New board takes office October 4, 2018 in Fayetteville, Arkansas

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New board takes office October 4, 2018 in Fayetteville, Arkansas


back row left to right:  Bert Norton, David Dayringer, Michael Daniels, Tom Bradley, Dennis Pacheco

front row left to right: Roy Robichaux, Randy Parr, Shauwn Howell, Robert Benoit, James Fullingim

not pictured:  Chad Roberson, Gregg Loyd, 

The current board of directors took the oath of office during the

2018 Executive Leadership Conference & Expo in Fayetteville, Arkansas


The education was focused on preparing our officers for the next step in their fire service career…..the commanding officer, training chief, division chief, batallion chief or department chief.  Fire chiefs  around the country are beginning to retire at higher rates than in the past,  taking with them years of education, training and experience gained during possibly the most pivotal time in fire and ems history!   

We are proud to offer top notch speakers and educators to help our members evolve with the times and changes in the fire service.





2019 Budget unanimously approved

The Board of Directors approved the 2019 financial budget prior to the end of 2018. The proposed budget was submitted by secretary/treasurer James Fullingim and executive director Lisa Moatts to the full board December 20th. The budget was unanimously approved by the deadline of December 28, 2018.

Highlights of the new budget include training programs to be made available to the Southwestern membership. The idea of the training program is to deliver to member fire departments within the SW Division a selection of training that best suits their needs. Please stay posted to our website for more information The board has selected a team of 5 committee members, 1 from each state to assist the board in site selection, education offerings, speakers etc.

Another aspect of the budget is to provide the means necessary to have 1 of our executive board members travel to one of the state conferences on behalf of the IAFC-SW Division. Your state elected vice president will also be present representing the Division.

Other line-items in the budget include revenue from the Fire-Rescue GPO, Executive Leadership Conference and various rebate programs offered from our sponsors.

Leadership Academy update

Announcing the
“IAFC-SW Division High Performance Coaching & Leadership Academy”
What it isThe IAFC-SW Division, and 1SmartCareer proudly partner to bring “Cutting Edge”leadership training to the fire service. Our promise to you is that this academy will be considerably different than you ever have attended before and way more powerful.
Join us to learn the key skills and practices necessary to successfully lead people and manage resources in today’s fire and emergency services.

What sets this training apart from other leadership training courses is that, upon completion of the symposium, 2 coaching and 2 mentoring sessions will be scheduled by phone for each participant.
Who Should Attend: Current Officers, Company Officers, Future Chief Officers, Mid-level Chiefs, anyone in FD Leadership Positions or aspiring to same.
Academy Topics IncludeYou are the leader; roles, responsibilities and behaviorsCommunicating and Connecting effectivelyMoving Forward and dealing with obstaclesLeading into the Future and developing other leaders
When and Where
This symposium is being held March 12 – 14, 2019 in Lafayette, Louisiana at the Lafayette Fire Training Center; event time 8:30am – 5:30pm.
Pricing at $849 per attendee. Includes a 3-day  in person symposium plus 4 online classes, and 2 coaching and 2 mentoring sessions over the following four months, April – July, 2019. Class size is limited to 44 attendees.
Learn More and to Register for the Academy Here
For specific questions or additional information contact: Steven Matzat

New Strategic Plan 2019-2020

October 4, 2018


By unanimous vote, the IAFC-Southwestern Division elected to adopt a new 2-year strategic plan.  The previous strategic plan’s final worksheet 

was discussed at the BOD meeting in Fayetteville October 2, 2018.  The new plan was reduced into 3 main goals:  Lead, Educate Serve

Please see the Strategic Plan below.  Or you may visit our governance page to download a copy for your files.


Goal # 1: “To LEAD”

To LEAD by being the preeminent voice and advocate for the fire and emergency services on SW regional policy and in government.


  1. Improve involvement of SWD between IAFC and State Chief’s organizations
    • Continue to work with new Division Governance Committee & Division Policy Manual through outreach to the divisions and annual committee meetings
    • Assure each state association has representation through a vice president appointed annually to the board of directors as per the existing policy
    • State vice presidents should attend all state meetings and provide a report to the membership of the division’s activity


  1. Fulfill the organizations financial responsibility by creating and developing additional revenue streams to support programs and initiatives.
    • Increase IAFC membership.
    • Research and implement new programs to increase Division income.
    • Maintain fiscal responsibility by monitoring and controlling expenditures.
    • Continue to work with new Division Governance Committee & Division Policy Manual through outreach to the divisions and annual committee meetings
  2. Continue to advocate current legislative priorities/issues.
    • Establish updated legislative resource page to the organization website; include periodic updates via media outlets to include IAFC legislative committee and lobbying efforts


 Goal # 2: “To EDUCATE”

To EDUCATE current and future fire and emergency services leaders by providing training, education and professional development opportunities.


  1. Make the knowledge, experience, and resources within the SW Division easily accessible for research            and problem solving                                                                                      
  • Supplement, develop, enhance, and effectively deliver education, training, and professional development programs relevant to the members
  1. Facilitate career progression, mentoring, and succession management at all levels.
    • Serve as an educational resource for existing state professional development programs.
    • Support leadership development throughout the division membership


Goal # 3: “To SERVE”

To SERVE by providing services and products of value to our membership, affiliates and partners.


  1. To improve Communications with SW Division membership.
    • Remain flexible to evolving technology
    • Continue to evolve and enhance the association website
    • Promote the Fireground Newsletter by monthly and/or quarterly issues delivered electronically via email and social media
    • Continued committee appointments to increase member involvement in Division business
  2. Seeks ways to provide our membership with additional services and resources to enhance the valve of membership.
    • Implement mechanisms to continuously seek out, evaluate and respond to feedback from membership.

Various communication platforms are available via the website, social media and board member direct email and links provided on the website

  • Increase membership participation in SW Division committees and business.
  1. Support the IAFC in developing resources to assist fire and emergency leaders who are confronted with challenges that exceed their resources to manage.
  • Support membership by facilitating IAFC and Division resources

Please contact President Shauwn Howell for any questions



OFCA newest representative takes the oath in Fayetteville

Albert Norton                                                                               

1118 Fernwood Dr Midwest City, Ok · 73130 · (405) 568-7767 ·


  • Oklahoma State University
    • Bachelor of Technology, Emergency Responder Administration, December 2014
    • Associates of Applied Science, Municipal Fire Protection, May 2010

Summary of Qualifications                                                                                

  • Over 24 years of progressive municipal fire service experience with progressive responsibilities.
  • Managed daily and emergency operations for personnel assigned to Station 1 as a Major and Shift Commander Ride-Out.
  • Commanded emergency incidents.
  • Midwest City Wellness Committee Member, 2012-Present.
  • Blue Card Command Certified, 2015.
  • City of Midwest City Insurance Committee Member, 2011-2014.
  • Midwest City Fire Department, Tribute to Liberty, Incident Command, 2014.
  • Midwest City Fire Department, Veterans Day Staging Officer, 2013 & 2014.
  • Oklahoma State Firefighter’s Pension and Retirement System Board Chairman, 2011.
  • Midwest City Fire Department, Shift EMS Coordinator, 2002-2007.

Fire Service Experience                                                                                      

Midwest City Fire Department

  • Fire Chief: 2015- Present
  • Major: 2014- 2015
  • Captain: 2012-2014
  • Lieutenant: 2009-2012
  • Apparatus Operator: 2007-2009
  • Senior Firefighter: 2004-2007
  • Firefighter: 2001-2004

Harrah Fire Department

  • Firefighter: 1995-2001
  • Volunteer Firefighter: 1994-1995



  • Oklahoma State Firefighter’s Association
    • Executive Board from 2007-2012. I was President of the Board in 2011 and during this time I served as interim director for the organization in the absence of an Executive Director. I was involved in the hiring and firing process and enforcing the policies of the organization. I also helped to manage the budget.
    • Educational Advisory Committee member. During my time on this committee I worked with others to make plans for the State Fire School for the State of Oklahoma. I planned classes and set budgets to operate to be able to provide training to the fire fighters from across the state.
    • I am a member of the memorial fund raising committee. This committee serves as the lead for raising money in effort to fund the building and the sustainability of the Fire fighters Memorial located on the grounds.
  • Oklahoma Fire Chief’s Association
  • Currently serve on the board for the Association
  • Member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • International Association of Fire Chiefs Southwestern Division
  • Currently the Oklahoma representative serving on the board
  • International Association of Firefighters Local 2066
  • I served as the President of the organization from 2011-2014. I was responsible for managing the contract and negotiating contractual language for the respective years. As the President I was the representative for the Union on the City’s insurance committee. This committee serves as the group that oversees the insurance plan and works to make sure that the plan is the best for the employees and financially balanced.




  • Center for Public Safety Excellence Fire Officer (FO) Designation, 2013. I am the first Company Officer in the State of Oklahoma to receive this designation.
  • Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout, 1989


New board member – VP for New Mexico



New Mexico Fire Chief’s Assocation elected our newest member to serve as their Vice President. 

Please meet Battalion Chief Michael Daniels,  Las Cruces Fire Department (NM)

Battalion Chief Michael Daniels began his fire service career in 2006 with the Las Cruces Fire Department following his service in the United States Navy as an Aviation Ordnanceman aboard a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz CVN-68. He now serves as a Shift Commander assigned to Battalion 1 /B-Shift for the Las Cruces Fire Department.

Battalion Chief Daniels has a Master’s in Business Administration from Western New Mexico University and is currently enrolled in the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.

In his tenure with the Las Cruces Fire Department he has served as the interim Training Officer, Emergency Medical Services Quality Improvement Program Manager and has been an active member in the department’s training committees.

Executive Director Lisa Moatts

Director Moatts joined the IAFC as the Southeastern Division executive director in December 2013.

Prior to joining the SEAFC Ms. Moatts was the New Business Development/ Project Coordinator with a major distributor of uniforms and safety equipment serving the Greater Charleston area.  Ms. Moatts was able to secure the contract for fire and ems uniforms for all government organizations through her affiliation with JPTA, a nationally funded procurement association.


While serving with the SEAFC, Ms. Moatts took the association to a new level of governance structure by

Assisting the executive board in updating existing policies, adding new policies and procedures to help

Enhance the organization and encourage growth not only financially but also in sustained revenue streams.

Ms. Moatts was appointed to Vision 20/20 Initiative task force, created by the Institute of Fire Safety Engineers to represent the Southeastern Division Chiefs in promoting fire safety awareness and education in the targeted states of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee and West Virginia.  The appointment grew to working at the blessing of the IAFC Fire & Safety Section and Mr. Jim Crawford. Ms. Moatts led the collaboration of appointing SME from each state fire chief association to attend the   Vision 20/20 Summit.  This led to the nationwide discussion of fire safety awareness and education and furthered the nationwide cause.

Ms. Moatts also worked with the American Red Cross Initiative to distribute smoke alarms.   Ms. Moatts

Worked with local agencies “boots on the ground” to locate high-risk neighborhoods and educate the citizens on fire safety and the importance of smoke detectors.    

Ms. Moatts joined the Southwestern Division in October 2015 and continues to work with the present administration to improve governance as well as promote the annual conference by locating talented speakers and instructors to improve the divisions relevance and bring more of what the members have requested. 

Here is a brief resume of Director Moatts positions held


  • Recognized as regional new business development salesperson of the year for 2011 & 2012- Unifirst Corporation
  • Member of National Manufactured Housing Commission-Alabama Chapter Code Enforcement Division 1998-2002
  • Safety Director Glidewell Specialties Foundry 2005-2009
  • Committee member of Gatlinburg Wildfire Recovery and Resources established by the Tennessee Fire Marshal’s office and Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association- 2016
  • Vision 20/20 Task Force representative of Southeastern and Southwestern Divisions
  • Incident Commander responsible for SEAFC Leadership Conference 2015 and 2017



2nd Vice President elected in Fayetteville

Fire Chief Dennis Pacheco 


Company Commander (Lieutenant)

Las Cruces Fire Department

Las Cruces, New Mexico

 President – Las Cruces Professional Firefighters Association

 Vice President – New Mexico Professional Firefighters Association

  LCFD SCBA/Air Maintenance Manager

 Academy Instructor


Shift Commander (Deputy Fire Chief)

NASA Fire Department

White Sands Test Facility

Las Cruces, New Mexico

2003-2013 Operations Chief

2013-2014 EMS Chief

2015 – Present

Fire Chief

NASA Fire Department

White Sands Test Facility

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Volunteer Fire Department History


Dona Ana Volunteer Fire Department

1990 – Captain

1991 – Asst. Chief

1994 – 2012 Fire Chief

                President – Dona Ana County Fire Officer’s Association

                Vice President (NM) IAFC Southwestern Division 2005 – Present






Secretary/Treasurer Chief James Fullingim (retired)


Retired Fire Chief James Fullingim has been a member of the Norman Fire Department since 1981.  In that time he has advanced through the ranks holding

all fire suppression positions in the chain of command; Firefighter, Driver/Engineer, Captain, Assistant Chief and Deputy Chief and was appointed to the Fire

Chief’s position in June 2006.  He serves as both the Chief of the Norman Fire Department and the Emergency Management Director for the City of Norman.

  Chief Fullingim has completed the University of Maryland’s National Fire Service Staff and Command Course. He is a past president of both the

Southwestern Division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and OKC Metro Chiefs Association. Chief Fullingim has an Associate Degree in

Municipal Fire Protection from OSU-OKC, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Ethics from MACU.




Managing within the context of a fire organization

Human Relations: Managing within the context of a fire organization

• September 2018 • Chief Robert Benoit – 2nd Vice President, IAFC-SW Division – Fire Chief Lafayette Fire Department

The basic principles for managing one’s personal and family life, a private corporation (small or large) and both for-profit and nonprofit businesses are similar to those needed to manage a fire department. These management processes provide an orderly structure to achieving goals and objectives through delegated authority under competent leadership.
Within the context of a fire organization, effective management is a learned behavior that demands continuous training, requires team spirit and provides a strong disciplinary influence.
The NFPA Fire Protection Handbook, Section 10, Chapter 1, states

  Almost all fire departments were administered by clearly defined organizational structures long before system techniques were applied to industry and business. A system of task allocation to engine and ladder crews was developed whereby each person on the apparatus performed certain functions in sequence so the team operated as a coordinated unit, without duplication of effort.

Most fire departments are structured around this traditional model, and with it, leaders have a firm foundation to build on; continuous training, team spirit and influence are some of their construction tools.

Continuous Training

On June 15, my department held its 101st recruit academy graduation, with 17 graduates who started their training in January. The academies are six months long, with the objective of making sure each recruit has the foundation needed to perform in an effective manner during the working test period, which totals 18 months of probationary status. At the end of the working test period, they’re confirmed as permanent firefighters.

This is where the real training begins, and it will continue throughout their careers.

Effective leaders in the fire service are no different than those they manage. Management principles must start at the top and flow downward through the chain of command. Lower-level officers often find it difficult to practice leadership styles different from their superiors if we are not practicing what we preach.

Common sense is not without its merits. However, it’s just one tool mangers use, along with consistent education and training, to help members understand that decisions made at the member level may resolve an issue temporarily but that some decisions need to be made from a wider perspective, such as seen by the department leadership, to have lasting effects.

Team Spirit

If you are going to wear the jersey, become a team player. A spirit of cooperation is a powerful tool, meaning sometimes you will have to change your focus and direction for the betterment of the organization. Staff meetings are critical, can be very efficient and should be inclusive. All aspects of the department, both supervisors and members, should be able to sit at the table and present ideas to management on a regular basis.

The fire and emergency service is a very complex field that is constantly evolving, often very rapidly. Individual skills can make or break an organization and can best be managed when the leaders feel the pulse, which can only happen in a huddle (that is, staff meetings).
When employees are given the opportunity to provide input, self-ownership takes over and the stronger players have a way of getting the weaker players to buy into their goals and objectives. As a manager and part of the team, you have the authority to make things happen. Never let power keep you on the sidelines.


Black’s Law Dictionary defines influence as

“Power exerted over others. To affect, modify or act upon by physical, mental or moral power, especially in some gentle, subtle and gradual way.”

A lot can be said about influence depending on who is in charge. I like the phrase “gentle, subtle and gradual way” because it takes the sting out of having to use force to achieve goals and objectives in running an efficient fire service organization. The truism “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar” goes a long way in making people feel appreciated.
Managers are held to a higher standard and are always being watched, filmed, recorded and scrutinized. Managers can get in trouble for off-duty actions, sometimes forgetting we’re always on the radar. Fire service leaders who excel do so because they’re on top of their games. More often than not, we forget that we’re human; it’s not the big things hurting us, but the illegal, unethical or immoral acts that destroy us because we don’t think things through.

Education = Knowledge = Success = Power

As an administrator, you have the authority to manage the performance within your organization. It takes a long time to build character and excel to the level of leadership in the fire service. It only takes a split second to crash and burn. As a leader, you owe it to yourself, your family and the entire fire service to finish strong, making a colossal impact on the organization you represent.

Chief Benoit is a member of the IAFC Human Relations Committee and currently sits on the executive board of the IAFC-Southwestern Division

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