A member of Thomasville Fire Rescue has become the first in the state of Georgia to receive the Training Officer Credential designation from the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI). Craig Dukes, Chief of Training, was one of forty candidates participating in the newly launched program from more than 20 departments nationwide.
“I’m very proud to accomplish this goal and earn the credential of ISFSI Training Officer,” said Dukes. “This is the most valuable certification I have earned; everything else I’ve earned has helped get me to this point.”
ISFSI launched the Training Officer Credential designation in July of 2016 after recognizing the need to establish an opportunity for aspiring, emerging, developing, or practicing fire service instructors, training officers, fire officers and allied training personnel to qualify their professional status. The credential is designed to elevate the standards of instructor professionalism.
“ISFSI began 54 years ago in 1961 to help improve firefighter safety. They are the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for fire service instructors,” said Thomasville Fire Chief Chris Bowman. “I believe that instructors have the power to transform the lives, safety, and well-being of our firefighters. Chief Dukes has taken this to the highest level of his profession and we are very proud of his accomplishments.”
Successful candidates who pursue the ISFSI Training Officer Credential must have their education, training and experiences validated on a professional platform. The credential authenticates their contributions to the industry and provides employers a tangible recognition of the employee’s professional accomplishments.
“As part of the process, I also participated in online professional portfolio design and interactive learning experiences as well as a two-day instructor-facilitated student-driven classroom course that included topics such as budget preparations, incident investigation, and other fire service topics,” said Dukes. “We were required to achieve a minimum score of 80% on all tests and also deliver a presentation to be evaluated by fellow candidates and lead instructors from the ISFSI.”
“The ISFSI credential designation provides instructors a direct pathway to develop and advance as professional educators and will bridge the gap between fire service professional development, the professional credentialing of instructors, and the accreditation of emerging training curriculums and eLearning platforms and programs,” stated ISFSI President Steve Pegram.
“This credential authenticates and recognizes the value a training officer can bring to a department and the officer’s professional accomplishments,” said Dukes. “It shows dedication to the safety and professional development of firefighters through a change of culture and behaviors through education and training.”
Dukes earned the credential, which is valid for three years, in October. Successfully credentialed candidates are also eligible for 32 hours of continuing education credit by Columbia Southern University.