Puerto Rico Hosts institute In Fire Department Administration
FIFTY-TWO fire officers from a dozen South and Central American countries and the fire chief of Manila, Philippine Islands, attended a two-day Institute in Fire Department Administration held recently in Puerto Rico. The institute was conducted in conjunction with the annual meeting of the board of directors of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. It was held December 13 and 14 at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, a suburb of San Juan, where the board met.
Sponsors of the institute were the International Fire Administration Institute, the University of Puerto Rico, and the Fire Service of Puerto Rico. Raul Gandara is president of the IAFC and chief of the Fire Service of Puerto Rico. He also is a trustee of the IFAI. Institutes previously had been held in Toronto, Ont., Canada, and Memphis, Tenn. Both were in conjunction with IAFC’s annual conferences in those cities.
Working with John Granito, director of the IFAI, Dr. Luis Silva, director of the School of Public Administration of the University of Puerto Rico, and Professor Juan Fernandez, director of the Office of Special Programs of UPR, developed a student’s workbook in the Spanish language, and enlisted a faculty.
Faculty and their topics were:
The Hon. Roberto Sanchez Viella, Secretary of State, The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico—“The Fire Service as an Integral Part of Public Administration”; Chief Raul Gandara, Fire Service of Puerto Rico—“Planning for the Fire Service”; Professor Guillermo Irizarry, University of Puerto Rico— “Budgeting for the Fire Service”; Senor Eleuterio Vega, executive secretary, Association of Governmental Employees, Puerto Rico—“Organization and Methods”; Senor Antonio Cuevas Viret, director, Office of Personnel, Government of Puerto Rico —”Personnel Administration”; Senor Rafael Fournier, chief, Division of Administration, Office of Personnel, Government of Puerto Rico—“Importance and Functions of Administration”; Professor Severo Colberg, University of Puerto Rico—“Human Relations”; Dr. Jorge Morales Yordon, University of Puerto Rico—“Supervision and Leadership”; Professor Gustavo Agroit, University of Puerto Rico—“Public Relations”; and Chief Raul Gandara—“Practical Applications of Fire Service Administration.”
In addition to these topics, addresses were made by Professor Juan Fernandez representing the University of Puerto Rico, and Professor John Granito of the State University of New York, representing the IFAI. The chief officer of each nation represented at the institute was also asked to describe the organization and structure of his fire service. All presentations were, of course, in the Spanish language. The following countries were represented by chief and junior officers: Brazil. Chile, Colombia, Costa Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Venezuela.
Each student was presented with a certificate from the IFAI, chartered bv the Board of Regents of the State of New York, and a certificate from the School of Public Administration of the University of Puerto Rico. In addition to this being the first institute conducted in a language other than English, it was the first institute to graduate a woman. Margarita Pina Felix of the Administration Division of the Fire Service of Puerto Rico, attended all classes and received a certificate along with her fellow students.
Director Granito termed the institute “a success in every way, and one which strengthens the bridge existing between North and South America.” The next institute is scheduled for Houston, Texas, preceding lAFC’s 91st Annual Conference on October 18-23.