Thomas C. Lakamp, Assistant Fire Chief, Cincinnati (OH) Fire Department

I’ve often asked myself why I applied. Honestly I had been looking into CHDS for a while and had a lot of self doubt whether I could handle the work load, the rigor of the curriculum and writing a thesis while managing work and family responsibilities. I am really glad I made this decision. I am so proud of saying I am a graduate. One of the top factors for choosing CHDS was the reputation of the program and the experience and quality of the instructors. Discussion with graduates sealed the deal for me.

I think what I received from the program was to develop my critical thinking and writing skills. The curriculum and instructors provided the opportunity to examine and discuss complex issues that challenged me daily during the IR. (I often remember walking back to my room thinking how fortunate I was to be in the classroom with such smart people – Instructors and cohort). This program exposed me to all facets of Homeland Security that I hadn’t considered before through the expertise and experience of the instructors and the incredible interaction with my cohort.

I believe that Homeland Security education is important because it touches all aspects of our lives, especially considering National and World affairs and the ever-present responsibility to prepare for, prevent, and mitigate natural and manmade disasters. (I realize that sounded like a textbook FEMA answer but after completing this program I truly feel this way.) Before this program, I hadn’t considered traffic engineering, public works and the design of public buildings or the myriad of other things my fellow cohort mates were into would be considered Homeland Security issues. This program changed the way I look at all aspects of my City’s departments and their role in Homeland Security.”

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