Norwich Township Fire Department Lt. Jeff Warren has invested two years of work that he hopes will serve him well for years to come.

Norwich Township Fire Department Lt. Jeff Warren has invested two years of work that he hopes will serve him well for years to come.

He graduated from the Ohio Fire Executive program on June 13.

The program -- run by the Ohio Fire and Emergency Services Foundation -- develops leadership skills in fire departments, Warren said

The program is administered in five sessions running four days each, with six months between each session.

During those intervals, students read assignments, complete projects and apply what they've learned, according to a statement from the Norwich Fire Department.

Warren said the program helped him learn new skills.

"It really gives me a whole different insight of how I look at the day-to-day operations of the fire department. I tend to be more aware of issues such as risk management, human resources actions and the fair evaluation of department members on a day-to-day basis."

Warren said he spent about 300 hours on the program and wrote 18 papers since starting it in March 2006.

One of those papers was an applied research project over a two-year period.

"You had to pick a problem that took place in your fire department," Warren said. "I chose why we weren't having people seeking promotion."

That led him to write his research project titled," Increasing participation in the promotional process at Norwich Township."

He said working through the program was "a challenge."

"I have a great family at home and we were able to balance it well," he said.

Chief David Long, who is currently enrolled in the class himself, said he is proud of Warren.

"He took this commitment on his own and did most of the work on his own time," he said. "And I think it will certainly be a benefit to the whole community."

Warren said he encourages his colleagues to enroll in the program. Currently, Lt. Joe Russell and Lt. Red Kienzle also are enrolled.

calexis@thisweeknews.com