top of page
  • Writer's pictureKelly Walsh

Testimonials for the 2020 Brave Fire Leader Volunteer Academy - Online Cohort

Updated: Feb 27, 2022

Sponsored by the IAFC

Here in rural Oklahoma we don't have a lot o opportunities for leadership training or development as a officer. I found the class was very helpful and informative for a new "Fire leader. Topics covered were beneficial and the views from all across the United States was interesting. I look forward to the continued support as I take this journey. • Clarence Perryman, Fire Chief, Dickson Fire Department

​​When I was told about the brave fire leader Academy I was excited cause I have never heard of it. The class was very well presented and taught. Kelly and chief Dan are awesome people. Since the class I have started a leadership suggestion box and every Monday we review the leadership values and at first it was just me now all the staff do it and are actually teaching the younger guys about leadership. This class inspired me to become so much more in the fire service and I will not give up until I am the best possible leader I can be. The way they lay the class out is awesome and I am excited to say I took the brave fire leader Academy. • Tyler Strickland, Fighter/EMT, Bossier Parish Fire District 1

​​I just want to say that I have taken a few leadership classes in my time here at our county government. I have never taken a leadership class in the fire service. The topics hit home to a lot of volunteer fire departments. I learned that issues I have at my department are also issues that other volunteer departments have around the country. The material was great. The videos were also helpful. The conversations with other departments around the country was instrumental. The instructors Kelly and Dan are very knowledgeable in their respective areas. Dan is right you learn mostly about fire fighting and not enough about leadership.I encourage anyone who wants to be a leader this class is for you. The HR information that Kelly laid out was also very helpful. Keep up the good work. Thanks to all of you in the Brave Fire Leadership Academy family. Which I am a part of now. God Bless. • Randy Villa, Firefighter, Tyrone Volunteer Volunteer Fire Department ​​ I am a newly elected Assist Chief in my Dept, However I have been with the Mabank Volunteer Fire Dept since 1995. Time were a lot simpler then. However if it wasn't for the Covid I probably wouldn't have even known about this class. Just as Dan said in the first intro class pretty much nothing was laid out in my Dept other than here it is have at it oh and make it happen and hurry every chance you get because we should have already had these things done. I was so over whelmed with the things that needed to be done. This is by far the best class I feel as far as leadership and administration. I have recommended this class to everyone I talk to in the fire service. It has helped me so much so far and I look forward to another class with Dan and Kelly in the future. Their leadership and tactics have helped me and my department quite a lit in the short few months since I have taken the class. • David Owens Assistant Chief, Mabank Volunteer Fire Department I appreciate the ability to learn from your perspectives on leadership. Being apart of the International Association of Fire Chiefs ( Volunteer and Combination Section) Volunteer Cohort Leadership Academy allowed me to discuss new and ongoing human resource type issues that are not usually part of the requirements to become a volunteer fire officer. The group of combination and volunteer officers from around the United States made this class a great learning experience. The need to refocus the ability of volunteer fire officers to realize that emergency incidents are a small part of what has to be accomplished to effectively handle day-to-day operations is a top priority in today's service. I encourage all combination and volunteer fire officers to get out of their comfort zones and find a leadership academy, it will give you the tools to succeed in all aspects of being a leader! • John "Jack" Wilson, Fire Chief, Seaford Volunteer Fire Department, Delaware First, I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to take the Brave Fire Leader Academy through the Volunteer Cohort. There is excellent information given through the training and with the virtual meetings. Covid-19 has changed how we can participate in training. You and Dan have stepped up to the plate and provided an excellent training program through virtual learning and meetings. The information we learned will be useful in multiple ways throughout our fire careers and everyday interactions with others outside of our organizations. Being able to connect with others from across the nation also allowed different perspectives and insights. If you are an officer or becoming an officer, I highly recommend this program to build your character and leadership skills. Thank you again for the opportunity to participate. I was able to learn a great deal and evaluate my thoughts and leadership skills to find areas to improve and grow. • Melanie Colvin, Captain, Lexington Fire Department (OK) I appreciate the opportunity to recommend the Volunteer Cohort program, Kelly, and Chief Dan. Thank you all for a great experience. As a result of participating in the Brave Fire Leader Volunteer Cohort I am so much better prepared to serve my district as a Lieutenant than I could have imagined before taking the class. The practical tools we learned for communication and problem-solving are already making a difference in how I am working with people at all levels in my department, and I expect to use even more of these tools going forward. An exceptional feature of the program was how well Chief Dan Jones & Kelly Walsh elicited class participation during the online sessions. They seamlessly integrated experiences shared by attendees into the flow of the class. That, and the opportunity to work with an accountability partner, developed a sense of connection among participants even while we were spread out in a dozen states. It also created a window into the cultures of many different departments for a broader perspective on officers’ roles and responsibilities. The whole experience was immensely valuable, and enjoyable as well. I highly recommend the Kelly Walsh programs to anyone who is interested in a leadership role in the Fire Service. • Madeleine Wells, Lieutenant, Hondo VFD, Santa Fe County (NM) Fire Department



bottom of page