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Fire Officer Academy:

The Company Officer

October 1-6, 2023
Cost $125

The Fire Officer Academy: The Company Officer is an intense program not designed for the complacent. The Company Officer tests students in ways they haven’t been tested since they joined the fire service, leaving a lasting impression on the trajectory of their career and the camaraderie between students creates a lifelong family. The Company Officer takes you back to the basics while addressing the issues you face as a leader, figuratively and literally, in your department. 

Every detail about every day is intentional. This program is designed specifically to develop the decision-making, time-management and leadership skills that separate good company officers from great company officers.

 The hard conversations that happen in private in your department happen out loud during classroom sessions; the informal bay sessions with fire service leaders purposefully remind you why you were selected to participate in the program. From the morning physical training sessions to mealtime, The Fire Officer Academy: The Company Officer is calculated in its approach as it aims to uplift, test, and challenge the leaders of the South Carolina fire service.

The week-long Fire Officer Academy is held at the South Carolina Fire Academy where students will stay on campus in a platoon style environment. Daily activities include physical fitness drills, projects, hearing from guest speakers and live burn evaluations.

Note that an application is required, including a resume and letter from the applicant’s Chief. Applicants do not need to be a member of the South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association Officers Section but membership with the Officers Section is preferred. Applications will be vetted prior to being accepted into the program and will be sent pre-course assignments to be completed prior to final selection. The Fire Officer Academy is limited to 25 people.

Photos and Video from Class 23-01

The application period will open June 1, 2023

Participants will be selected and notified before the program start. Precourse work will be required. At the completion of the pre-course period, successful students will be emailed a registration link and invoice.  


The application period is June 1, 2023 (8:00 AM) through June 30, 2023 (Midnight).
The application period will not be extended. 

My expectations were definitely exceeded. The true academy aspect of the program brought our class together and I built relationships that I will carry for the rest of my life. Not only did I learn a lot from the instructors and class material, but I also learned a lot from my classmates.

Asst. Chief Blake Schultz, Long Cane VFDClass 22-01

The way the whole class was set up was made to challenge you as a person and as a leader.

Capt. KJ Hall, Clarendon County Fire RescueClass 22-01

This was an incredible experience and I hope that this program thrives so that more people can have the experience that I did. It teaches you the real world application of being a fire officer that isn't taught in your traditional IFSAC fire officer classes.

Lt. Joseph Peluso Burton Fire DistrictClass 22-01

Not knowing what to expect from the inaugural class I was hoping to see our company officer increase his "global" perspective and gain an attitude of learning from others. I am not surprised that the CO Academy helped to change his perspective, and I am certainly encouraged that it can inspire others on to positive change as well.

Boiling Springs FD – Chief Steve GrahamFire Chief's Perspective

Far exceeded my expectations. It’s more than just a “class”, it’s a lifelong experience. I was surprised from beginning to end. From the selection process, to the content and layout of the class, to the specific lessons learned, to the camaraderie that was built. Not only did I learn some new things to incorporate, I built relationships with people that I can now carry with me forever. This is a special program that needs to remain special and selective. Granted, all officers need to go through this program, but I don’t believe all will get the message and the purpose of the program. I don’t consider myself elite by any means, but I believe this program is elite.

Lt. Brandon Stroud, Anderson Fire DepartmentClass 22-01

This academy has so much potential to be a premier school not only in South Carolina, but in the southeast.

Capt. Marcos Farr, Bluffton Township Fire DistrictClass 22-01

The program allowed officers to build confidence and relationships with like-minded fire service professionals. The program also encouraged continued collaboration amongst the participants, allowing professional development outside of the academy. In the days since the Officer Academy, I have watched our officer’s passion for training and support of the organization continue to grow.

St. Andrews PSD – Chief Charles LamoreauxFire Chief's Perspective
Award Recipients
  • 22-01 – Captain Ben Crenshaw (Clemson Fire)
  • 23-01 – Lt. David Bullard (Columbia County, Ga.)

The David Lee Crenshaw “Big Dummy” Leadership Award

This award is presented to a student of the South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association Fire Officer Academy who is selected by their peers within the class for displaying exemplary skill, attitude, and leadership throughout the class.

David Lee Crenshaw lived a life of servitude and possessed a leadership heart throughout his career.  He was born in Pendleton, South Carolina on April 23, 1948. With the formation of the Anderson County Fire Protection Commission in 1962, he became a volunteer at Pendleton Fire Department (Station 2) at the age of 14. He excelled in each job that was given and ultimately served as the Fire Chief of Pendleton for 21 years—the longest serving Fire Chief in Anderson County history at the time. In 1972, David started a career in law enforcement with the Pendleton Police Department. He later went on to serve as a deputy with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. He progressed through the ranks at the Sheriff’s Office and served as Deputy Chief under Sheriff E.E. “Duck” Cooley. He was a recipient of the J.P. Strom Award from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and a graduate of the FBI National Academy.  He was selected by the Governor to serve as a Magistrate Judge in 1995. In 2004 he was elected Sheriff of Anderson County and retired in 2008. David was known for his self-deprecating humor and natural, genuine desire to help people. He dedicated his life to setting a high standard for himself and leading members of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson County Fire Department, the citizens of Pendleton and Anderson County. At the time of his death, David was a sitting member of the Pendleton City Council. On January 9, 2012, he died serving the citizens he loved. Pendleton Station 2 was dispatched to a motor-vehicle collision on Old Greenville Highway at the intersection of Porter Road. He was the Driver/Operator of Engine 2-1. He collapsed on scene and passed away at the age of 63. His legacy lives on today because countless lives were impacted by his example of selflessness and unprecedented leadership.