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Professional Development Programs • Firefighters

pro board accreditation

The Chief Officer program has been awarded ProBoard Certification for Fire Officer III in the state of Wisconsin. The Regional Emergency and All-Climate Training Center (REACT) is the certifying agency for this program.

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(920) 424-1129

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Chief Officer Program

chief officer program student Brian Bending

Brian Bending, Oshkosh Fire Department fire inspector and Chief Officer Program student

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The Chief Officer Program (COP) is a collaborative initiative between UW Oshkosh and the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association (WSFCA), providing officers with broad perspectives on various facets of fire and emergency services administration.

Through six online educational modules, the COP framework helps senior officers strengthen their communication and leadership skills and gain a better understanding of public administration in fire and emergency services.

Complete all six modules and receive F03 ProBoard Certification.

Chief Officer Program Curriculum

Participants will learn a variety of leadership and management skills through the online six-module program. Modules consist of reading, preparation and online work.

  • Module 1: Authentic Communication
  • Module 2: Writing Effective Communications
  • Module 3: Leadership in the Public Sphere
  • Module 4: Personnel Management
  • Module 5: Fiscal Management
  • Module 6: Risk Assessment and Strategic Planning

Admission Requirements

  • Documentation of at least three years in an officer position or 10 years experience in a fire or EMS department.
  • Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s fire chief, police and fire commission, city board or elected official.

For more information on the program or to apply, contact UW Oshkosh at (920) 424-0234 or (800) INFO-UWO.

Registration Information

Modules are offered throughout the year. The cost of each module is $499. Participants will need to purchase the required textbook, Chief Officer, Principles and Practice by David J. Purchase, second edition, published by Jones and Bartlett. The textbook will be used throughout all six modules.

Register online >> Module 1: Authentic Communication – Jan. 7 – Feb. 3, 2018
Register online >> Module 2: Writing Effective Communications – Feb. 11 – March 7, 2018
Register online >> Module 3: Leadership in the Public Sphere – March 11 – April 7, 2018
Register online >> Module 4: Personnel Management – April 15 – May 12, 2018
Register online >> Module 5: Fiscal Management – May 20 – June 16, 2018
Register online >> Module 6: Risk Assessment and Strategic Planning – June 24 – Aug. 24, 2018

The Chief Officer Program is a collaborative effort among:

Wisconsin Emergency Services Academy (WESA)

Visit the WESA website to learn more about additional education opportunities for firefighters. WESA is a collaboration that is supported by a variety of educational and training organizations in Wisconsin including: