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Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Officers Association Est. 1955


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The Chief Officers Association was founded in 1955 as the Chief Officers Group. Since that time COA has continued to build upon our foundation and serve and represent the command officers of the LAFD.


Executive Leadership Certificate Program

The USC Executive Leadership Program is being offered this summer and is an excellent leadership certificate program for Chief Officers. The course is $4500 and you can use your Executive Development Fund. The program is a one-week course structured to address leadership issues from a senior executive perspective. Covering numerous topic areas in public safety, the program helps strengthen leadership’s cross-functional skills through immersion in key issues and best practices. The program integrates classroom and experiential learning opportunities, with visits to sites where senior leaders can study and observe real-world examples of topics and concepts.

Please visit the USC website.

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Spring Leadership Symposium 2018

Please join your COA colleagues on April 18, 2018, for a half day leadership symposium at LAFD Air Operation Headquarters, Van Nuys Airport.  The second in a series of leadership symposiums dedicated to the executive development of our members and leadership goals of the COA. The Spring Symposium will focus on professionalism, human factors, and managing risk in time-constrained environments. We hope to see you there! 

The Deliberate Practice of Professionalism ~ Normalizing Excellence In The Fire Service One Professional At A Time.

Please join the LAFD Chief Officers Association as we host Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (ret.)  Dr. Tony Kern, a B1-B bomber Command Pilot and one of the world’s leading authorities on human performance in time-constrained, error-intolerant environments. Despite all of the advances in technology and safety systems, it is still pilots, firefighters, paramedics, and incident commanders who provide us a fighting edge. But even the best of the best in our profession are subject to human error, a leading cause of catastrophic outcomes. Dr. Kern will engage the participants in one of the fascinating fields of his research and experience -  combating human error through the deliberate practice of professionalism and normalization of excellence.

Date:             April 18, 2018

Time:             8:45* to 11:45

Location:       LAFD Air Operations – Van Nuys Airport  16617 Arminta St, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Cost:               Free to all COA active duty and retirees  – includes breakfast.

Dress:               Smart Casual Attire - (Due to secured location 100% ID Check at Gate)


8:00 to 8:45               *Refreshments & Camaraderie

8:45 to 9:00               COA Updates

9:00 to 10:00              Keynote Speaker – Dr. Tony Kern, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret)

10:00 to 10:15           Break

10:15 to 11:15          Roundtable & Facilitated Open Discussion with Dr. Kern and the LAFD Staff. 

Keynote Speaker - Lieutenant Colonel Tony Kern USAF (Ret)

Dr. Tony Kern is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and the Founding Partner and CEO of Convergent Performance. Dr. Kern has dedicated much of his career to reducing human error and improving performance in high-risk environments such as aviation, military operations, surgical teams, law enforcement, and firefighting. Tony is one of the world’s leading authorities on human performance in time constrained, error intolerant environments and has lectured on the subject around the globe for nearly two decades.

He has deep operational roots in the U.S. Air Force as a Command Pilot and Flight Examiner in the B-1B bomber, as well as diverse senior staff and leadership experience, including service as the Chairman of the U.S. Air Force Human Factors Steering Group.

Upon retirement from the Air Force in 2000, Dr. Kern served as the National Aviation Director for the U.S. Forest Service, where he directed the largest non-military government aviation program in the world in support of federal wildland fire suppression. He is also the proud dad of a San Antonio Fire Department firefighter.

Dr. Kern has authored seven books on human performance, including the award-winning “Plane of Excellence” trilogy (Redefining Airmanship, Flight Discipline, and Darker Shades of Blue; McGraw Hill 1995, 1997, 1999). Over the past five years, Dr. Kern has broadened his approach beyond aviation. In his latest “Empowered Accountability” series (Blue Threat: Why to Err is Inhuman and Going Pro: The Deliberate Practice of Professionalism; Pygmy Books 2009, 2011) he creates a 21st century guide to extreme professionalism for individuals and organizations “while remaining true to themselves and growing where they are, with the resources at hand.” A prolific writer, Tony is also a featured columnist and Contributing Editor for Skies and Vertical 911 magazines. 

Dr. Kern holds Masters Degrees in Public Administration and Military History, as well as a Doctorate in Higher Education specializing in human factors training design. He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and the U.S. Federal Government Senior Executive Service Development Program.Tony enjoys hunting, fishing, sports of all kinds, and writing. He currently lives with his wife of 25 years and their six dogs in Woodland Park, Colorado.


*After April 1, 2018, based on availability, it will open to outside public safety agencies. 


The Goals of the Chief Officers Association


To maintain and improve wages, hours, and working conditions for all members of the Chief Officers Association.


To provide improved communications among all members of the Chief Officers Association.


To promote and provide leadership, direction, and counsel for all members of the Chief Officers Association.


To provide a social relationship among all members of the Chief Officers Association.


To establish effective membership participation by developing and implementing a committee structure.

The COA will be hosting a half day workshop on March 27 (C) and 28th (B), 2018, on personnel management and emergency operations. The workshop will be a facilitated discussion including case studies and breakout sessions. 

Please RSVP below. You only need to attend one session. 


Personnel and Operational Candor - Managing Your Command from the Firehouse to the Fireground

What is candor? ~  How can you develop candor in your command?

Please join your COA for a half-day workshop where we will use candor to discuss personnel management and emergency operations in your command.

Date:              March 27 (C Platoon) & 28 (B Platoon), 2018

Time:             8:45 to 12:00

Location:       Crystal Springs Ranger Station 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Cost:               Free  – includes breakfast.


8:00 to 8:30               *Refreshments & Camaraderie

8:30 to 8:45               COA and DROP Updates

8:45 to 10:00              Personnel Managment in Your Command - Leading your command with purpose and candor. Addressing trends and challenges in your command requires more than just knowledge of policy but an ability to influence your command and implement the core values of the LAFD. Through the use of recent case studies, we will have a facilitated discussion on smart practices when dealing with personnel issues in your command. 

10:15 to 12:00             Fireground Operations - defining risks, gaining situational awareness, establishing priorities, and maintaining standard operating guidelines.  Recent emergency incidents have unnecessarily placed firefighters at risk and caused many of us to pause and reflect on what we can do better. Through the use of case studies, we will have a facilitated discussion on smart practices when dealing with challenging incidents.

Please RSVP at the link below:



  1. COA Workshop

    March 27 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
  2. Save the Date Leadership Symposium

    April 18 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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