Montana Fire Service Leadership Training Series
Ignite Your Recruitment and Retention Through Effective Leadership
The Montana State Fire Chiefs Association in conjunction with the Montana State Volunteer Firefighters Association is pleased to announce our Montana Fire Service Leadership Training Series. These free monthly online training sessions will focus on Leadership, Recruitment and Retention and all fire service professionals are invited and welcome to participate. Please share with your colleagues. Certificates will be provided upon completion of the session.
For questions contact Kim Skufca, MSFCA, 406-625-7059 or Email
This training is made available through funding provided by the FEMA SAFER Grant, awarded to MSFCA in 2020.
December 15, 6:30-7:30 pm MST
Chief Ray will share some of his volunteer and career fire service experience as well as his current position within the overall fire protection world. A changing political and economic world that awaits a new normal post-pandemic will provide recruitment and retention challenges that require a team of leaders to overcome. He will bring a global perspective that applies to the local communities and the State of Montana. He looks forward to the dialogue with the fire service leaders of Montana. Printable Flyer
Instructor: Chief Shane Ray, President National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA)
Chief Ray has served for over 30 years from firefighter to fire chief, as well as Superintendent of the South Carolina Fire Academy, and later was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley as State Fire Marshal. He currently serves as President of the National Fire Sprinkler Association.
Chief Ray is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the University of Maryland’s Leadership Development Program, and the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. He spent many years in organizations such as the International Society of Fire Service Instructors and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Leading in Turbulent Times
This training highlighted strategy needed to stay ahead of the challenges we are facing. Since the world has changed, so have our volunteer and career wants and desires. What can be done to help calm their concerns?
Instructor: Chief John M. Buckman, III, State Fire Training Director – Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office Chief Buckman served 35 years as fire chief for the German Township (Indiana) Volunteer Fire Department, and 15 years as director of the fire and public safety academy for the Indiana State Fire Marshal Office. He is the Director of Government and Regional Outreach for IamResponding.com. Buckman is a past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a co-founder of the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section. In 1996, Fire Chief Magazine named Buckman Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year. Buckman is an accomplished photographer, a co-author of the Lesson Learned from Fire-Rescue Leaders, and the editor of the Chief Officers Desk Reference. Buckman is the owner of Wildfire Productions.
The Essentials of the Leadership Journey
This training highlighted the essentials of leadership that we discover along our journeys as chief officers, officers and leaders. The backbone of the training was the eleven-part Leadership Journey course that is taught in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming based on the Band of Brothers series.
Instructor: Division Chief Greg Ward is the Operations Chief of the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) in Loveland Colorado. Greg has served the Loveland community for the past twenty-six years and has a total of thirty-four years in the fire service, serving with the Berthoud Fire District, United Stated Air Force Academy Fire Department and Black Forest Fire Rescue District prior to LFRA. Greg serves as the president of the Colorado Governor’s Fire Training and Certification Board, the coordinator for the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control’s Fire Officer II program and a member of the Aims Community College Fire Science Advisory Board. He is proud to be a third-generation firefighter and chief officer.
Selecting a new Fire Chief is a difficult challenge – whether it is in the volunteer fire service or the career service. Firefighters say they want leadership and are quick to judge leaders through the prism of their own experiences, whether positive or negative. During this presentation, we explored different methods for selecting a new Fire Chief (including doing away with elections) as well as how career departments might consider including personnel in the selection process.
Instructor Matthew Tobia is the Fire Chief with the City of Harrisonburg (VA) Fire Department and is a 33-year student of emergency services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy. Matt has served as a member of the Editorial Board for Fire-Rescue Magazine and has authored over 120 articles. He is also the former chair of the IAFC’s Safety, Health and Survival Section, holds the Chief Fire Officer credential, and is a member of the Institute of Fire Engineers. Prior to Harrisonburg, Chief Tobia spent 23 years with the Anne Arundel County (MD) Fire Department and four years with Loudoun County (VA) Fire Rescue. Matt began volunteering in south-central Pennsylvania in 1987 and is active with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Mid Atlantic Burn Camp for Children.
Establishing Expectations: How to Improve Member Involvement and Performance
Troy Petersen, FSTS N. Central Regional Training Manager
Terry Larson, FSTS S. Central Regional Training Manager
Using evidence-based best practices and legitimate job expectations, participants learned how to set expectations to improve member performance and retention through effective leadership.
Fire Chiefs 101 – Partnerships and Resources
Chief Mike DeGrosky, MT DNRC
Dick Swingley, State Fire Marshal, MT DOJ
Delila Bruno, Division Administrator, MT DES
Jack Ganieany, Response, Mitigation & Recovery Bureau Chief, MT DES
The Truth behind Recruiting and Retaining Volunteer Firefighters
Instructor: Jason Caughey, Fire Chief, Laramie County Fire District #2, Cheyenne, Wyoming
This training session focused on identifying why members leave organizations and how to attract new members.
Instructor: Division Chief Greg Ward, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority
Division Chief Ward is the Operations Chief of the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) in Loveland Colorado. Greg has served the Loveland community for the past twenty-six years and has a total of thirty-four years in the fire service, serving with the Berthoud Fire District, United Stated Air Force Academy Fire Department and Black Forest Fire Rescue District prior to LFRA. Greg serves as the president of the Colorado Governor’s Fire Training and Certification Board, the coordinator for the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control’s Fire Officer II program and a member of the Aims Community College Fire Science Advisory Board. He is proud to be a third-generation firefighter and chief officer.