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Mike DeVirgilio
  • Male
  • Tempe, AZ
  • United States
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Mike DeVirgilio's Page

Profile Information

Lives in:
Tempe, AZ
Gilbert Fire & Rescue Dept.
Deputy Chief
Years of public service:
Agency structure:
Paid fire department
Top issues in your department:
Leadership; lack of experience; morale.
Professional Qualifications:
AA Degree, BS Degree, MEd Degree, paramedic, haz-mat tech, recruit training officer, training captain, training chief, chief officer responder, administrative officer.
Topics you provide training for:
Tactics/strategy; leadership/management; skill level; various
Areas of expertise:
Eight years as a firefighter; five more as ff/paramedic/haz-tech; 13 years as captain/paramedic in a very busy engine company - last four as training captain; ten years as battalion chief - responder and division head. Community College Degree (Fire Science), BS degree (Pub Safety Admin.), MEd degree (Educational Leadership).

Mike DeVirgilio's Blog


What a great two dollar word.  Title of a new movie?  One of the symptoms of TMB?  The ability to see the future through walls?  No, I discovered the term in a book:   Klein, Gary (2001) Sources of Power, How People Make Decisions by Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press.  He wrote extensively on RPDM (recognition primed decision making).  Metacognition happens to describe something I've been doing lately:  thinking about thinking.  The formal definition of metacognition is an awareness and…


Posted on December 22, 2016 at 2:11pm

Promotional exam - what?

Much to my chagrin, I've been charged again to run a captain's promotional exam.  Those circumstances are another story entirely.  However, whatever the irony and backstory, It's happening.

As I begin the process of assembling a team, updating the test, etc., a question forms as it always does when testing time arrives.  Does our testing process choose the best potential person for the job, or does it help us choose the best test taker?  I don't pose that question because I see that…


Posted on November 17, 2016 at 5:27pm

Accidental Mentor

I went to a retirement activity the other day.  It was for a 42-year veteran Deputy Chief that was greatly admired in this area and beyond.  I had the opportunity to work directly for, and with, this individual for almost five years.  We had spent 25+ years in the same department (he was already a captain when I was hired), but my last five were spent directly reporting to him.  These kinds of retirement affairs (and they're increasing in their frequency for me) always cause me to reflect…


Posted on June 3, 2015 at 7:18pm — 1 Comment

"I'd bet my life I did much better on this Captian's exam!"

I heard this recently after the results of our captain's promotional process was completed.  I actually heard variations of it more than once, and sometimes with a tremendous amount of conviction and passion.  Maybe even more conviction and passion than was used to prepare for the test.  That is my explanation for the poorer scores.

As head of the training division, I was tasked with preparing and executing a promotional exam.  Preparing for and taking an exam for promotion is pretty…


Posted on May 27, 2015 at 4:30pm

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