Seminars & Workshops

Leadership on Fire

Leadership development is a critical component of personal and organizational success, and for succession planning. Far too many organizations discuss the latter but do nothing about succession planning until it is too late. Delaying career development and leadership training allows for poor habits to be built and reinforced.

Recent research by Gallop indicates that 50% of the American workforce is disengaged, and 20% are so disengaged that they only show up for a paycheck. The same research shows that 60% of the respondents said it is poor leadership that contributes to employee disengagement. We should never assume that because someone is involved in any type of work that they are engaged employees.

Leadership on Fire provides an in-depth study of character, personal growth and development, handling personnel problems and conflict, change management, situational awareness, and decision making. The content is drawn from Rick’s book, The Furnace of Leadership Development and licensed material from the John Maxwell Team. This package may be delivered as individual segments or as a complete package.

ANCHOR POINT: Molding Character in Leadership

An anchor point is an advantageous location relying on natural features of the land or actions taken by firefighters from which point to start constructing a line around the fire. In other words, an anchor point is a crucial tactic and foundation to begin the fire attack.

Leadership requires the same principles as there must be an established anchor point to build upon and develop tactics to increase our skills as leaders. This leadership workshop addresses:

  • The Foundation of Leadership: Character
  • The Law of the Ladder: Character growth determines the height of your personal growth.
  • Integrity
  • Trust and credibility

RAISING THE LADDER: Personal Growth & Development

Extension ladders are vital firefighting tools used to reach windows and roofs to perform a variety of tasks. The operation is performed more efficiently and safely when accomplished with two or more firefighters.

Career development and leadership growth functions along the same lines. Climbing the ladder of development alone will only take you so far. However, when engaging others in the process, you will ascend to new heights. This course addresses:

  • Developing Yourself
  • The Law of Intentionality: Growth Just Doesn’t Happen
  • The Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself
  • The Law of the Mirror: You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself
  • The Law of Design: To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies


Hazardous materials categories include explosives through corrosives, and one for miscellaneous products as well. This class compares seven of those categories to the various personalities present in any organization and how to lead:

  • The explosive personality
  • The slow boiler
  • The combustible fire of anger
  • The volatile reactivity of bias
  • The poison of team conflict
  • The radioactive monsters
  • The corrosive communicator


A burn-over is a fast-moving event where a fire moves through a location and overtakes personnel and equipment, leaving no opportunity to use escape routes or safety zones.

For many people, change and transition is a personal burn-over where they are caught off guard, they do not know how to react to the situation, and panic sets in.

When organizational change takes place, employees worry about re-structuring, they fret over new bosses or a new chief, and there is apprehension about personal loss. This workshop:

  • Examines the fears, anxieties, and challenges associated with change
  • Discusses the important differences between change and transition
  • Explains three phases of transition: the ending, the neutral zone, and the new beginning
  • Develops methods and skills to manage change and transition in a productive manner

Navigating the Sea of Decisions

Fires, power outages, catastrophic equipment failures, severe weather, and many more demanding and stressful situations require quick decision-making. Circumstances like this demand your complete and undivided attention. Failing to function and make decisions in dynamic environments leads to lost productivity, decreased efficiency, and the potential for injury or loss of life. However, the type of decision-making addressed in this leadership seminar is not taught in most college and university classes.

Navigating the Sea of Decisions reveals three elements contributing to stressful decision making:

  • Environmental influences on decision making, i.e., weather, noise, physical surroundings, etc.
  • Impacts of human factors on decision making.
  • Effects of individual training, experience, and education on decision making.

Navigating the Sea of Decisions teaches decision-making models that allow you to successfully operate in demanding, quick-paced environments. Drawing from Rick’s experiences in the military and fire service this seminar teaches recognition primed decision making (RPDM), the decision-making cycle, and Colonel John Boyd’s OODA Loop (observe-orient-decide-act).

"I have had the privilege of knowing Rick Davis in both the professional and personal world. His continual mentorship has helped shape me as a leader in the fire service as well as my home. Rick has come alongside me, encourages me, and continually challenges me in my development as a leader."

Matt G.


Fire Officer Leadership Academy