Center for Public Safety Excellence Honors the Best in Fire, Emergency Services Departments

It’s calming to know there is a Center for Public Safety Excellence out there fine tuning and honing the skills of our nation’s firefighters and others in emergency services. Recently, the organization doled out the 2021 awards, honoring the most Excellent. –By Brian Hurlburt, Founder and Host, Magnifying Excellence Podcast.

The awards were given out during the Excellence Conference. The Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) corporation that “helps high-performing fire departments and emergency services professionals in their efforts to continuously improve in three main ways:”

  1. Fire department accreditation, a process in which departments undergo a thorough self-assessment focused on identifying strengths and areas for improvement.
  2. Credentialing fire and emergency services professionals, instilling the principles of life-long learning and self-accountability and helping them grow and plan for a successful career.
  3. Education programs offering individuals and departments the information they need to expand their knowledge and capabilities, and stay on the forefront of the profession.

The recent Excellence Conference was held March was held virtually and had nearly 900 attendees, a 32 percent increase from 2020. A total of 52 speakers educated the attendees and the conference was kicked off by CEO Preet Bassi and Board President Jeff Pomeranz.

“2021 marks CPSE’s 25th Anniversary,” said Pomeranz. “I have had the honor of being part of CPSE as both a commissioner and board member for 15 of those 25 years. Over this quarter century, so many of you have contributed your expertise and time to create frameworks that focus on generating high-performing, accountable, and safe fire and emergency service departments and officers.”

Part of the conference was the honoring of several members and departments for their outstanding Excellence.

Ray Picard Award

The winner of the Ray Picard Award for 2021 was Assistant Chief Christian E. Jacobs, CEMSO from the Grissom ARB Fire Department, IN. This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions and provided exceptional leadership to the Commission on Fire Accreditation International and the accreditation of fire service organizations.

Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award

CPSE named Fire Chief Norris W. Croom, III, CEMSO, CFO, Castle Rock Fire Department, CO, the 2021 recipient of the Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award. This award recognizes an individual committed to elevating the fire and emergency service profession through mentoring, teaching, advocating, and sharing outstanding contributions.

Randy R. Bruegman Agency Innovation Award

Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services in Georgia was selected as the recipient of the 2021 Randy R. Bruegman Agency Innovation Award for their High School Pathway Program. The award is presented annually to a CPSE accredited agency that has worked collaboratively within their agency and community to innovate a practice leading to improved outcomes that serve as a model for the greater fire and emergency service.

Cliff Jones Ambassador Award

In 2021, CPSE re-named the Ambassador Award in honor of Chief Cliff Jones, a former board member and long-time supporter of CPSE. the first recipient of the Cliff Jones Ambassador Award was Ricky N. Brockman, CFO, retired, Navy Fire and Emergency Services, Washington, DC. This award recognizes an individual who goes above and beyond in their support of accreditation, credentialing, and CPSE as a whole.

Also, the Michael Worthington Scholarship was created in honor of CPSE’s long-time former Board Member who passed away in 2015. Annually the CPSE awards up to five scholarships to officers who, like Mike, exemplify continuous improvement and encourage others to constantly grow and improve in their profession. The 2021 scholarship recipients were:

  • Lieutenant Michael Cornista, Naval Air Station Fallon Federal Fire Department, Fallon, Nevada
  • Captain Joseph T. DeRousie, Jr., Richland Fire and Emergency Services, Richland, Washington
  • Battalion Chief John F. Hoskins, Miles City Fire Rescue, Miles City, Montana
  • Assistant Chief Nicholas J. Mitchell, 119th Wing Fire Department, North Dakota Air National Guard in Fargo, North Dakota
  • Lieutenant Heidi A. Simon, South Metro Fire Rescue, Centennial, Colorado

For more about this organization and conference, visit

And on behalf of the Magnifying Excellence universe, thanks to all for their service!