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Allan Rice
AFC Former Executive Director

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C. Reid Vaughan
AFC Special Programs Director

The History of the APSLA:
From Vision to Reality


The Alabama Public Safety Leadership Academy (APSLA) coalesced in 2014 from a creative discussion between Allan Rice (former Executive Director of the Alabama Fire College) and Reid Vaughan, Special Programs Director at the AFC. The discussion centered around the need for developmental experiences for the Alabama fire service to accompany the outstanding technical classes offered by AFC. Reid had already proposed the Fire Chief 101 course, which was intended to provide new chiefs with the "down and dirty" information needed in their new role that would not be encountered in regular training classes. Both were keenly aware of other leadership experiences across the state that were focused on specific communities or industries, but there was nothing aimed exclusively at the fire service.

The initial vision was to create a program that would expose fire service leaders - and more specifically, future leaders - to a wide variety of topics that they would need to be effective. The initial vision was later modified as the two realized that although a leadership academy for the state fire service would be useful, it would be more meaningful to bring together participants from all public safety disciplines. In addition to promoting personal growth and leadership development, it was asserted that the program should be designed to build connections across professional lines that would strengthen the statewide public safety fabric and give academy graduates enhanced tools to use in the future. The APSLA vision included targeted membership groups from the career and volunteer fire service, state, county, and local law enforcement, emergency medical services, 911 communications systems, emergency management agencies, the Alabama Forestry Commission, and the Alabama National Guard. The inaugural APSLA class came together in 2015 and graduated in May, 2016.


Alabama Fire College and Personnel Standards and Education Commission
2501 Phoenix Dr - Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405   |   Toll Free: 1(800)241-2467   |   Fax: (205)391-3757