Kelly Walsh, M. Ed., ACC Dan Jones, (Retired) Chapel Hill Fire Chief
Owner, 1 Smart Career and 1 Smart Life, LLC (See Dan’s bio below)
“I have known and worked closely with Kelly Walsh and Chief Dan Jones many times during my career. Their unique combination of fire service HR management, instruction, and leadership experience makes this educational opportunity both practical and essential for current and future fire officers. These two professionals have so much to offer their students – no doubt the fire service will benefit significantly from their instruction.”
Fire Chief, Mesa, Arizona (retired)
Chairman of the Board, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Co-Chairman of the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates Steering Committee
Kelly and Dan are featured on the TheFireOfficer webite that focuses on the leadership skills, knowledge and abilities that every fire officer; old or new, experienced or rookie, company officer or chief officer must have to be successful. See more at:
Check back regularly for new articles.
Kelly helps individuals and organizations achieve exceptional performance by applying specific tools and techniques that guide leadership development. She works on large scale vision and strategy but also deploys specific actionable steps that deliver measurable results.
Kelly has worked in a variety of industries including for profit, non-profit, and city government, but her heart is with the public sector where she can bring her strengths to the people who protect and serve our communities.
Uniquely qualified to work with Fire Departments, Kelly has 20 years of experience in Human Resources with 10 years as an HR partner (partially imbedded) to a 350 person municipal fire department in Mesa, Arizona. She holds a Master of Education degree with a major in Counseling, is a certified leadership coach and mediator, and has worked in organizations as a recruiter, leader, mentor, trainer, coach, and strategist.
Kelly has spent her career helping leaders make the right choices and delivering lasting results. Even people who think they lack leadership skills or are unable to break forward have succeeded.
The development of future leaders and creating a culture of well-being for employees are at the cornerstone of Kelly’s expertise.
Excerpt from Testimonial:
As I prepare to retire from the Fire Service, I wanted to write and thank you for your assistance with my leadership and interview skills. With your encouragement, I was promoted from a Firefighter/Medic to a Fire Captain, Battalion Chief, and finally Division Chief over Training. Who would have thought all of that would have happened? You gave me the skills and confidence to go after anything I set my mind to.
I have taken all that you have taught me and used it to help other firefighters and those wishing to become firefighters and help them become successful.
Retired Fire Division Chief (training 300+ staff)
Mesa Fire Department, City of Mesa, AZ (38th largest City)
She has authored, and is featured as an industry expert in, articles published in the The Wall Street Journal, Computer World, CEO Blog Nation, Huffington Post, and others.
Leadership Development Services
Even if a leader has training and education, one-on-one personal development will help them achieve the highest level of leadership performance. An internal report of the Personnel Management Association showed that when training is combined with coaching, individuals increase their effectiveness by an average of 86% compared to 22% with training alone.
Our established frameworks help enable the individual to transition smoothly into a leadership role in the most effective, efficient, and responsive manner possible.
Frameworks are the guide used to implement a strategy, change a behavior, or conquer a challenge. You want results and to achieve the highest level of leadership performance. We, as your partner, get you there.
We will create specific actionable steps that deliver measurable results, we can help you reach a desired outcome.
Here are some examples:
Dan Jones entered the fire service in February 1974 and served in a number of positions including Firefighter, Paramedic, Company Officer, Training Officer, EMS Chief, Deputy Chief and retired as Fire Chief in 2015. Jones served for over 16 years in the Pinellas Park, Florida Fire Department before relocating to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1990 to become Fire Chief. While in Florida he also served 5 years as Commander of the multi-agency Pinellas County Hazardous Materials Team responding to 23 jurisdictions in the Tampa Bay area. He also served as Vice-President and negotiating chair for Local 2193 of the IAFF. Upon his retirement, Jones was the longest serving municipal fire chief in the State of North Carolina.
Chief Jones has served on a variety of committees, councils and boards at the local, state and national levels. Jones is the former Editor-in-Chief of National Fire & Rescue Magazine, which for ten years served a nationwide circulation of community sized fire departments. He is Past-President for the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. He serves on the National Advisory Council of Fire 20/20, a group advocating for diversity in the Fire Service. He served on the President’s FEMA/USFA Blue Ribbon Agency Review Panel in 1998 and served as first Chairman for the NFPA Standards Committee #610 on Motorsports Venue Safety, and although not chair, still serves on NFPA 610.. He is a past member of the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications Committee and served on the NFPA Standards 1041, Instructor Qualifications Committee. Jones currently serves on the Board of Directors of Common Voices, a fire safety advocacy group and the Board of Directors of South Orange Rescue Squad, a volunteer rescue and EMS agency in NC.
He was Florida Fire Instructor of the Year in 1981 and the American Fire Sprinkler Association named him Fire Service Person of the Year in 1997. In 2000 he was awarded the International Fire Chiefs Association President’s Award. He was a co-recipient of the 2004 Goodmon Award for Regional Leadership in the Triangle Region of North Carolina. He is a Knight Member of the National Order of Life Safety Servants for successfully getting fire safety legislation passed. Jones has received commendations from the NC Jaycee UNC Burn Center, U.S. Congressman David Price, the NFPA, the ISFSI and the NC State Fire Marshal. Jones is also a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor awarded by the Governor of North Carolina.
Chief Jones has written numerous articles for trade journals and is a co-author of the fire service textbook Managing People (pub. 1987). He is currently a special on-air commentator for CNN Headline News Network on breaking fire and rescue stories. He is a frequent emergency services conference speaker and is recognized throughout the fire service as an authority in the field of leadership, management, campus housing fire safety and motorsports fire-rescue. He is a guest lecturer at the University of North Carolina and has taught in twenty-nine states, Canada, England, Germany, Botswana and Scotland. Jones has also served on numerous assessment and selection processes for fire officers and fire chiefs.
Chief Jones attended St. Petersburg College, Alamance Community College, the National Fire Academy, the National Staff & Command program at the University of Maryland, and the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina. He completed the Public Executives Leadership Academy at UNC-IOG in 2007. Jones has held up to twelve emergency services technical certifications. He currently resides in Chapel Hill with his wife of 39 years in a home they built with fire sprinklers. They have a married daughter and a grandson.