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Rocco Alvaro: ‘Once you stop developing others, it’s time for you to leave’

The Fairfax County battalion chief on the power of professional development for your members

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Battalion Chief Rocco Alvaro is passionate about professional development, but he wasn’t always on a clear path himself. In fact, it took a metaphorical “punch in the face” from a mentor for him to go back to school and walk the professional development walk – and he’s incredibly grateful for the punch. Alvaro joins Better Every Shift this week to talk all things professional development, including where departments can begin with standing up their own programs. Plus we get into all this:

  • How fire departments can follow a “farm team” model;
  • The three foundational elements we all need in our training;
  • The lack of vision permeating the fire service today; and
  • How higher education is the best way to answer the vital question, “What’s over the horizon?”

This episode of the Better Every Shift Podcast is sponsored by Columbia Southern University. Learn more about how you can earn an affordable, accredited quality degree 100% online at

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