Assistant Fire Chief attains prestigious certification

After an intense four-year course of study in the field of Fire Science, Melissa’s Assistant Fire Chief has attained the prestigious Executive Fire Officer (EFO) designation from the National Fire Academy.

Chief Carl Nix will be recognized at a meeting of the Melissa City Council as Fire Chief Harold Watkins will present him with the certificate designating Chief Nix as having completed the requirements for the EFO course of study.

The National Fire Academy, located in Maryland, administers the Executive Fire Officer program which provides local senior fire officials with a broad range of instruction on fire and emergency service administration.

The various courses and research projects provide a close look at how to exercise leadership in dealing with difficult or unique problems within communities around the country.

Students sharpen their professional skills and develop thoughtful solutions to issues through a series of four graduate equivalent courses over a four-year period. The two-week courses are held at the Academy’s campus. The intensity of the two weeks is magnified by the follow-up requirement of an applied research project, relevant to the student’s home city and department, and must be completed within six months of completing the classroom portion.

Chief Nix completed the four classes and accompanying research projects within the time frame allotted, scoring well above the requirements for the four projects. The projects are the scholastic equivalent of major research papers in a college graduate course and are graded at that level.

Acceptance into the program requires applicants to be in a chief officer level position and have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, the Fire Chief must provide a statement of organizational commitment to support the student in completing both the courses and the applied research.

During the four-year period, Chief Nix counted on the solid backing of Chief Watkins, the City’s administrative staff, and his colleagues in the Melissa Fire Department, all of which provided moral support, encouragement, and reinforcement.

“It’s very clear that I would not have been able to complete this grueling course without the support of Chief Watkins, City Manager Jason Little and the entire City of Melissa structure,” he said.  Chief Nix becomes the first member of the Melissa Fire Department to have attained the certification.