Professional Development in the Fire Service – What’s Missing?

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Administration


James Olive


The purpose of this DiP is to explore existing fire service professional development programs, specifically identifying current program weaknesses and potential avenues for growth. The methods used for this action research included a document analysis of the selected sample departments and three interviews of command staff members of the selected population departments. The study was conducted using three different Ohio fire departments as the primary stage one population, with a secondary stage two survey to other Ohio fire departments. The result of this research supports earlier research that identified there is a direct relationship between participation in a structured professional development process program and success. The research established that to improve the likelihood for success, both for team members and departmentally, organizations must devote time and energy towards professional development. This research will add to the existing research foundation for future professional development research specific to the fire service. The quantitative data, specifically the results of survey data could be a baseline data set regarding any future research. This research could be utilized as a kickoff point for a future longitudinal long term studies regarding PLC impact on professional development.


Public Administration, Professional Development, Fire Officer Training, Networking, Professional Growth, Leadership Development, Professional Learning Communities

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