VDFP Senior Leadership Gains New Members

VDFP Senior Leadership Gains New Members
August 31, 2018

Fire Programs is adding two new members to its Senior Leadership staff who will fill the roles of Virginia Fire Marshal Academy Chief and Chief of Training and Operations.

Garrett Dyer – Virginia Fire Marshal Academy Chief

Effective September 10, Garrett joins VDFP with over 30 years of public safety experience. Throughout his career, Garrett has been involved in many facets of managing emergencies, developing training programs, and fire code enforcement.

In his role as the Acting Deputy Fire Chief in Fairfax County in 2006, Garrett provided oversight of several sections to include: Fire Investigations, Inspections, Revenue and Records, Hazardous Materials, and Technical Support Enforcement. He also served as the Public Safety Liaison for the World Police and Fire Games, a 10-day sporting event hosted by Fairfax County with 10,000 athletes from 67 countries.

Garrett has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science with a minor in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, in addition to studying Pre-Hospital Clinical Medicine at George Washington University. He is also certified as an EMT by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and COV, fire & explosive investigator, and paramedic.

John Caussin – Chief of Training and Operations

Effective October 10, John joins VDFP with an extensive background in Fire Services and EMS. As a former Fire Marshal for Fairfax County, John provided leadership and necessary support to address emergency trends in the National Capital Region.

In the last 12 years, John served as the Assistant Fire Chief of the Business Services Bureau in Fairfax County where he led the Fire Prevention, Support Services, Fiscal Services, and Planning Section divisions, and legislative initiatives.

John has a bachelor’s degree in Communications, with a minor in Psychology from James Madison University, and an Associates of Applied Science degree in Fire Administration from Northern Virginia Community College. John studied under the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and National Registered Paramedic Program. He also completed the Senior Executive Institute at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at UVA.

John is certified as a NFPA 1031 Fire Inspector I and II, recently achieved the Advance Code Official designation, and maintains a secret clearance with the Department of Homeland Security.

The Virginia Department of Fire Programs Shares Fire Safety Tips for Back to School

The Virginia Department of Fire Programs Shares Fire Safety Tips for Back to School
August 29, 2018 

The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP), a leader in enhancing public safety in the Commonwealth, reminds Virginians of a few simple actions that could reduce fire-related risks and property loss as the new school year ramps up.

VDFP will promote tips on its social media platforms from September 1-7, 2018 for organizations to share and retweet.

“When students in the Commonwealth return to school, it’s a good time to refresh ourselves with helpful tips about fire prevention. We’re all primed for learning and retaining information right now,” said VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly. “Planning for the worst is unsettling, yet it matters most when the worst happens. We want Virginians to be just as knowledgeable as our firefighters.”

In 2017, more than 23,000 fires occurred in Virginia with about 300 civilian fire-related injuries and 50 civilian fire-related deaths. The total in fire dollar losses was over $177 million dollars. As of May 29, 2018, the Commonwealth experienced 39 fire fatalities, or about one civilian killed by fire every four days in Virginia.

Take action today with prevention tips
In the home/apartment/college suite

  • In your kitchen, hang curtains, potholders, and dishtowels at least three feet from the stove; unplug appliances when not in use
  • Avoid the use of extension cords; never run them under rugs or where they may be pinched
  • Never smoke in bed and dispose of cigarettes properly
  • Sleep with the bedroom doors closed to slow a fire’s progress toward you
  • Do not overload electrical outlets
  • Check cords regularly for wear and tear

For homeowners/families/roommates

  • Create a safe escape plan and practice it at least twice a year
  • Identify two exits from each room
  • Consider escape ladders for second floor bedroom windows
  • Choose a meeting place a short but safe distance from your home
  • Have your chimney inspected before the winter season approaches.
  • Install smoke alarms outside of sleeping areas
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children

Stay vigilant year-round
In addition to training and resources, VDFP provides inspections of state-owned buildings in Virginia through its State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO). The SFMO also develops and presents education materials for college administrations, fire service organizations, building official groups, inspectors, school teachers, and other client groups. Visit the VDFP website for additional publications on fire safety tips for facilities.

About the Virginia Department of Fire Programs
The Virginia Department of Fire Programs provides training, support services, and resources to more than 700 fire and emergency service organizations, and approximately 44,000 fire service personnel in the Commonwealth. Support areas include funding, professional development, research, operational support, technical assistance, and fire prevention inspections through its State Fire Marshal Office.

VDFP Media Contact
Vanessa Copeland – Marketing & Communications Manager
(804) 249-1986

New Fire Inspector I/II Certification Program test banks receive Pro-Board approval

New Fire Inspector I/II Certification Program test banks receive Pro-Board approval
August 23, 2018

The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) was given approval by The National Board of Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro-Board) to change the test banks used for certifying fire inspectors to align with the test bank developed in conjunction with the Fire Prevention Inspector and Code Enforcement textbook.

The VDFP has been working for several months to correlate the test bank to match the material covered in the curriculum for those who attended the Fire Inspector I/II Certification Program. This rounds out the curriculum for the Program which includes the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association Standard, NFPA 1031, Professional Qualifications for Fire Inspectors.

“We’re extremely grateful for our stakeholders that provided input and feedback on ways to change our certification system to better meet the needs of Virginia’s Fire Service,” said VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly. “A huge thank you also goes to the Pro-Board for their review and approval. This positions us to better serve our customers in the future.”

Fire marshals that successfully pass the VDFP Fire Inspector I/II Certification Program can enforce the Statewide Fire Prevention Code throughout Virginia. The Pro-Board standardizes knowledge and skills sets for fire fighters that are recognized nationally; an advantage for fire fighters who join fire services in and outside of the Commonwealth.

Carcinogen Reduction/Cancer Prevention and Burn Prevention Program

VDFP piloted this two-part program at The Virginia State Firefighter’s Conference earlier this month and will again offer this program in two upcoming regional fire schools:

The program will be delivered in a train the trainer type format where we provide you educational materials and reference materials. This will allow departments to deliver training to better protect their members. In development is a resource web page to store these materials. Students may bring flash drives to obtain most of the materials before the end of class. Learn more about the program.

Questions can be directed to VDFP Chief Safety Officer Briant Atkins at briant.atkins@vdfp.virginia.gov, 804-371-0220.

I-Women Call For Presentations

The International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services is now accepting presentation proposals for the 2019 I-Women Leadership Conference in April. Submissions are due August 31, 2018.

The I-Women Leadership Conference includes hands-on training and workshops, education, networking, and mentoring.

Learn more about I-Women.


VDFP Stakeholder Input Meetings – Remaining 2018 Dates

VDFP Stakeholder Input Meetings

The Virginia Department of Fire Programs hosts a series of Stakeholder Input Meetings to provide an opportunity for input and feedback from Virginia’s Fire Service. Many of the Division Chiefs are present to answer questions from both a division and program management aspect.

We cordially invite you to attend these meetings to give feedback and input that will assist the Virginia Department of Fire Programs to better service Virginia’s Fire Service.

2018 Dates and Locations:

August 15, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (cancelled) 
VDFP Division IV Office
1169 East Lee Highway, Chilhowie, VA 24319

October 24, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
VDFP Division III Office
124 N. South Street, Farmville, VA 23901

December 5, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. (cancelled) 
Richmond Area (TBD)

Contact for questions: 

Chief John Caussin
Chief of Training and Operations
(804) 371-1990