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Seattle Fire Department (SFD) Executive Leadership Academy

Cohort 3: OCTOBER 2021 to JUNE 2022

View a digital brochure overview of the SFD Leadership Academies.

Executive Leadership Academy: Historical Context and Background

Upon his appointment as Chief of the Seattle Fire Department, Chief Harold Scoggins established leadership development as a strategic priority for the Seattle Fire Department. The Seattle Fire Department has recognized the importance of training and preparing the next generation of leaders in Fire Services and the Executive Leadership Academy plays an important role in focusing on the leadership development of the most senior leaders in King County Fire Services.

Together with an Advisory Board (members listed below), SFD Executive Leadership Team, and key stakeholders, we established the ELA’s existing objectives, curricular content, recruitment, and admissions processes. In addition, we continue to invite feedback from current and former participants in the ELA program (through mid-point feedback forms), Union Leadership, and the Race and Social Justice Team to continually assess and hone our approach towards leadership development in fire services.

ELA Advisory Board

SFD ELA Advisory Board members are:

Harold Scoggins, SFD Alan Vickery, SFD Matt Cowan, Shoreline FD Jay Hagen, Bellevue FD
William Mace, SFD Tom Walsh, SFD Bruce Kroon, Bothell FD Chris Santos, SFD
Helen Fitzpatrick, SFD Bryan Hastings, SFD Jay Wittwer, Tukwila FD Tim Munnis, SFD
Julie D’Alessandro, SFD Kenneth Stuart, SFD & IAFF27 Dave Van Valkenburg, Kirkland FD

Program Commitment

SFD ELA Participants are expected to commit to the following:

  • We encourage participants to attend all sessions to optimize the learning and development experience. To receive a certificate of completion, participants must attend 80% of in person & virtual workshops: (6-8 sessions, occurring approximately every 6-8 weeks, full days on Friday, with specific dates to be announced in September). Participants should contact the program coordinators in advance to inform them that they will not be able to attend a particular session.
  • Complete all psychological assessments (3 occurring throughout the first year, with one assessment involving peer feedback).
  • Complete at least 4 coaching sessions with expert leadership coach.
  • Participate in Quarterly team progress reports in Year 2 with the respective Chiefs of participating Fire Departments.
  • Anticipated workload is an average of 2-5 hours/week over 2 years.

Sponsoring Organizations are expected to commit to the following:

  • Pay the full stipend for their participants attending the Academy.
  • Cover time off to attend the Academy workshop sessions throughout the first year.
  • Support for ongoing team projects.
  • Participate in Advisory Board Meetings.
  • Meet with their participants to discuss the progress they are making in the Academy at least once per quarter.

Who should apply?

Based on the directive provided by the sponsors of the Executive Leadership Academy, we are inviting senior leaders (including non-uniformed professional staff) within SFD and other King Country Fire Departments to apply for the second offering of the Academy.

  • As part of the recommendation from the leadership of SFD, this program is targeted towards senior leaders in King County Fire Agencies. Participants should have experience managing large-scale projects and supervising others in a formal leadership capacity.
  • Leaders within SFD and outside of SFD are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to those from Fire Service Departments within King County.
  • Non-uniformed/professional staff are also encouraged to participate in the Academy program.
  • Target class size: 35-40 participants per cohort, with 1/3 of the cohort’s participants from SFD, 1/3 from Zone 1, and 1/3 from Zone 3.

How will participants be selected into this program?

Each application will be reviewed by the UW/CLST teaching team and scored on developmental readiness for the program. This readiness is assessed by scoring application responses on the following criteria (jointly established by the UW/CLST team and the ELA Advisory Board):

Organizational Citizenship Do the applicant’s responses demonstrate a service orientation and willingness to help others? Is there a demonstrated willingness to subordinate their own needs for the good of others and put in the extra effort needed?
Diversity of Perspectives Do the applicant’s responses show willingness and ability to bring in significantly different points of view? Is the applicant able to engage with diverse groups and solicit a broad range of opinions to find common ground when making decisions? Are the responses supportive of and active proponent of an inclusive work environment, seeking to develop a positive relationship with all stakeholders and constituents?
Developmental Readiness Do the applicant’s scores on the CLST DRA assessment show a willingness and ability to learn and lead?
Motivation Do the applicant’s responses demonstrate a high level of motivation for investing in development while also demonstrating a learning orientation? Does the applicant indicate a desire to seek feedback to enhance leadership potential and question the status quo? Do they seek to improve how they work with others, invest time and energy in developing others, and strive to achieve the most positive impact on the people they lead and serve in the community?
ABILITY Do the applicant’s responses demonstrate an ability to take other individual’s perspectives and systematically examine challenges and opportunities ranging in degrees of complexity? Do they function as a positive role model for leadership with their peers, leaders, followers and those they impact in the community? Do they demonstrate thoughtfulness about taking the time to make and justify difficult decisions? Do they champion developing leadership in the people they work with in their organization? Do responses indicate that they can build plans and establish goals and metrics to effectively support and evaluate performance?

For More Information

For more questions regarding the SFD Leadership Academy, please contact [email protected].