USFA Announces Board of Visitor Appointments

In close cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the United States Fire Administration (USFA) recently announced the appointment of two new members to serve on the Board of Visitors (BOV) for the National Fire Academy. Effective Jan. 14, 2009, Randy Novak and Adam Thiel have joined the current BOV members: Helen Johnson, Dr. Sandy Bogucki, Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Robert Cumberland, Chris Neal, and Columbus Fire Captain Jack Reall.

"I am pleased to welcome Director Novak and Chief Thiel to the Academy's BOV," said Dr. Denis Onieal, NFA superintendent and acting U.S. fire administrator. "Both of these individuals bring a wealth of experience in training and education, along with remarkable accomplishments in the fire and emergency services."

Novak is the long-time director of the Iowa State Fire Training Academy and an officer in the North American Fire Training Directors Association. Thiel is the Chief of the Fire Department in Alexandria, Virginia, the former Deputy Chief of Goodyear, Arizona and the former State Fire Training Director in Virginia. Novak and Thiel replace outgoing BOV members, Dr. Robert Fleming and Fire Chief Don Oliver.

"Both Dr. Fleming and Chief Oliver were passionate, articulate, and influential members of the BOV; no task was too difficult, no challenge too daunting, no effort too complex,” Onieal said. "Their legacy will always be the visionary course of action that they set for the academy. Saying good-bye to both of them has been one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do, but fortunately for all of us, they both offered to continue to assist the NFA in any way they can."

Authority for the board comes from Public Law 93-498, the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974. Functions of the board are to examine National Fire Academy programs; monitor the adequacy of the academy facilities; and examine the funding levels for the academy programs.

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