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Rockwall Fire Marshal graduates from nation’s first FEMT program

(ROCKWALL, TX – November 16, 2017) Rockwall Fire Marshal Ariana Hargrove recently received a state certification in Fire Executive Management Training (FEMT), becoming one of the first women to graduate from the program at Sam Houston State University on Nov. 10.

Hargrove currently serves as vice president of the Texas Fire Marshals Association and was a part of the team that created the FEMT program – the first of its kind in the nation for professionals in fire service.

“As a fire marshal, I know that professional competency and leadership skills are critical for success,” Hargrove said. “I feel strongly that it is my responsibility and obligation to continue to put in the effort to improve my knowledge level and leadership skills, as there is always room for improvement.

The program addresses the professional qualifications for fire marshals and evaluates the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to meet essential tasks of the job based on National Fire Protection Association standards. The program also focuses on the day-to-day operations of the job as well as community risk assessments and resource distribution. Admission to the program is on a competitive basis through an application process.

The FEMT program includes two 40-hour modules on the campus of Sam Houston State University at the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT), along with an out-of-class project called a Leadership Portfolio where trainees conducted thoughtful and meaningful leadership reflection and had opportunities to demonstrate their personal leadership style.

Hargrove said she hopes her achievement will inspire other women to take charge of their own professional development.

“I’m proud of this achievement for two reasons – as a representative of women in the fire service and most importantly as a representative of the City of Rockwall and the Rockwall Fire Department,” Hargrove said. “It’s no secret that women are underrepresented in the fire service in general.  Therefore, I believe it’s extremely important for women to take advantage of things within their control regarding professional development and professional networking.

“I also understand the importance of the role I play in the future of the fire service.  I hope that I serve as a role model to young women who are considering this profession or any other profession that may seem to be out of reach for them.  A woman shouldn’t be afraid to be among the first or only to do anything they choose.”

Hargrove joined the Rockwall Fire Department in 2002 as the assistant fire marshal before taking on the lead role of the Fire Marshal’s Division in 2007. As fire marshal, she is responsible for code enforcement, plan review, inspections, fire and life safety education, and fire/arson investigations on behalf of the Rockwall Fire Department.

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Courtesy photo.

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