Firefighting, Health & Safety, Leadership

First-Responders Learn at Leadership Retreat Hosted by CSU

Many of the 28 first-responders and emergency service personnel who attended the Chief Brunacini Fire-Rescue Leadership Retreat on April 12-14 in North Charleston (SC) say they learned a very important phrase to aid them in their jobs.

“Be nice!,” said Capt. Joshua Holzheimer of the City of Greer (S.C.) Fire Department. “I learned that customer service includes both inside and outside your department. I also learned how to improve my management styles and improve my leadership abilities.”

Hosted by Columbia Southern University (CSU), the three-day event featured motivational seminars, case studies and personal experiences by some of the nation’s foremost fire-rescue service leaders. Attendees participated in roundtable discussions and presentations led by retired fire Chief Alan Brunacini at the Hilton Garden Inn.

“We had an interesting and very interactive three-day discussion about a range of boss issues, challenges and best practices. The students were engaged and developed intelligent and very doable solutions to seven major case studies,” said Brunacini.

“This event offers a more laid back approach whereas most workshops are lecture driven. I like this layout and feel that it allows you to be more involved,” added Holzheimer. “I plan on sending all our officers to this class. I feel that this will help improve all operations and leadership within our department.”

CSU student Danny Grafius, a battalion chief at Wilmington (N.C.) Fire Department, also found the leadership retreat helpful. “The members of the panel were good at making you dig into each situation presented so you and others can grow.”

To learn more about future leadership retreats, call 877-325-2863 or visit the website.

CSU is an online university that offers associate, bachelor, master, doctoral and certificate programs in many areas including fire science, occupational safety and health, organizational leadership, business administration and criminal justice. Visit us at to learn more.