Launch of the Online Fire Leadership Training Academy



RALEIGH, NC (December 5, 2019) – A new online leadership training program has been launched to teach leadership skills to fire service officers, general managers and those who aspire to these levels of leadership . The Brave Fire Leader Academy ( is taught by two recognized industry experts: Kelly Walsh, M.Ed., a certified professional coach, with over twenty-five years of experience in human resources, including ten years in the fire service. Resources and Chief Dan Jones, a retired Fire Chief (Chapel Hill, NC) with over 41 years of service, including over 35 years teaching firefighter leadership. Jones is also the former editor of Fire & Rescue Magazine and former president of ISFSI.

Walsh and Jones developed the online academy after hearing advice from industry wanting a more convenient way to train their teams without the added expense of travel and time spent on in-person training. Walsh and Jones have trained people from over 150 fire departments and hundreds of students nationwide are successfully completing their live training program.

The classes will benefit anyone looking to take their careers to the next level, become more competitive, and gain confidence with some of the toughest concerns of a leader outside the campfire. It is also designed to help with the leadership transition when company executives and CEOs are promoted or retired so that there are successors who are ready to step up and lead.

There are two levels of online courses available for fire chiefs and future leaders. The first level is a “Leadership Intensive” series intended for managers and directors of the company. The second level, the Leadership Mastery Series, consists of courses designed to provide advanced leadership training to the first officer and the cadet-in-chief. The courses serve a multitude of purposes for different students: they are sometimes used to bridge the gap between different career phases or to provide additional professional training and qualifications necessary for promotional advancement. There are courses in a wide variety of subjects, for developing the inner leader such as communication skills, ethics, and also for navigating some of the more complex issues such as choosing leadership styles, developing leadership skills. ‘team, the multigenerational workforce and how to avoid legal landmines.

Well-regarded and Respected Chef Dennis Compton “I have known and worked closely with Kelly Walsh and Chef Dan Jones on several occasions during my career. Their unique combination of fire service human resource management, training and leadership experience makes this educational opportunity both practical and essential for current and future firefighters. These two professionals have so much to offer their students – there is no doubt that firefighters will greatly benefit from their education. Compton is the former Fire Chief of Mesa, Arizona and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

The training program is receiving positive reviews from fire chiefs across the country. Brad Cox, Fire Chief for Lexington County, South Carolina, said, “I highly recommend this academy to anyone looking to provide ‘real world’ leadership training in their service. “

This engaging training helps current and aspiring fire chiefs:

  • Use skills and strategies already used in the field, transformed to solve and prevent problems for people.
  • Learn the main areas of interest to improve the impact of their performance at work.
  • Have access to about 20 leadership tools that they can pick up and use right away.
  • Develop and engage the people who work in their teams.
  • Know how to lead everyone, no matter their age or style.
  • Think at a higher and more comprehensive level of promoting their department’s success.

Since launching this month, the academy has already grown in importance and the first group of students began their leadership training within days of the program launch.

“As someone with extensive leadership training including a Masters in Leadership, I can say hands down that there is no training for firefighters who reach this level. I don’t know anyone else in the country who either does what Jones and Walsh are doing and was thrilled to be a part of this Academy, ”said Charles Vannatter, Building Manager / Fire Warden, Wytheville Fire Department

Walsh and Jones are also the author of a book called “Start the Fire Inside, What Business Executives Can Learn from Executives in Fire Departments,” which is scheduled for release by the end of 2020. .

For more information, visit or call Steve Matzat at (408) 386-5093.

About Chef Brave Fire

Since not all future fire chiefs have the time or the financial support to make it to the National Leadership Training Programs, we have created this online program to bring you our acclaimed training. Taught by two fire leadership experts, Kelly Walsh, M.Ed. a certified professional coach with over 25 years of human resources experience including 10 years in Mesa, Arizona Fire Department and Chief Dan Jones, retired Chapel Hill Fire Chief, North Carolina, with 41 years of experience, an award-winning instructor and former editor of National Fire & Rescue Magazine. Together they have over 40 years of teaching experience and over the past four years they have taught their Fire Leadership program to hundreds of students in over 150 fire departments nationwide.

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