On July 19, Ellis County Director of Fire and Emergency Management Darin Myers completed the Executive Fire Officer Program and was recognized at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md.

"The intensive EFOP is designed to provide senior fire officers with a broad perspective on various facets of fire administration," U.S. Fire Administrator G. Keith Bryant said in a press release. "This program provides fire service officers with the expertise they need to succeed in today's challenging environment."

Six months after the completion of each of the first three courses a written Applied Research Project is required to demonstrate application of course theory and concepts to real life situations within the student's own organization. Each ofthese projects was evaluated through a formal process, and progression through the program was contingent on achieving each of these milestones.

“On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners and all his fellow department heads at Ellis County, I want to congratulate Chief Myers for his achievement,” said County Administrator Phillip Smith-Hanes. “Darin’s multi-year work to complete this program is more than simply a feather in his cap. The research projects he undertook as part of the Executive Program have had a direct benefit to Ellis County’s preparedness for wildland fires and other emergency situations.”

As part of his Executive Development coursework, Chief Myers negotiated an automatic aid agreement between Ellis County Fire District No. 1 and the City of Hays that resulted in improved fire insurance ratings for many areas of the county. For his course in Community Risk Reduction, Chief Myers performed research on outdoor warning sirens that lead to implementation of new technology across multiple local jurisdictions. And in conjunction with his Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management, Chief Myers worked on improving training and disaster exercises for Ellis County staff.

"The intensive EFOP is designed to provide senior fire officers with a broad perspective on various facets of fire administration," according to U.S. Fire Administrator G. Keith Bryant.  "This program provides fire service officers with the expertise they need to succeed in today's challenging environment."