Firefighters recognized for elite designations, training

Firefighters recognized for elite designations, training

Brentwood Fire & Rescue Chief Brian Goss’s mood was cheerful as he stood before the Board of Commissioners at its meeting Monday night.

“This is one of the fun things I get to do,” he said.

He was there to recognize Brentwood firefighters for achieving special levels of international designation from the Center of Public Safety Excellence. The firefighters stood beside the chief as he spoke, while many of their family members watched proudly from the audience.

The firefighters’ achievements was especially impressive to Chief Goss because he said the challenge he issued to firefighters to achieve professional designation from the Center of Public Safety Excellence was intended as a kind of working test to figure out their strengths and weaknesses.

“Our goal to use that as a professional development tool to recognize areas they maybe were weak in and pursue training opportunities to shore those areas up,” Goss said.

The process to achieve designation was rigorous and cumbersome, requiring the completion of a 50-page application concerning firefighters’ training, education and experience. The result? The firefighters went beyond the calls of duty, and 60 percent of them received international designee status.

The individual officers recognized as well as the designations they achieved were as follows:

Chief Brian Goss – Chief Fire Officer
Assistant Chief David Windrow – Chief Fire Officer
Division Chief Russ Peterson – Chief Training Officer Designee
Division Chief Nancy Jones – Fire Marshall Designee
Lt. Mike McCutcheon – Chief EMS Officer
Lt. Jim Roman – Fire Officer Designee
Battalion Chief Brian Collins – Fire Officer Designee
Battalion Chief David Harber – Fire Officer Designee
Lt. Jeff Pender – Fire Officer Designee
Lt. John LoPiccolo – Fire Officer Designee
Lt. Blane Newberry – Fire Officer Designee
Lt. Derek Hyde – Fire Officer Designee
Engineer John Russ – Fire Officer Designee
Engineer Tony Dixon – Managing Officer

The achievement of these designations is especially notable due to their rarity in the state. Chiefs Goss and Windrow are only 2 of 22 chiefs in the state to achieve that designation. That makes Brentwood the only fire agency in the state to have two chief fire officers, Goss said.

“Once you achieve it you actually have to renew it every three years so you have to keep training and education up,” Goss said. “You can’t hang it on the wall and relax at that point.”

Division Chief Peterson is one of only two Chief Training Officer Designees in the state. Division Chief Jones is one of only four Fire Marshal Designees in the state. Lt. McCutcheon is only one of four Chief EMS Officers in the state. The Brentwood firefighters who achieved Fire Officer Designee status represent eight of the state’s 16 firefighters with that designation.

“Congratulations to the fire department,” Commissioner Ken Travis said after Chief Goss’s remarks. “How impressive was that. Not only to see the guys here, but also when you hear there’s only 16 [fire officer designees] in the state and Brentwood has eight.”

Altogether, the designations make Brentwood Fire & Rescue unprecedented in Tennessee.

“We are the most highly designated department in the state,” Chief Goss said.

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