From left, AFRD Chief Stephen Coleman; AFRD Asst. Chief Glenn Johnson; Westborough FD Captain Patrick Purcell.  Photo courtesy AFRD.

From left, AFRD Chief Stephen Coleman; AFRD Asst. Chief Glenn Johnson; Westborough FD Captain Patrick Purcell. Photo courtesy AFRD.

Asst. Chief Glenn Johnson recently graduated from the Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program. This intense 13 week program is sponsored by the Massachusetts Fire Fighting Academy in conjunction with the UMASS Donahue Institutes Collins Center.

Unlike many Academy programs, the Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program is focused on strategic management rather than firefighting and emergency tactics.

“Each week focused on a specific topic” said Johnson. “We covered code enforcement, communication, strategic planning, legal and more.”

There were written tests on the material each week. In addition, there was a final research paper Johnson had to complete and present to a committee.

“It was a 30 page paper I had to research then present and defend in front of this committee” Johnson said. “It had to be a real-world topic, so I focused on consolidating two stations into one, which is something that could come up in Auburn in the future.”

Entry into the program, which is held at the Mass. Fire Academy in Stow every two years, is competitive. According to Johnson, there were over 90 applicants which was ultimately narrowed to the 33 who were in this year’s class.

In addition to the Management Training Program –- Johnson is currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration program at Anna Maria College in Paxton. He is also a father and, of course, he is Auburn’s Assistant Fire Chief.

The additional workload was no easy task, but was well worth it. According to Johnson, one great thing about the program was the networking with other chiefs in the program, and making valuable connections.

Says Johnson, “I’m glad I am finished. But it was a great program and a great experience.”