership; fire prevention; community risk reduction; and emerging issues related to codes and standards. Register for FREE.


Thank you to our sponsor International Fire Fighter from MDM Publishing Ltd.

Just Added! 
Special Live Roundtable: Taking the Lead After Tragedy
Starting at 9 a.m. ET

In response to two high-profile home fires this month, NFPA has added a Special Live Roundtable: Taking the Lead after Tragedy to the beginning of this program starting at 9:00 am ET. 

NFPA President & CEO Jim Pauley will lead a timely discussion about fire prevention, fire protection, life safety, code enforcement, and other factors that have emerged in the days since tragic home fires occurred in Philadelphia and the Bronx. The important conversation will center around recent incidents and emphasize the critical role that policymakers and the public, in particular, play in keeping communities safe from harm.  


In-Depth Program on Leadership for Emergency Responders

Join NFPA® for the Leadership for Emergency Responders program. This one-day program will provide you with in-depth educational sessions, networking events, and live chats with industry experts and NFPA staff. 

Stay out in front. We know that the landscape you’re working in is constantly changing, and it can be hard to keep up. This series focuses on emerging leadership, technical, and community issues to help you keep your communities safer.

Learn from the best. Experience is a great teacher, and we have brought together subject matter experts who have both practical and academic experience—setting the perfect stage for sharing the how, what, and why of some critical topical areas.

Earn CEUs Live and On Demand:

  • Tune in live January 25 to earn up to 5 credit hours (0.5 CEU) and earn an additional 5 credit hours on demand for a total of 10 credit hours (1.0 CEU).
  • Or view content on demand for a total of 10 cred hours (1.0 CEU). All programs are available on demand for up to a year starting on the launch date.

Register Now


Scroll through the carousel to learn about the sessions offered in this program.

Do not cross line
9-9:45 a.m. ET | Jim Pauley, NFPA President & CEO, Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, U.S. Fire Administrator, Adam Thiel, Fire Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia, Joseph Jardin, Assistant Chief with the New York City Fire Department, Chief of Fire Prevention

This exchange will feature NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley facilitating a discussion with top-tier fire service leaders about the fire incidents that occurred in Pennsylvania and New York earlier this month and steps that can be taken to strengthen fire prevention, fire protection, life safety, code enforcement, and other critical safety programs. The following leaders will join Pauley for this forward-thinking talk: Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, U.S. Fire Administrator; Adam Thiel, Fire Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia; Joseph Jardin, Assistant Chief with the New York City Fire Department, Chief of Fire Prevention. The important conversation will center around recent incidents and emphasize the critical role that policymakers and the public, in particular, play in keeping communities safe from harm. Audience members are encouraged to pose relevant questions via the chat feature.

10-11 a.m. ET | Reginald Freeman, MS, CFO, FIFireE , Fire Chief, City of Oakland

Oftentimes, the expression “transformational leadership” is incorrectly translated as “what managers need to worry about.”  This theoretical and practical session will illustrate why transformational leadership is important for emergency responders in all roles and with all kinds of responsibilities.  Chief Freeman draws on his academic and on-the-job experiences to paint a picture of how the emergency response sector can improve service delivery by improving the fundamental understanding of how transformational leadership at all levels helps build safer communities.

11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET | Curt Floyd, NFPA; Steve Kerber, UL

Over the past decade, UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) has been conducting research with the fire service to examine fire dynamics, firefighting tactics, firefighter health, and many other topics. Hundreds of experiments have studied the changes in the fire environment over time, the impact of ventilating ventilation-limited fires, the implications of coordinating fire attack, and the effectiveness of suppression tactics. These experiments were conducted with firefighters from across the country from departments of different types and with varying levels of staffing, resources, and operating procedures. This presentation will share a historical look at how the research came to be, highlights of the research, and how research has been able to impact the firefighting system to improve the safety of firefighters and the public. We will also look at how the research inspired NFPA 1700, Guide for Structural Fire Fighting, what the document is, and what is to come in the future.

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. ET | Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas Professional Speaker, Podcaster, and Impact Entrepreneur

Over the last decade many emergency responders have experienced a growing sense of urgency to respond to perceived elevated and rising rates of suicide among our law enforcement, firefighters, and EMTs. Because of the role they play in the community and the tight knit bonds forged in their workplaces, each suicide death of emergency responders frequently causes a wide and deep impact. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight promising and evidence-based practices focused on preventing suicide among emergency responders.

1-2 p.m. ET | Karen Berard-Reed, Senior Strategist & CRR Lead at NFPA; Meredith Hawes, Regional Director at NFPA; Chelsea Rubadou, Engineer and NFPA 1300 Staff Liaison at NFPA

Community Risk Reduction (CRR) is an under-tapped resource for savvy leaders looking to highlight the 21st century work of the fire service. As a data-driven process, CRR can help leaders in fire service demonstrate needs for personnel and equipment, prompt efficient deployment of resources, and guide equitable decisions to ensure prevention efforts are focused on the residents most in need. CRR helps leaders implement impactful initiatives and drive fire department sustainability as community needs shift. In this session, the speakers will discuss why Community Risk Reduction is valued in modern departments and how the process supports work across the firehouse. Presenters will provide an overview of the industry standard for Community Risk Reduction, NFPA 1300, and discuss the role of data, partners, & stakeholders in the CRR process. Participants will leave the session will a fresh view of fire prevention efforts and their position in the firehouse.

1-2 p.m. ET | Jennifer A. Taylor, PhD, MPH, CPPS Director, Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST); Arthur L. and Joanne B. Frank, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University 

Thinking like a scientist, doing field research, and espousing the notion that we are embarking on a journey of learning together are foundational activities Dr. Taylor is undertaking to collaboratively build a blueprint for driving positive change when it comes to matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fire service (and in the larger emergency response community). In this presentation, she will discuss her approaches, what she has learned so far, and will tell you how you can get involved in developing that very blueprint for change.

2-3 p.m. ET | Andrea G. Vastis, MPH, CHES, Sr. Director, Public Education, NFPA

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Leadership in Fire and Life Safety (FLS) education happens at all levels with the goals of preparing a workforce with the skills needed to educate, involve, and empower community members to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors from fire and related hazards. In this dynamic workshop, participants will learn to lead by example through exploration of the evolution of fire and life safety education and building of knowledge and skills to respond to current and emerging challenges and trends in providing quality community education.

2-3 p.m. ET | John Oates, BS, MS, EFO, CEO, International Public Safety Data Institute

When it comes to making effective decisions, relying on experience and trusting one’s gut simply isn’t good enough. This presentation will look at how using data both to define problems and help uncover solutions can help you ultimately make more informed decisions, faster.

3:30–4:45 p.m. ET | Marty Ahrens, NFPA Fire Analysis Research Manager (retired 12/31/2021); Ben Evarts, NFPA

This presentation will highlight findings from two major reports: the "2021 Needs Assessment of the United Sates Fire Service" and “Fire Safety in the United States Since 1980: Through the Lens of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem.”  What resources, training, activities and needs do today’s fire departments have?  What’s changed in the past 20 years? What does today’s US fire problem look like?  What do today’s firefighters do? Who are the victims of today’s home fires? What’s changed over the past four decades?

3:30-5 p.m. ET | Bob Fash, NFPA; Frank Leeb, Deputy Assistant Chief, FDNY

This presentation will discuss several commonsense best practices in use in the FDNY and the national fire service and the linkage to NFPA standards. Additionally, the importance of combining research and experience will be discussed. 


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Spotlight on Public Education

Keeping Hazardous Environments Safe

Global Trends and Research - Prepare Today for Tomorrow's Challenges

Keeping You Informed: Systems, Storage, Suppression, and More

Becoming a Better Leader for First Responders

January 25, 2022

Global Solutions for Global Challenges

February 16, 2022

Outthink Wildfire: Identifying Solutions to End Community Loss

March 15, 2022