2023 Annual Conference: Closing Symposium

Saturday, October 21st, 8:00 - 11:30 am

Full Contact Leadership: From the Firehouse to the Street
Deputy Chief Anthony Avillo (ret.)

Session Description
This course will introduce the philosophy of Full Contact Leadership and how it applies to the Fire Officer as well as those who aspire to become Fire Officers. Understanding and addressing the often uber-uncomfortable personnel conflicts and subordinate / superior relationships and the application to the fireground will be a major focus of this class. The steps to personnel conflict resolution will be compared and made applicable to the familiar fireground evolutions that most fire operators are comfortable with...sort of a way to introduce a level of comfort into the areas of command and leadership discomfort. The discussion of expectations required, self-evaluation, monitoring, and follow-up as well as skills such as observation, active listening, knowledge-based analysis, and informed resolution will give fire officers the tools to operate in the often treacherous waters of both soft environment and eventually hard environment command and control. The student will understand that leadership, discipline, and accountability come out of the firehouse just like every tool we use to mitigate an emergency and their application on the street is based on how we handle the soft environment. Examples and practical fireground application of these principles will be discussed. Failure to maintain these attributes of leadership in the soft environment will inevitably come to roost in the hard environment of the emergency ground. This course is a must for all levels.

The student will understand the requirements of the subordinate / superior relationship and how it applies to the day-to-day maintenance of the in-service and ready status of his/her Command. The student will be exposed to the critical nature of active observing, listening, and analysis as it relates to the absolute requirement of ensuring departmental expectations are met as well as the functional well-being of those who are being led. Students will recognize the incipient phase of conflict and learn how to address and resolve same before the situation explodes into a fully developed conflict-gration. This “catch it when it is small” philosophy is Full Contact leadership in action. Further, students will recognize how these soft environment factors affect the control of fireground (hard environment) operations and will be given the tools to better size-up, recognize, and proactively resolve issues before they get to the street.

Deputy Chief Anthony Avillo (ret.)
Anthony Avillo, M.S. retired in March, 2015 after a 30-year career in the fire service.  Avillo was a deputy chief in North Hudson (NJ) Regional Fire & Rescue, assigned as 1st Platoon regional tour commander. He holds a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies and a BS degree in Fire Science from New Jersey City University.  Avillo is currently the Director and Deputy Fire Marshal at the Monmouth County (NJ) Fire Academy. He is an Adjunct Professor at New Jersey City University.  He is also Region 3 Director of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI). Avillo is an FDIC instructor and member of the FDIC advisory board and the editorial advisory board of Fire Engineering. He is the author of Fireground Strategies, 3rd edition (Fire Engineering, 2015) and Fireground Strategies Workbook Volumes I, II, and III (Fire Engineering, 2002, 2010, 2016).  Avillo also co-authored with Chief Ed Flood Full Contact Leadership, (Fire Engineering, 2017).  He was a contributing author to Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and Firefighter II (Fire Engineering, 2009, 2018) and is co-author of its Study Guide (Fire Engineering, 2010). Avillo has also contributed to both volumes of the Pass It On books by Billy Goldfeder (Pennwell, 2015, 2016).  Avillo also has a regular column in Fire Rescue magazine called Progress Reports.  Avillo was a collaborator in the Tactical Perspectives DVD series (Fire Engineering, 2011) and has had issued the DVD’s Control of Fireground Operations (Fire Engineering, 2016) and Forging a Culture of Safety (Fire Engineering, 2013). Avillo also co-hosts a radio show, Fireground Strategies and Other Stuff from the Street with Chief Jim Duffy on Fire Engineering BlogTalk Radio.  Avillo was recipient of the 2012 Fire Engineering/ISFSI George D. Post Fire Instructor of the Year Award.