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Michael Finney
  • 55, Male
  • Eagle River
  • United States
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The Many Helmets of the Fire Instructor
2 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Brandon Erickson Feb 5, 2011.

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Profile Information

Lives in:
Open Fire Academy
Years of public service:
Agency structure:
Top issues in your department:
Training, recruitment, and retention
Topics you provide training for:
A variety of levels.
Areas of expertise:
instructor development, leadership, and management
Michael D. Finney, Principal is a twenty-two year veteran of the Fire Services and brings a wealth of practical experience in incident command management, training program administration, curriculum design and development and learning management systems (LMS). He is the immediate past Director of Public Safety Services for Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development in Ohio. Mike is also the Fire Chief for the Village of Glendale, Ohio. Michael has been honored to serve with such organizations as the International Fire Service Training Association/ Fire Protection Publications and with the South Carolina Fire Academy.

He is actively involved in cutting edge and state-of-the art curriculum development within the areas of computer based and web based integrated online learning methodologies. He is highly qualified within the areas of learning management systems (LMS) design and development and has been developing online learning applications for national and international applications. Highly qualified in emergency management curriculum development and adult learning environment and LMS, he has extensive experience in training program development, computer based application and integration, exercise design and is a subject matter expert in DHS NIMS curriculum and emergency services field applications. He has performed consulting work for a variety of agencies that include municipal and governmental departments, agencies and professional associations.

He has authored/edited several books and numerous magazine publications in leadership and training for the fire service. He has also performed extensive research in issues related to fire service training. Some research projects and initiatives he has led are:

*Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Developed a model for CISD while the S.C Fire Academy and the associated training . The model was used for training chaplains and mental health workers across the state. Later was integrated into the Fire Officer training programs.

*Integrated Curriculum Design Model. Developed and implemented an object based process that integrated

*Instructional Systems Design and web-based technology to facilitate the curriculum development process. Adopted for use by the Honduras Vocation-Technical College system. Copyrighted 2000.

*Oklahoma State University Student Response Team Program. Created and developed a program where Fire Protection Engineering Technology program students would partner with rural departments to assist and aid community response and departmental functions. Program has been adopted by a number of departments in Payne County.

*Payne County Firefighter’s Association Training Committee. Created and developed a county wide training program initiative for fire departments in Payne County.

*Tactical Research for the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. Researched IFSAC’s current strategic plan and created quantifiable tactical goals for the organization.

*Web-based Training Programs and the Fire Service. Work with fire departments and state training entities to initiate training opportunities via the internet and intranet.

*Virtual Reality and 3D Simulation. Researching ways in which to integrate Virtual Reality and 3D Simulation into firefighter performance training.

He is an adjunct instructor with the Department of Homeland Security/ National Fire Academy where he has served as a course reviewer, developer and instructor within the fire service course development and instructional delivery curriculums’ and for the Fire Service Course Design program. He has authored/edited several books and numerous magazine publications in leadership and training for the fire service. He has also performed extensive research in issues related to fire service training. Mr. Finney holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of South Carolina, a Masters Degree in Divinity from Columbia International University, and is currently completing his
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Michael Finney's Blog

The Role of the Fire Instructor

Fire instructors play a critical role in the development of firefighters. When the recruit begins training, their first exposure to the fire service is the instructor. That experience can often determine the firefighter’s view of training and future classes. Looking back through one’s career in the fire service, or life in general, it is easy to pinpoint teachers and instructors who have made a great impact. What were some of the characteristics of these instructors? What was it about them that… Continue

Posted on November 19, 2008 at 2:19pm

Fire Officer Development-- Strengthfinders 2.0

Whether you are currently an officer, or aspiring to be one, understanding your strengths and how they apply to your leadership is important. We will spend several weeks delving into the strengths you bring to an organization. Based on the book Strengthfinders 2.0, this informal course is an opportunity to interact and engage your findings from the book. The key is the application. How do you begin to apply what is learned? We will investigate ways to apply the findings to your department. To… Continue

Posted on May 19, 2008 at 1:26pm

Firefighter Appreciation Day

As many of you know, we here in the Cincinnati area experienced the loss of two of our own. Channel 9 here has initiated a Appreciation Day for firefighters on April 17th. Let's not let this be an isolated event. I believe this could be a time to, not only express appreciation to those who serve, to to expand awareness of firefighter safety. Get your community involved! If you do something for April 17th, please post it here to let everyone know of ways to become active in their community. Here… Continue

Posted on April 15, 2008 at 12:17pm

Bomb Threat Planning and Management

NOTE: Anyone can attend


Dates: April 25, 2008 (1pm-5pm EST) and May 2 (1pm-5pm EST) This seminar is divided into two sessions.

Bombings, attempted bombings and bomb threats can cause extreme disruption, fear,

and even panic in organizations whose personnel are not trained to

handle such situations. Inappropriate and costly management decisions

are often made due to a lack of organizational planning and a

methodology for…

Posted on April 14, 2008 at 9:16am

Professional Development for Fire Officers

Note: Open to anyone wishing to attend

Cost: $0.00

Link: Click here to attend

Bill will be delivering his real-world focus on what a new or acting officer must know to successfully communicate with their crews, supervisors, and our business community. Bill will…


Posted on April 6, 2008 at 3:23pm

Comment Wall (12 comments)

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At 12:45pm on September 19, 2009, Thomas A Woods said…
Hi Mike:
Interesting and sobering article and an important discussion for sure. How do I log in to write the quiz?
At 9:55am on July 22, 2009, Bruce Stock said…
Mike, long time no talk! I hope all is going well for you and your family. I tried giving you a call today but the number was no good. Let's catch up- Bruce 865.966.9615
At 5:15pm on May 1, 2009, Todd McKee said…
Call me anytime
At 6:43pm on April 30, 2009, Todd McKee said…
I have been trying to get a hold of you for months! Here is my number 740 507 8802, I was wondering how your classes were going I havent heard anything form the ones you needed help with. I am still looking forward to pod casting some classes for you if you still need. Guide me in the right direction Todd McKee
At 11:48am on September 25, 2008, Danny Sheridan said…
Mike, you left a message for Nelson about South and Central America. What is the context of that message. I don't know if you are familiar with but I would like to discuss with you what you are doing.
At 12:41am on August 10, 2008, Nelson Ojeda said…
You are the man!!!

Be safe.

At 11:35pm on May 25, 2008, David Ebel said…

Please allow me to invite you to a site designed by responders for responders... the crew that is doing it is CISM multilevel trained and are there for the guys after the bad calls. It helps the responders that do not yet have a team or would be worried that they asking for help would be seen as weakness. Please join and share it when you can. As a chaplain with over 25 years of service to fire departments I am excited with it's potential to provide support.

Visit Emergency and Disaster Responders
At 7:12pm on March 31, 2008, Frank Ricci said…
we could use your input in our Tactical Building Blocks group. We are on the side under featured groups.
This group will focus on aggressive interior firefighting. We will address tactics that increase your chance of not getting jammed up and cover what actions to undertake if you do.We will cover some big issues as well as small tactical tips
Be Safe
At 10:33pm on March 17, 2008, Todd McKee said…
Hey Sir Please let me know if you need anything at OFA for HAzMat
At 5:45pm on March 9, 2008, Todd McKee said…
Yes Sir, we did about 15 inches

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