Firefighters complete Va. Fire Academy

Recently graduated from the Virginia Fire Officers Academy and the Virginia Chief Officer’s Academy, Fort Belvoir Firefighters, from left, Firefighter/Medic Andrew Funk, Lt. David Wolff, Battalion Chief Christopher Craft, and Battalion Chief Kevin Roberson. 

The Fort Belvoir Directorate of Emergency Services, Fire and Emergency Services Division and the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association announce that Lt. David Wolff and Firefighter/Medic Andrew Funk graduated from the 2019 Virginia Fire Officers Academy. They were selected from hundreds of applicants through a highly competitive selection process. 

The Virginia Fire Chiefs Association sponsors the academy and delivered the inaugural residency course in 2007. To date, more than 700 students have graduated from the VFOA. 

The VFOA residency academy is an interactive, challenging, educational initiative of a week-long curriculum, delivered on campus at the University of Richmond. The program provided modules that leaders had to overcome that displayed the impact of the leader’s attitude on safety; how they lead under stress; employee-coaching techniques; effective communication; correcting unsafe behaviors; managing conflict and managing mental and personal health concerns. 

Additionally, the FES Division and the Virginia Fire Chiefs announce that Battalion Chief Christopher Craft and Battalion Chief Kevin Roberson successfully graduated and completed the 2019 Virginia Chief Officer’s Academy. The Chief Officer’s Academy program builds professional relationships and provides high-performance leadership and coaching resources to current and future chief officers of Virginia’s Fire Service. 

The VFOA curriculum, whose mantra is Safety through Leadership, is designed to improve firefighter safety by recognizing that safety is, at its core, a leadership and cultural issue. 

Fort Belvoir Fire Chief Shane Crutcher said, “This training not only advances the fire officer’s leadership techniques, personal accountability, and fosters the cultural changes required to improve firefighter safety and health, but ensures our leaders are fully prepared to take care of people, regardless of the circumstances.” 

Selected students of these leadership academies represent a diverse mix of Virginia’s fire service, including personnel from career, combination, volunteer, rural, metropolitan, and suburban departments. Significant planning, organizational and operational support is provided by fire personnel from the various counties and cities within Virginia.

These development programs offer the leaders a chance to learn from nationally recognized experts, while gaining insight into federal, state and regionally specific needs and opportunities. The students are continually engaged by staff and challenged by experienced lecturers that are federal, state, and regional experts.