On Aug. 13, 2016, City of Valdosta Assistant Fire Chief Brian Boutwell joined 21 fellow chiefs in being certified by the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs (GAFC) during the 2016 Fires Service Conference held in Augusta.
Certification applicants must meet four prerequisites, including holding a Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council (GFSTC) State Certification in at least one of the current Fire Service Certifications and serving as a minimum of a Battalion Chief or Division Supervisor.
Chief Boutwell's certification comes only a few months after Valdosta Fire Chief Freddie Broome received his certification at a training session in Savannah.
"Chief Boutwell is an outstanding example of a capable and hardworking chief, and this certification is a reflection of his skill, diligence and leadership ability," Chief Broome said. "I am proud to welcome him as the second VFD chief to receive the GAFC Certification, an achievement that proves the VFD is truly a ‘Department without Limits.’"
Applicants were also assessed on a point system reflective of their years of service, higher education achievement, level of fire office certifications, recognition for additional credentials, and the completion of the Chief Fire Officer Level eight-hour classes.
"We developed this program to ensure that the fire departments in the state of Georgia have qualified, credentialed, and professional leaders and managers overseeing their departments and personnel," said 1st Vice President of GAFC Dwayne Jamison.
Dating back to 1952 and based in GMA's Atlanta office, GAFC works to advance fire services in Georgia and represents more than 700 chief fire officers statewide.