Thursday, December 16, 2021

Fire Chief Boot Camp Recap

Minnesota Board of Firefighter
Training and Education

A guest post by LMCIT Public Safety Specialist Troy Walsh

I was recently asked to attend and present at the second Fire Chief Boot Camp training program, developed by the fire service specialists at the State Fire Marshal’s Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The first Fire Chief Boot Camp was pre-COVID and was a well-attended success.

Fast forward to December 2021, which landed me at the new Grand Rapids Fire Station for the second boot camp featuring 14 presentations and 25 attendees representing 17 Minnesota fire departments. This fantastic course is what they called a “10,000 foot” look at the MN fire service for fire chiefs and those aspiring to be chief officers.

The training program focuses on the legal obligations, responsibilities, and resources available to help keep fire chiefs and their departments out of legal harm’s way.  All the courses at the Fire Chief Boot Camp are a brief look at what the fire department is involved in, what the fire chief is responsible for, and most of all who they can contact for support!

Some of Minnesota’s best were there to pass on their knowledge and help to the next generation of fire chiefs build successful departments and keep moving forward!

I was able to present on fire department management and liability issues. As fire service tech and equipment change to become safer, we as the fire service also need to update out administrative operations to understand liabilities and reduce the risk.

I shared the Fire Department Management and Liability Issues Memo as a resource for my presentation — it’s a guide of best practices for reducing those risks.  

Other great presentations included:

Upcoming training

Troy Walsh is the public works and public safety
specialist for the League of Minnesota Cities
Insurance Trust.

The next Fire Chief Boot Camp is going to be at the Albert Lea Fire Department on Feb. 18-19, 2022. Details can be found on the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education (MBFTE) website and you can contact Fire Service Specialist Jared Rozeboom at for more information and details on how to be nominated by a fire chief or city/township supervisor to be part of this unique training program.

You can contact me via email at with any questions about this training or feel free to call (651) 281-1231.

Remember: Responder Safety = Public Safety

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

New LMCIT Loss Control Program Coordinator

The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) has hired Ashley Edwardson as the new loss control program coordinator. Her role will include overseeing the development, implementation, and ongoing success of the Peace officer Accredited TRaining OnLine (PATROL) program and the Regional Safety Group (RSG) program. 

Her position will also provide educational loss control information to member cities under 1,000 population in an effort to assist cities with injury prevention, worker safety, and general loss control. 

Ashley joined the League of Minnesota Cities in 2019 as an event coordinator in the engagement and learning department. Over the last two years she has worked with the LMCIT loss control workshops, city attorneys, mayors, and elected leaders of Minnesota cities. 

Loss Control Program Coordinator Ashley Edwardson in a black shirt smiles in a portrait taken against a white background.
Ashley Edwardson will be overseeing the PATROL
program and the Regional Safety Group program
as part of her duties. She will also be connecting
small cities with loss control information.
Prior to the League she worked in the private sector primarily with event planning, logistics, and sales. Ashley is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications.  

“I am honored to be taking on this position from Kristen LeRoy who will be retiring in March,” said Edwardson. “She can’t be replaced, but I will do my best to fill her shoes and continue to make PATROL the best online, accredited training for peace officers in Minnesota.” 

If you have any questions about PATROL or the Regional Safety Group (RSG) programs, you may contact Ashley at (651) 281-1258 or by email at

We welcome Ashley to the loss control team and look forward to working with her. As always, you may contact me at or give me a phone call at (651) 215-4051 with any comments or questions.

Remember: Responder Safety = Public Safety

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful -


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The MCPA ETI & Law Enforcement Expo 2021

ETI Executive Training Institute & Law Enforcement Expo. Accelerating the Evolution of Policing. Octover 2-November 2. River's Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud, Minnesota
The 2021 Executive Training Institute (ETI) & Law Enforcement Expo sponsored by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) was held in St. Cloud from Oct. 31-Nov. 3. With over 350 law enforcement leaders and over 100 exhibitors in attendance, it once again did not disappoint.

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association has a vision “to be the recognized voice for professional law enforcement in Minnesota” and a mission “to bring the highest quality police services to the people of Minnesota.”

With a theme of “Accelerating the Evolution of Policing,” the educational components of the conference included law enforcement presentations on key police topics by leaders from across the state and nation. These presentations included a case review of the “Ambush at Shady Oaks” by Director J.D. Carlson of the Albert Lea Police Department; “The Evolution of Police Response and Civil Unrest” by Commissioner John Harrington, Sheriff David Hutchinson and Colonel Matt Langer; the “Parkland Florida School Shooting” by Chief Tony Pustizzi; a review of the new “BCA Force Investigation Unit” by BCA Special Agent in Charge Scott Mueller; “Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing for First Responders” by  Account Manager Bobby Arnell and Director Steve Dickens of Invest EAP Centers for  Wellbeing; the “Jayme Closs Case Review” by Detective Jeffrey Nelson of the Barron County Sheriff's Department and Special Agent Joe Welsch of the Wisconsin Department of Justice; and many additional sessions on a variety of law enforcement topics.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by
to meet League staffers (l-r) Laura Honeck,
Ashley Edwardson, and Tracy Stille.

The law enforcement expo was also a good opportunity to learn about the latest products and services for our police agencies to consider purchasing. The expo included vendors for police uniforms, two-way radio equipment, emergency vehicle upfitters, psychological employee fitness services, wireless communication systems, automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) communications, access control and security systems, police audits, community surveys, police vehicles, and architecture firms to name but a few.

Once again this year, our LMCIT staff were on hand to explain the benefits and monthly continuing education courses of the PATROL - Peace officer Accredited Training Online program. Additionally, PATROL helps police agencies meet OSHA standards and also offers a five-part supervision and leadership course series.

Each PATROL course is also supported by legal memos, updates on developments, legal briefs, and case law changes. PATROL helps you achieve training mandates at a low cost and learn from professionals, including police liability experts, insurance defense attorneys, and local law enforcement leaders.

PATROL is supported by the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust, the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, and the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association. If you have any questions about PATROL or would like additional information about this unique training program, please contact our new Loss Control Program Coordinator Ashley Edwardson at the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) at (651) 281-1258, (218) 269-5352 or by email at

PTSD and mental health

LMCIT staff were also able to discuss the League’s PTSD and mental health initiatives. The Pocket Wellness Guide for law enforcement and information on talking with an employee that brings a mental health concern to you were both available as handouts that attendees could take back to their stations.

MCPA Officer of the Year

Officer of the Year, Arik Matson, Waseka Police Department

The 2021 awards banquet comprised many recognitions including president’s awards, medals of honor, distinguished service awards, a meritorious service Award, lifesaving awards, citizen’s valor awards, and Officer of the Year. A medal of honor and the Officer of the Year Award were presented to Officer Arik Matson of the Waseca Police Department whose “actions clearly distinguished himself above all others while serving with valor, honor, persistence, and merit.” Officer Matson was shot and critically injured in the line of duty on Jan. 6, 2020 while responding to a report of a suspicious person in the city of Waseca.

As always, you may contact me at or give me a phone call at (651) 215-4051 with any comments or questions.

Remember: Responder Safety = Public Safety

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful -