Contact Us

Join Mailing List CTA

Cynthia Brun

Lincoln Hall
800 Algoma Boulevard

Oshkosh, WI 54901

Local: (920) 424-1129
Toll-free: (800) 633-1442
Fax: (920) 424-1803

We've moved! 

Please visit us at our new location, Lincoln Hall, on the corner of Algoma Blvd. and Wisconsin St. Mail can still be directed to the address listed above. 

You are here: Home > Professional Development > For Firefighters > Wisconsin Emergency Services Academy

Join us for our next course offering:

Course Six: Risk Management & Strategic Planning

Oct. 3–5, 2014 • Camp Douglas, Wis.

This module will provide students with a basic understanding of risk management and strategic planning processes as applied to the fire service setting. As fire departments continue to grow and develop, both of these areas are vital to the continued health of the members and the department as a whole. The course will use a hybrid presentation model, including pre-course assignments, lecture, follow-up online discussions and final project assignments.

Course Learning Objectives:

The Chief Officer Program is designed to further the professional development of fire service leaders through improved skills relative to critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication and resource management. This class will focus on the importance of Risk Management as a necessary component of any chief officer’s responsibilities and how successful strategic planning is essential for organizational health and growth. Upon successful completion of this course participants will be able to: 

  1. Identify areas of risk associated with fire and EMS service operations
  2. Identify regulatory requirement from local, state and federal perspectives related to risk management concepts and how to implement them
  3. Discuss and review the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation 16 Life Safety Initiatives and how they relate to risk management strategies
  4. Participate in NFFF –Leadership, Accountability, Culture and Knowledge Course (LACK)
  5. Discuss strategic planning and its purpose in the fire service
  6. Identify and review various models/methods of strategic planning
  7. Review examples of fire department strategic plans and discuss the specific goals each is trying to accomplish
  8. Develop a draft set of goals for each student’s specific organization


Chief Paul Nelson, DeForest Area Fire and EMS District, has been involved in emergency response for than 20years, with experience ranging from fire, EMS, and hazmat response to international radiation response and preparedness. He has worked for the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, managing their onsite hazardous materials response team, as well as serving as a member of the Department of Energy nuclear and radiation response teams. 

He is currently is the Region 5 Advocate for the Everyone Goes Home Program through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Western Director for the Fire Department Safety Officer’s Association. He also is the 2014 President of the of Wisconsin State Fire Chief’s Association.

He has a BS in Occupational Safety from University of Wisconsin Platteville, an MS in Industrial Health form the University of Michigan, a certificate in Emergency Planning and Management from the University of California-Berkeley. He also has completed the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy and holds a Chief Fire Officer designation.

Chief Officer Program

The Chief Officer Program (COP) is a collaborative initiative between UW Oshkosh and the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association (WSFCA) designed to provide officers with a broad perspective on various facets of fire and emergency services administration.

The target audience of the program is officers in the fire industry and firefighters and emergency response personnel who desire to become officers.

Through six educational courses, the COP framework helps senior officers to strengthen their communication and leadership skills and gain a better understanding of public administration in fire and emergency services.

Chief Officer Program Curriculum

The program helps leaders develop sound critical thinking and problem solving sills,  oral and written communication skills, and knowledge in the areas of human resource management, fiscal management, and community risk assessment.

Participants will learn a variety of leadership and management skills through the six-course program. Each course consists of one weekend class of work, along with some reading and preparation before the weekend and some online work after.

    • Course 1: Relating to others through communication
    • Course 2: Improving your writing
    • Course 3: Leadership in the public sphere
    • Course 4: Personnel administration
    • Course 5: The budget process
    • Course 6: Risk management and strategic planning
Document Actions
Upcoming Courses

Join us for our next course:

Risk Management & Strategic Planning

Oct. 3-€“5, 2014

Register online today >>