Beyond Hoses and Helmets

Volunteer and Combination Officers Section of the

Submit a Host Agreement form to request a course at your agency

Strategy and Tactics of Leading a Volunteer or Combination Fire/Rescue Organization: Pierce Fire Apparatus and the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) of the IAFC are pleased to offer this educational training course designed by practicing chief officers that delivers real world expertise through an interactive educational experience.


The United States Fire Administration and the National Emergency Training Center provided technical support in the development of course material and supporting documents. Beyond Hoses and Helmets offers instruction in the following areas:

  • Problem-solving
  • Marketing
  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Leadership
  • Team building
  • Training development
  • Conflict resolution
  • Principles of negotiation
  • Verbal communications

Download the host agreement form (pdf) to request the course be scheduled at your agency. The costs to your agency are minimal and include hotel rooms and meals for the instructors. Details are available on the agreement form as well as on the Beyond Hoses and Helmets brochure. We do not schedule courses in August or December.


Course Request & Scheduling
(We do not deliver course in August or December.)

2016 Scheduled Courses:

March 5-6, 2016: Simsbury, CT: Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association - VWS Program;  (Contact: Abena Bonso-Bruce, 703-896-4836,

April 9-10, 2016: Spanish Fort, AL: Spanish Fort Fire-Rescue (Contact:Captain Howard Popple, 251-626-8876,

April 23, 2016: Keswick, VA: East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Company (Albemarle County) Register online here. (Contact: Division Chief Tom LaBelle, 434-296-5833 ext. 3430,

April 30-May 1, 2016: Saint Louis, MI: Saint Louis Area Fire Department (Contact: Lt. Bill Coty, 989-620-5788,

September 24-25, 2016: Manchester, CT: Manchester 8th District Fire Department (Contact: Captain Danielle Cowee, 860-402-8473,


2017 Scheduled Courses:

March 16, 2017: Mt. Pleasant, MI: Norther Michigan Fire Chiefs (Contact: Linda Stone, 248-506-3401,

March 31 - April 1: Maryland State Firefighters Association (Contact: Chief Joe Chornock, 301-926-6070,


Pierce logoThe support offered by Pierce Fire Apparatus allows VCOS instructors to present this course throughout the nation in support of VCOS's mission to provide chief officers who manage volunteers within the fire/rescue/delivery system with information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities.