Commission on Fire Prevention and Control
PETER S. CAROZZA, JR., Chairman
Kevin J. Kowalski, Vice Chairman
Jeffrey J. Morrissette, State Fire Administrator
Statutory authority - CGS Sec. 7-323
Central office -
Average number of full-time employees - 17
Recurring operating expenses - $2,394,009.85
Capital outlay - $328,949.25
Organizational structure - Office of State Fire Administration,
Training Division and
Commission is charged with and has primary responsibility for training, public
fire and life safety education and professional competency certification for
In an effort to provide quality service to its customers, the agency continued working on various training and support initiatives in partnership with several state agencies including the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Public Safety and the State Emergency Response Commission. A conscious effort is made to schedule programs and services within every geographic region of the state to ensure the needs of both the career and volunteer fire service are met.
The State Fire Administrator and staff members actively participate on state and national committees, boards and organizations in an effort to maintain a positive, proactive impact upon agency services. By Connecticut General Statutes, the Administrator serves on both the State Emergency Response and Enhanced 911 Commissions in addition to the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Coordinating Council and the Statewide Highway Incident Management Task Force. The Administrator also serves as the Executive Board Chairman for the International Fire Service Training Association. Agency staff and Adjunct Instructors represent the Commission on the Department of Public Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board and various committees and working groups established by the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Connecticut Fire Department Instructors Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs and the North American Fire Training Directors Association.
Employees receiving special recognition this year from the Connecticut Fire Department Instructors Association included Adjunct Instructor Frederica Weeks who was awarded the Harry Kelly Award and Jeffrey Morrissette recipient of the Richard P. Sylvia Instructor of the Year Award.
The following accomplishments suggest the wide variety of activities carried out by the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control:
· Continued to provide assistance to the Department of Public Safety in support of their Geographical Area Courthouse Bomb Threat Protocol serving as a secondary point of contact for the notification of local fire departments with threats within their jurisdiction.
A total of 174 fire officers attended Connecticut Fire Officer’s
Weekend at the
the 5th annual Connecticut Firefighters Memorial Service. Three fire service personnel were added to
the Memorial Honor Roll two as a result of line-of-duty deaths that occurred
since the previous year’s Service – Joseph S. Pagano, Jr. (
administration of the 800 FIRE LINE program, a national volunteer fire and
emergency services recruitment tool.
During the fiscal year, 19 calls were received with only one referred to
the support of federal Homeland Security funding, procured three new foam
trailer units that were placed into service and hosted by the
· Two Introductions to the Fire Service programs for youth 14 to18 years of age promoting the fire service as an occupation and/or avocation within a camp like setting was delivered to 95 students. Evidence of the program’s success is the retention of students as full-fledged firefighters once they attain the age of 18.
· Continued offering of the Fire Officer Seminar Series headlined by national speakers presenting on a variety of contemporary topics. Seven, daylong sessions were held with 539 students resulting in 4,312 contact hours.
· Academy dormitory rooms were occupied by students an equivalent of 6,842 room nights during the year, a 6% decrease from the previous fiscal year.
· Continued support to the Joint Council of Connecticut Fire Service Organizations including coordination of the 10th Annual Fire Service Day at the Capitol.
· The agency’s electronic mail list service continued to provide immediate dissemination of contemporary information to subscribers. Communications were reduced to a single daily message however multiple messages are typically combined. A total of 230 messages were transmitted during the fiscal year on well over 1,000 items of public safety interest.
· Continued regular dissemination of press releases to the news media, most specifically, in areas of public fire and life safety education. Staff provided radio interviews and commentary on issues regarding holiday fire safety, juvenile firesetter intervention, volunteer recruitment and retention, winter home fire safety and other contemporary issues.
· Our Public Life Safety efforts have produced 26 presentations of the Kids Fire Safety House reaching 3,955 students.
· Continued in an advocacy role regarding fire service issues to members of the Connecticut General Assembly and United States Congress.
participated on the Connecticut State Firefighters’ Association Education
Committee in support of the Regional Fire Training Schools. Capital Bond funds were authorized for the
Hartford County Regional Fire School Expansion.
Additional Bond funds were being requested during the 1st
quarter of FY09 for projects in Burrville and
support to the Statewide Honor Guard initiative. This group of volunteers provides direct
support to local fire departments.
Hosted a weeklong
· In lieu of an annual State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) conference the Commission joined with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) and the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and presented an update to over 300 municipalities on Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know at CCM’s Emergency Management Symposium.
Director Thomas McGowan is responsible for
the statewide coordination of certification and assessment services. His leadership role focuses on using
assessment methodologies to ensure fire service personnel accountability,
competency and achievement thereby, providing analytical information to enhance the
Within the division there are two highly dedicated full time staff members and 35 adjunct examiners responsible for the development and administration of fair and consistent examinations based on National Professional Qualification Standards. As independent accreditation entities, the National Board of Fire Service Professional Qualifications (ProBoard) and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) have accredited the Commission for having met the high standards necessary for such recognition. This past year the ProBoard reaccredited the Commission for an additional five years based on excellence in service and commitment to the fire service.
There is a steady increase in the number of fire service personnel who voluntarily become certified within the 21 competency levels offered by the Commission. Career tracking, local fire department and community demand for highly trained, qualified, and certified personnel, leadership opportunities, and assurance that firefighters are trained and certified in specialty operations are just a few reasons for the continual professional qualification offered to the state’s fire service personnel by the Certification division.
Figure 1 - Total Number of Certificates Issued Over the Past Four Fiscal Years
The division accomplished several goals. One was the development of a dynamic 100-page dual-function reference document designed and developed to be used within the office and field to assist in the decision making process. Implemented in January of 2008, this resource offers the division, staff and customer a fair and consistent written policy and procedure instrument that has reduced disparity and streamlined day-to-day decisions and operations.
A second goal was to build a more collaborative working relationship with the Training division. This was accomplished by meeting with our colleagues to assimilate and balance each of our needs to better serve the customer. The relationship between the two divisions has enabled a closer look at each other’s strengths and identified opportunities to develop cohesive models that ultimately serve the best interest of the fire service community.
the Certification division began a research project to determine the
feasibility of facilities as they relate to supporting the certification
process. This report outlined the facts
pertaining to the adequacy of local training facilities on the certification
process. The areas of concern included
the safety, training, and certification of the firefighter in
Program administration was also provided in support of a new initiative to provide reimbursement to municipalities or fire departments for 50% the cost of entry-level training of their personnel that achieve certification. Approximately $400,000 was expended in the first year of this important workforce development program.
The Office continued to provide consulting
services to communities regarding Juvenile Firesetter Intervention. More than a dozen juvenile firesetter
referrals were handled through the Commission.
We are thankful for the support offered by local firesetter programs
that accept out of town or district referrals.
The Program Coordinator has presented informational programs throughout
the state including
On a legislative front, Commissioners and staff provided technical assistance to members of the General Assembly in support of several legislative proposals.
Federal grant funding in support of two durational State Fire Rescue
Disaster Response Plan Coordinator positions was exhausted. Responsibilities included a revision of the
Statewide Fire Rescue Disaster Response Plan ensuring compliance with the
National Incident Management System.
This updated Plan is expected to be adopted by early fall. Coordinators also provided technical
assistance and support to Regional and County Fire Coordinators, assisted in
fire service equipment typing as well as updated procedures for the Fire
Liaison position at the state
The Training Division, better known as the
During the year, the division offered 623 training programs reaching
11,235 students resulting in 230,232 contact hours. This represents a slight decrease in
deliveries (84) with (1,315) fewer students and a consequent minor decrease in
student contact hours (9,926). A
contributing reason for the decrease is the change to National Incident
Management System (NIMS) training from direct delivery to the non-traditional
method of online distance learning. Our
most visible on-campus event during the fiscal year was the annual
During the reporting period, the
We currently broker a Leadership Development program supplying a skilled facilitator to administer and interpret online survey instruments then lead discussions of specific recommendations for personal and organizational development. This service has expanded into 23 contacts within 8 fire departments.
The Recruit Firefighter program underwent significant retooling moving from a 10-week program to a 14-week program at the request of the Career Fire Chiefs Association. The primary reason for the additional time is to allow sufficient rotational practice for each student to ensure their skill mastery.
Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Quantitative Face Piece Fit Testing continues to be a popular service offered to fire departments, law enforcement agencies, state agencies and private industry. A total of 995 tests were administered to 30 different organizations ensuring compliance with Code of Federal Regulations 1910.134.
The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) process changed as the result
of a State of
Members of the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control are appointed by the Governor and represent statewide fire service organizations. Commissioners serving during the fiscal year: Chairman Peter S. Carozza, Jr., Waterbury; Vice Chairman Kevin J. Kowalski, Simsbury; Secretary James P. Wilkinson, Milford; Edward B. Gomeau, Greenwich; David J. Dagon, Mansfield; John J. Blaschik, Jr., Middletown, Matthew Nelson, Glastonbury; Richard H. Nicol, Middlebury; Charles M. Stankye, Jr., Derby; Robert Walsh, Plantsville; John J. Brady, Madison; Megan Murphy, Trumbull; Victor Mitchell, Bristol and Philip K. Schenck, Avon.