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Rick Michelson
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  • San Diego, CA
  • United States
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  • Fire Chief Billy Greenwood

Rick Michelson's Discussions

Class in Las Vegas August 27-28 (Assessment Centers)
1 Reply

Aside from having our next class in Las Vegas (two days) I've been working on additional material for firefighters who are considering advancing and have to face an assessment center. In reviewing…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood Aug 5, 2011.

Public Safety Career Information Center (Non-Profit Grant Project)

In addition to several other "hats" one wears, developing your future candidate pool or applicant pool is always a concern. Despite the economy,  firefighters or other public safety personnel will…Continue

Tags: PSCIC, Web, Resource, Center, Information

Started Mar 31, 2011

Preping for Assessment Centers - Think skills, not "tips and tricks"

Our best advice for those studying for a promotional exam that includes an assessment center component, which may or may not include a simulation, but most likely will, keep in mind that the…Continue

Started Mar 31, 2011

Assessment Centers vs Interviews and simulations

Just a note to offer info on preparation for promotional prep, focusing on assessment centers and other performance based scenarios. After having to take a few assessment centers to promote, I was…Continue

Started Mar 9, 2011


Rick Michelson's Page

Profile Information

Lives in:
San Diego
Grossmont College
Years of public service:
Agency structure:
Public safety (police-fire)
Professional Qualifications:
My focus is on developing leadership skills for firefighters and police officers, using the Assessment Center Methods for leadership development and promotional preparation. I have been in the public safety field for over 30 years and teach in a community college public safety program as well as manage KSA Ltd. I also am a grant writer and created the Public Safety Career Information Center web resource for students/applicants/candidates using the California community college system as a hub. This is funded through a grant.
Topics you provide training for:
Assessment Centers, leadership development for supervisors and managers in the public safety field. Pre-service counseling/including information to candidates about the background process, testing processes, interviews, etc.
Areas of expertise:
Leadership Development/performance based scenarios for assessing future leaders
Most of my career was in law enforcement with San Diego PD. This included being in SWAT as a sergeant and later, with other agencies, being a Lieutenant and an Interim Chief.
Web site:

Rick Michelson's Blog

Scenario's for Supervisors/Managers

I'd like to offer some sample scenarios that we've used for some of our assessment center/interview/presentation/oral history/oral resume, etc. courses. I'll have some up soon.  Feel free to post some of your experiences (real or scenarios) that would be a good example of a challenge you may face as a Fire Lt., Captain, B/C, D/C. From initial size-ups to an after action critique and presentation on the event to a community event or a command officers meeting, your daily experiences are…


Posted on May 18, 2012 at 6:05pm

Getting back on track... preparing for yourself or for the agency?

The real issue for most agencies may be  that there really isn't an attitude or "philosophy" of "development" vs "testing."

If I could have a magic wand, I would create a pipeline to identify, select and groom future leaders... just like you sort of do with those who want to go into a specialty or technological mastery, but we don't do it for leadership. 

I'll try to be better about being here on line.... and would hope you can add some stories, scenarios, success stories or...…


Posted on May 18, 2012 at 5:57pm

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At 2:53pm on May 27, 2011, Rick Michelson said…

By using just a few tasks or projects, one can develop a fairly accuate picture of a prospective "leaders" abilities. Add a few simulated scenarios, which are similar to what they may encounter not only in the field, but in the station itself, may also lend some insight into not only attitudes, abilities and even temperament. After all, is'nt being a good "fit" particularly critical in a fire station?

I do help "candidates" prepare for assessment centers, but the reality is most of you could do a very similar in-house, locally developed scenarios. After all, local issues, "hot buttons" and recent events all contribute to the development of scenarios even for the "real" assessment center. More importantly, it helps your new cadre of lieutenants, captains or battalion chiefs be more prepared for the actual role of a supervisor, manager, leader, and caretaker of both the personnel but also the organizational needs. After all, it's YOUR career!


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