The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announced on January 26, 2009, the appointment of two new members to serve on the Board of Visitors (BOV) for the National Fire Academy. Effective January 14, 2009, Randy Novak and Adam Thiel have joined the current BOV members: Ms. Helen Johnson, Dr. Sandy Bogucki, Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Mr. Robert Cumberland, Mr. Chris Neal and Columbus Fire Captain Jack Reall.
Director Novak is the long-time director of the Iowa State Fire Training Academy and an officer in the North American Fire Training Directors Association. Chief Thiel is the Chief of the Fire Department in Alexandria, Virginia, the former Deputy Chief of Goodyear, Arizona and the former State Fire Training Director in Virginia. Director Novak and Chief Thiel replace outgoing BOV members, Dr. Robert Fleming and Fire Chief Don Oliver.
“Both Dr. Fleming and Chief Oliver were passionate, articulate and influential members of the BOV; no task was too difficult, no challenge too daunting, no effort too complex,” continued Onieal. “Their legacy will always be the visionary course of action that they set for the Academy. Saying good-bye to both of them has been one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do, but fortunately for all of us, they both offered to continue to assist the NFA in any way they can.”
The Board of Visitors plays an important role in enhancing the academic stature of NFA. Authority for the Board comes from Public Law 93-498, the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974. Functions of the Board are to examine National Fire Academy programs; monitor the adequacy of the Academy facilities; and examine the funding levels for the Academy programs.
Members of the Board of Visitors are selected from professionals in the fields of fire safety, fire prevention, education and training, fire control, research and development in fire protection, treatment and rehabilitation of fire victims, or local government services management, and from such professional organizations as will ensure a balanced representation of fire and emergency services interests.