Washington chose to enroll in the UC Fire Science program after receiving several recommendations on its high quality and earned his bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Engineering Technology in 2008. The Chief now utilizes his expertise in fire apparatus specifications, human resource management, fire department strategic planning, and emergency medical billing to give back to UC working as an adjunct professor in the Fire Science program. Washington has also been hired as a consultant by various fire departments around the nation.
Washington adds, “The words of advice that I would give any student aspiring to become a chief officer would be to never stop educating yourself, always find ways to expand your horizon, step out of your comfort zone, be willing to do what the other person is NOT willing to do! Put others first, and never forget where you came from. Last but not least, enjoy the ride of your career.”
Additionally, Washington graduated from the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute, a national fire service organization devoted to providing cutting edge management training to fire service leaders. He is currently a third-year student of National Fire Academy’s “Executive Fire Officer Program” (EFOP) in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The EFOP is a four-year program representing the “best of the best” in fire service leaders.
The Chief has also served as an evaluator on several Assessment Centers for Fire Captain and Lieutenant promotional examinations. He has assessed the tactical scenario (major incident), oral interview (including resume), oral presentation, personnel issue, in-basket exercise, and teaching demonstrations. Washington’s experience rating exams includes local fire departments for the City of Cincinnati, Norwood and Dublin, Ohio and spans nationally for the cities of Birmingham, Alabama; San Francisco, California; Lexington Kentucky; and West Palm Beach County, Florida.
Washington’s current professional affiliations include: International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Black Professional Firefighters Black Chief Officer’s Committee, International Association of Firefighters Local 48, Hamilton County Fire Chief, Fire Instructors Committee and the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association. Presently, the Chief and his wife, Pia, have five children and reside in Colerain Township.
Washington says of his recent promotion to District Chief, “This promotion, for me, is a dream come true! I was maybe ten or eleven when a Cincinnati District Fire Chief caught my attention, amazement is all that I can say. This District Chief commanded his troops at a fire scene without hesitation or reservation. His demeanor was calm and poised. My immediate goal was to master the knowledge, skills and abilities of a District Fire Chief. My future endeavors may involve interviewing for the next level of command (Assistant Fire Chief).”
Chief Michael Benson— Copley Fire Department