Junior Officer Training Program

The CAFC provides JOLA (Junior Officers Leadership Academy), an educational training program based on the NFPA Fire Officers training material, which is presented by practicing chief officers that delivers real world expertise through an interactive educational experience. JOLA grew from the vision of CAFC President Chief Gregory N. Richards and Chief Fire Officer Reginald Freeman of the Freeman Group, LLC. to prepare our Caribbean Junior Officers for the challenges that they face and to

  • Areas of focused training includes:
  • Leadership Skills
  • Incident Command
  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Basic Supervision & Problem solving
  • Team Building
  • Training Development
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Principles of Negotiation
  • Verbal Communications


The Principal Consultant on this project is Chief Reginald Freeman of The Freeman Group, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. The United States Fire Administration, FEMA, NFPA, and the National Emergency Training Center provided technical support in the development of course material and supporting documents.

The ICS (Incident Command System) component of the course was taught by Les Williams, a FEMA certified ICS instructor. This component teaches the critical event management skills critical to efficiently and effectively manage teams and resources during the response to an emergency event. The fact that we train junior officers from around the Caribbean as one in JOLA is a further demonstration of our commitment to unifying our ability to respond as one.

Program coordination and logistical support is provided by the CAFC Operations and Communications Committee which is chaired by Chief Fire Officer Anthony Lewis of the British Virgin Islands. A cadre of instructors has been selected to present this course throughout the Caribbean in an effort to support the CAFC commitment – to provide junior fire officers with incident command training, management skills, leadership information, education, and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities.

JOLA is rapidly becoming the clearest path for career advancement in the junior fire officer ranks because of the value it offers Chief Fire Officers across the Caribbean of standardized officer training based on the trusted and proven NFPA structure and focus. Attending students are challenged and must engage interactively throughout each phase of the JOLA program.

JOLA courses are evaluated with a challenging final exam in which true comprehension of the course principles and concepts can be assessed in ways that directly apply to ensuring the graduates are able to take the training back into their respective fire services and the communities they serve.

In 2009 we began the program with only one level (JOLA 1). In 2013, we launch JOLA 2 to further advance JOLA 1 graduates to prepare for the senior officer ranks of our Caribbean Fire Services. Future changes to the JOLA program will be enacted to meet industry advancements and the needs of our CAFC member nations.