Firehouse asked Steve Chikerotis about the "Lead From The Front," program that he will be presenting during Firehouse Expo in July.
What will attendees to your program walk away with?
Attendees will walk away from my class with a better understanding of fireground leadership, tactics, and strategies. I've designed this to be a motivational class that explains the groundwork to becoming the type of leader that commands respect. Respect is not given, it is earned.
What is the story behind your class??
In my early years on the Chicago Fire Department I had some great mentors that taught me a lot of what I know today. I've also had years of formal education, and 36 years attending the "university of the smoke filled hallways." I believe in giving back and sharing the valuable lessons I've learned. This class is about increasing firefighter effectiveness, safety, and molding future leaders of the fire service.
Tell us about your time in the fire service.
I am a deputy district chief on the Chicago Fire Department with 36 years of service. In this time I've worked on some of the department's busiest engines, trucks, rescue squads, battalions, districts, and the training division. I have been an instructor for 25 years and have taught classes and delivered keynote addresses throughout the nation. I am the author of two books, including Firefighters From the Heart, and several articles. Currently I work as a screenwriter and technical advisor on the hit NBC show "Chicago Fire".
What has been the highlight of your career?
The biggest highlight of my career is mentoring young firefighters and watching them rise through the ranks. Saving lives, both civilian and firefighters, is of course another key highlight. I feel blessed to have worked in a career where we are making a difference in the world.
What’s one piece of advice that you can give to Firehouse Expo attendees to make it a great experience?
You should attend as many classes as possible, and try to make connections with firefighters from around the country. It is an amazing opportunity to advance your own career as well as bring back valuable information to you department.
The 31st Firehouse Expo will take place in Baltimore, MD, July 15-19, at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year's conference offers over 90 education sessions, including hands-on training, in-depth workshops and classroom sessions. Find out more about Firehouse Expo, the exhibitors who will be showcasing their products and learn how to register go to: FirehouseExpo.com.