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CFD Battalion Chief receives Fire Officer designation
Covington Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Whitley posed for a portrait inside the fire department on Wednesday, July 31. Whitley posed with his certificate that awarded the designation of "Fire Officer." He became the first officer at the CFD to be awarded the designation. - photo by Caitlin Jett

COVINGTON, Ga. - Covington Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Whitley was awarded the designation of Fire Officer, a credential that took almost two years to complete, on Tuesday, July 9. 

The Fire Officer designation program “is a voluntary program designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate their excellence in seven measured components including experience, education, professional development, professional contributions, association membership, community involvement and technical competence,” according to the Center for Public Safety Excellence press release. “In addition, all applicants are required to identify a future professional development plan.”

Whitley became the first officer at the CFD to be awarded the Fire Officer designation, completing one of his personal goals. He became one of 473 Fire Officers in the world.

“I feel like it’s better prepared me for my job,” Whitley said. “I believe it’s made me a better officer, and it makes you feel good to be recognized by your peers as an officer … peers from around the world.”

CFD Fire Chief Jeremy Holmes expressed how proud the fire department is of Whitley's accomplishments, stating that Whitley has a passion for what he does.

"Battalion Chief Whitley is what you think of when someone says a 'firefighter.'  He has always had a passion for fighting fires and is a person that you would always want on the handline with you if things got bad," Holmes said. "Chief Whitley leads by example, using his position in the fire department to mentor and train young firefighters in the profession.  But what I like most about Chief Whitley is that he loves his family, and that he tries to honor God in everything he does."

Whitley’s next personal goal is to receive his bachelor’s degree, which he is currently working on.