Join our host, Fire Chief Mark Emery, as he leads the discussions with our guest speakers. 


Connect with Chief Emery if you have any questions before the scheduled session.

Meet Our Webinar Guests


Friday, March 5
LIVE – Interview
Firefighters Book Club and Learning from Leaders

Jesse Quinalty, Red Helmet Training
The first zoom meeting of the Firefighters Book Club will be April 8th at 9 a.m. PST. We will be discussing Firefighter Success by Jim Moss. From there the plan will be once a month. I am putting together a reading list for the rest of the year and it will be out soon. The book for the month of May will be No Nonsense Leadership by Jarrod Sergi. Stay tuned for the date and time. All are welcome to join.

Learning From Leaders.  We are expecting seats to start filling up for the rest of the year. Please register early.


Friday, March 12
Video & Interview
The Quest for Success

Mark Emery, Fire Chief (Ret.)
How do you define success? Leadership development begins with the definition of ‘success.’ Genuine, meaningful success is more important than mere acquisition or achievement. A promotion is achievement – not success; the accumulation of money, a bigger house, or the latest digital gizmo is acquisition – not success. Meaningful success is a Zen-like quality that is simple and powerful. Once you choose Honorable Success, you will possess a gift that is beyond the value of achievement or the acquisition of ‘stuff.’ While sculpting your leadership you must chisel-away years of negative baggage that has been reinforced by competition, comparison, and rationalization. It requires time and energy but once genuine success is revealed, you will be a new person – ready to become a leadership masterpiece!

Embracing the Honorable Success concept will improve your life, your family, and your fire department.


Mark Emery

After 40-years of service, Mark Emery recently retired as the Fire Chief at East Valley Fire Department in Yakima County, WA. Mark self-published the ITAC Strategic Development manual, and has published numerous articles for Firehouse magazine, FireRescue magazine, and for the FDSOA Health and Safety Newsletter. Mark is co-developer of the Integrated Tacti­cal Accountability System (ITAC), and creator of the popular ITAC Command Competency Clinic. Chief Emery was selected as the 2015 George D. Post Instructor of the Year at FDIC, and serves as the Region 10 Director of the National Fire Academy Alumni Association.



Friday, March 19
Live Interview - Health and Wellness Fire Station Design
Deputy Chief Tom Cole, Goodyear Fire Department

Arizona fire station one of first in US geared toward cancer prevention

The Goodyear Fire Department is one of the first fire departments in the country to take a major step toward preventing firefighters from getting cancer from the important work they do. Goodyear opened up Station 186 near Willis and Rainbow Valley roads in early January. The station is one of three that will be built with special air partitioning systems to keep carcinogens away from firefighters in between calls. More and more building materials and household items are made with plastic, and when plastic burns, the smoke it puts off can contain cancer-causing substances that are then inhaled by firefighters. The CDC reports that firefighters have an increased risk of cancer diagnosis and death as a result of smoke inhalation. There isn't much firefighters can do about inhaling smoke when they are putting out a fire, but in the living quarters of a station, there is an opportunity to keep firefighters away from fumes as they eat, sleep and wait for the next call.  

Tom Cole
Bio forthcoming




Friday, March 26
Courage Under Fire Leadership: 7 Ways to Win
Steve Prziborowski, Deputy Chief

This is part 2 of the session. Attendees will be exposed to 7 ways to win: 7 different things that can either make or break a typical day at the firehouse, while driving your apparatus and/or using your tools and equipment, or while on the emergency scene. Current and past situations (positive and negative) that have occurred in the fire service around the Country will be shared and discussed, not to Monday-morning quarterback or critique, but instead to offer the attendees an opportunity to be exposed to some of the challenges they may likely face at some point of their career. Areas discussed include but are not limited to firehouse daily activities, emergency responses, personnel issues, training and administrative duties. Regardless of your current or future rank, there will be numerous key takeaways that can be applied the next time you are on duty.

Steve Prziborowski

Steve Prziborowski has over 28 years of fire service experience, currently serving as a Deputy Chief for the Santa Clara County (Los Gatos, CA) Fire Department, an adjunct faculty member for the Chabot College (Hayward, CA) Fire Technology Program and a contract instructor for the National Fire Academy (Emmitsburg, MD). 

Steve recently received the 2020 Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award from the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) and in 2008 was named the California Fire Instructor of the year. Steve recently completed a five-year stint as an Executive Board Member for the California Fire Chiefs Association and is a Former President of the Northern California Training Officers Association. He is a state-certified Chief Officer and Master Instructor, has earned a Master’s degree in Emergency Services Administration, has completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy, and has received Chief Fire Officer and Chief Training Officer Designation through the Commission on Professional Credentialing.

Steve is a regular speaker at fire service events and departments, having presented or scheduled over 400 sessions in 33 states. He has authored and contributed to over 200 articles, podcasts, videos, blogs and books in the leading fire service publications. He has published three career development books: “Reach for the Firefighter Badge,” “The Future Firefighter’s Preparation Guide,” and “How to Excel at Fire Department Promotional Exams,” with a fourth book being finalized at the publisher, “101 Tips to Assist you on your Next Promotional Exam,” and a fifth book “Courage Under Fire Leadership” that is also being finalized.

Steve has mentored and assisted countless personnel get hired as well as get promoted to all ranks within the fire service, up to and including Fire Chief. He has a sincere passion for helping others meet and exceed their career and personal goals, as well as helping others get hired, stay hired, get promoted, stay promoted, and ultimately be the best they can be for those they are fortunate to lead and serve! For more information, please visit his website at




Friday, April 9
Live Interview -
Using Technology to Fight Wildfires, Future Trends in the Golden State

Jeff Meston, Fire Chief

California has been involved in some emerging technology that will assist firefighters in more efficient and safer wildfire operations, we will highlight and present to the group two available for the 2021 Fire Season, FIRIS and IMSAFE.

Jeff Meston
Jeff Meston is the current Executive Director of the California State Firefighters Association and a past President of the California Fire Chiefs Association.  He is a 43 year plus veteran of the fire service working for the City of Madera Fire Department and serving as Fire Chief in both the Novato Fire District and the City of South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.  He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration, is a California Certified Fire Chief & National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer.  He has served as President of the Marin County Fire Chiefs Associations and Lake Tahoe Regional Fire Chiefs Associations.  Meston has served as a course developer and instructor at the National Fire Academy and the California Fire Service Training and Education System.  Meston recently retired and has served as the Acting City Manager for South Lake Tahoe as well as its fire chief.  Meston also served on the Board of Directors for FIRESCOPE, representing City’s North. He currently is assigned as a Deputy Chief working for CalOES Fire/Rescue as a liaison between the Emergency Medical Service Authority and CalOES Fire/Rescue during the COVID19 pandemic and principal author of the State of California’s Blue Ribbon Fire Commission Report to the Governor, 2021 all-risk update.


Friday, April 16
Habits of Highly Effective Incident Commanders
Fire Chief Kevin Ward

Safe, efficient and effective firegrounds are led by high performing incident commanders. Correlations exist between dysfunctional incident commanders and line of duty deaths. In a world of low frequency high risk events such as structure fires, developing successful habits will aid the IC in providing the leadership and structure necessary to achieve high performance. This course will cover many aspects and successful habits with practical applications and incident specific tactics.


  • Functional vs Dysfunctional Command Operations

  • LODDs and Poor Command Correlation

  • What does a high performing incident commander look like?

  • What kind of “habits” do they have?

  • Strategic Principles- Are we using the right playbook?

  • Efficient and Effective Practical Application

  • Support Officer/FIT/Aide use

  • Tactical Worksheets & “T” boxes 

  • “ERUPTTT” acronym for Maydays

  • Effective fireground communications



Kevin Ward

Kevin Ward has been the fire chief for the Layton City (UT) Fire Department since 2004. Prior to his appointment, Chief Ward served 24 years with the Chandler (AZ) Fire Department, retiring as a battalion chief. He has served as an officer for over 36 years of his career. While in Chandler, Ward served as a training officer, public information officer, hazardous materials team coordinator, wildland fire program coordinator, administrative battalion chief, and emergency medical services (EMS) division chief. Prior to his promotion to battalion chief, Ward spent 18 years as a captain/paramedic on both engine and ladder companies. Chief Ward has achieved qualifications through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group as an engine boss, strike team and task force leader, structure protection specialist, and Type 3 incident commander. He has been an instructor for the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy Command Training Center since its inception. Chief Ward currently serves as Vice President of the Utah Fire Chiefs Association and chairs the Utah Fire Officer Designation Program.



Friday, April 23
Managing Across the Generations
Steven Shepard, Shepard Communications Group

There are four generations in the workplace today: Baby Boomers, Generation-X, Millennials, and the latest addition, the Plurals. They all want the same thing from work and life, but they want it in radically different ways—as we’ll see in this presentation.

Organizations that understand how to attract, inspire, motivate, lead, manage, and develop the different generational cadres that make up the workforce will get the most from their people and enjoy a stable and effective employee base. This is particularly important when we take into account the fact that the Boomers, who were the largest generation in human history and are now retiring in droves, have been eclipsed in size by the Millennials—and the Plurals aren’t far behind.

Steven Shepard, Ph.D.

Dr. Steven Shepard is the founder of the Shepard Communications Group in Williston, Vermont, co-founder of the Executive Crash Course Company, and founder of Shepard Images. A professional author, photographer, audio producer, and educator with more than 35 years of experience in the technology industry, he has written books and articles on a wide variety of topics, including technology, business, biographies, history, photography, children’s stories, storytelling, wildlife recording and fiction. His published books number 84 and counting.

Steve is the creator and host of the Natural Curiosity Podcast, which is devoted to the discovery of the joy and wonder of the natural world and based on the idea that curiosity leads to discovery, discovery leads to knowledge, knowledge leads to insight, and insight leads to understanding. It’s available on iTunes, or on SoundCloud.

Dr. Shepard received his undergraduate degree in Spanish and Romance Philology from the University of California at Berkeley (1976), his Master’s Degree in International Business from St. Mary's College (1985), and his PhD at the Da Vinci Institute in Rivonia, South Africa (2009). He spent eleven years with Pacific Bell in San Francisco in a variety of capacities followed by ten years with Hill Associates in Colchester, Vermont before forming the Shepard Communications Group in early 2000. 

In addition to his work with a wide range of industries, Steve works extensively in the education sector. He is a Senior Fellow of the Da Vinci Institute of South Africa; Adjunct Professor in the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business; a Founding Director of the African Telecoms Institute; and an Emeritus member of the Board of Trustees of Champlain College. He was the Resident Director of the University of Southern California’s Executive Leadership and Advanced Management Programs for more than 25 years, and is adjunct professor at Emory University, the University of Vermont, and the Ivey School in London, Ontario, among others. 

Dr. Shepard specializes in international issues in technology strategy, with an emphasis on the social, geopolitical, economic, and competitive implications of technological change. He has written and directed more than 40 videos and films, and written and produced technical presentations, white papers, Podcasts, speeches, and articles on a broad range of topics for companies and organizations worldwide. He has written, recorded, and photographed in more than 90 countries, serving clients across many different industries including telecommunications, IT, media, advertising, healthcare, transportation, government, software development, education, professional services, NGOs, venture capital, and regulatory.

Thanks to a childhood spent in Spain, Steve is native fluent in Spanish and routinely publishes and delivers presentations in that language. He lives in Vermont with his wife Sabine, who has put up with him for more than 40 years.

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