For the Record 9/14

Sendelbach Named Firehouse Editor-in-Chief

Cygnus Business Media is proud to announce the appointment of Timothy E. Sendelbach as the editor-in-chief of Firehouse. In this newly expanded role, Sendelbach will be responsible for the content and editorial direction of Firehouse Magazine,, Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World, and related products.

A nationally recognized leader in the fire service, Sendelbach joins longtime editor-in-chief Harvey Eisner, who will serve as Editor Emeritus, along with the rest of the Firehouse editorial staff, to support a unified editorial theme that continues to lead and educate the fire service via Firehouse’s multiple media platforms. 

“We are extremely excited that Tim is joining the Firehouse team,” said Greg Toritto, Firehouse Group Publisher. “His experience as a firefighter and chief officer, along with his accomplishments as an editor and educator, place Tim in a unique position to develop content initiatives and conference programming that best meet the needs of today’s ever-changing and evolving fire service.” 

Sendelbach is a 29-year student and educator of the fire and emergency services, having previously served as editor-in-chief for FireRescue Magazine and He is a past president of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) and has served as an Assistant Fire Chief with the North Las Vegas, NV, Fire Department, as the Chief of Training for Savannah, GA, Fire & Emergency Services and as Assistant Fire Chief for Missouri City, TX, Fire & Rescue Services. Sendelbach has earned a master’s degree in leadership from Bellevue University, bachelor’s degrees in fire administration and arson, and an associate’s degree in emergency medical care from Eastern Kentucky University. 

“I'm honored to join the Firehouse team and I look forward to the opportunity of working together to help train and educate our nation’s firefighters while continuing to strengthen and improve the Firehouse brand,” Sendelbach said.



NFA Announces New Managing Officer Program

The United States Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Academy (NFA) is introducing the Managing Officer (MO) program, a new training program aimed at improving the professional skills of America’s fire and emergency medical services first responders. The curriculum emphasizes leadership, safety, community risk reduction, training and technology for those men and women who may be embarking on supervisory roles in their organization.

 The MO program differs from other NFA programs by providing new officers a defined nationally recognized curriculum. Students will be able to complete the program in as little as two years, and will receive an NFA capstone certificate when they finish.

 “The MO program will fulfill the four universal elements of professional development: higher education, training and certification, continuing education and experience,” explained NFA Superintendent Dr. Denis Onieal.  “This includes a combination of self-study, state and local training and resident courses at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, MD.”

 The program curriculum and entrance requirements were established by the NFA Board of Visitors. The four resident courses include: Contemporary Training Concepts for Fire and EMS; Applications of Community Risk Reduction; Transitional Safety Leadership; and Analytical Tools for Decision-Making. 

For additional information, refer to the Managing Officer website at:


Secured Cities: Integration Hub for Public Safety


Last year, I had the privilege of attending the Secured Cities Conference in Baltimore, MD. Held at the Convention Center, just a couple short blocks from the Inner Harbor, the conference was touted as primarily focusing on surveillance methods within cities and leveraging the video/images captured to improve the efficiency of response from the appropriate public safety discipline: fire, police or EMS. What I experienced, however, was vastly different from what I expected based on that perception.

What I expected was a show floor full of exhibiting companies that made an assortment of video cameras, some of which would include audio pickups, and all of which had the absolute best solution to any city’s given surveillance need. Beyond that, I expected a few decent classes and presentations on various public safety topics having to do with citywide efforts centered around remote video cameras, etc.

What I found was entirely different and greatly beneficial – especially as in comparison to the time investment involved. I spent two days in Baltimore at the conference. I attended a presentation on coordinating response efforts between fire, police and EMS based on video camera imagery plus GPS tracking of public safety vehicles plus radio inputs from the responders en route. I sat through a class on Active Shooter response training for the true “first responders:” The victims themselves. It was enlightening to learn what the potential victims could do not only to defend themselves, but also to assist the efficiency of the responding officers.

I talked with several people who realized that while “Secured Cities” is all too often perceived as a localized or limited effort to leverage a few technologies by one-off entities, what it really is…Is an effort to efficiently coordinate virtually every level of public safety service and every other state, county or local service that would support such.  What do I mean?  Think about this example:

On Interstate Route 95 (I-95), which runs up and down the East Coast through or around several major cities (including Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York… well, you get the idea), if a major motor vehicle accident occurs with some kind of hazardous material spillage involved, how many organizations are going to respond?  Fire department to put out any fires, render the vehicles safe for transport, and neutralize the spilled hazardous materials. Emergency Medical Services to treat and transport those involved in the accident. Police to write the traffic report and coordinate removal of the involved vehicles. That’s all of the public safety disciplines, but who else might show up?

The State Highway Administration (of whatever flavor in your state) would likely show up to manage lane and road closures and reroute traffic as necessary. If the hazardous material presented any kind of threat to the surrounding area, then agencies for those areas would have to act accordingly (think evacuations). If there are railroad or transit trains that run through or nearby, the agencies managing and policing them would have to be involved.

As I said, what I realized in that two days of Secured Cities conference is that it’s not just about surveillance technology, communication technology or new programs to resolve specifically targeted issues in small geographic areas. It’s really about efficiently coordinating all public safety threat and crime prevention efforts and then following those up with proper timely response, if the prevention efforts fail, of all necessary public safety responders. It’s not just about new technologies or specialized services; it’s about getting everyone working together in a strategic fashion to leverage all available technologies to keep the public safe. That is a conference worth attending and learning from.

This year’s Secured Cities Conference is once again being held at the Baltimore Convention Center, November 4-6.  Some of the presentation topics scheduled so far include:

  • Leveraging Integrated Security in your plans and designs for a built environment
  • Improvements in the Emergency Alert System for mobile devices
  • Design Best Practices for Wireless Surveillance System Design
  • Security Challenges in a Shipping Channel and how one city (Houston) dealt with it
  • New School Security Model providing multiple layers of protection between classrooms and active shooters.
  • How Virtual Social Spaces are impacting our security practices and behavior
  • And more…


Yes, there is a registration fee. If you register prior to October 3, 2014, the Education admission fee – which includes all the educational sessions and access to the exhibit floor – is $225. Compare that to most commercial training sessions today that run $200+ per day. There is a great deal of learning and networking that you can do for about half of what a commercial training course would cost. Add another $60 (prior to October 3, 2014) and you can also attend the conference reception and Innovation Awards Luncheon.

I strongly encourage you to not only attend, but to bring a chief (or higher) from your department with you. The potential benefits are well worth the price!

Visit to register today.


Lt. Frank Borelli (ret) is the editorial director for the Cygnus Law Enforcement Group which encompasses, Law Enforcement Technology magazine and Law Enforcement Product News. Frank has been producing equipment evaluations and articles for the police and military communities since 1999. Pulling on his 7 years of military service, about 30 years of police experience (so far) and over 20 years of instructor experience, he stays active in police work, training and writing. Frank has had numerous books published, which are available on, and other major retail outlets. If you have any comments or questions, you can contact him via email at