Steve Black's Bio
I was born and raised in Ontario Canada and moved to the beautiful state of Oregon in 2001 after meeting my wife. Pam and I enjoy camping with our three dogs and routinely go back up to Canada to visit friends and family.
When I moved to the U.S. I wasn’t allowed to work for my first year and this gave me time to reflect on what was really important to me and what I wanted to do for my career. I always had a desire to be a firefighter but didn’t know how to begin. I did some research and was able to become a volunteer firefighter with Cornelius Fire in January of 2002. When I started as a volunteer, I realized that my department was overburdened with service demands and this led to a minimal amount of mentorship. I promised myself that if I was ever in a position to help someone interested in attaining their goal of becoming a firefighter, I would do whatever I could to give them the information they were looking for. As a volunteer, I fell in love with the demands and rewards of the job. Through my time as a volunteer firefighter, I gained valuable experience to successfully earn a career position in 2004. I understood the trade of firefighting was a mix of physical hands-on skills and mental acuity. I began to pursue a more formal education and since then have attained an AAS in Fire Protection and a BS in Fire Administration. Currently, I’m working on my MS in Adult Education.
While working as a firefighter I started to train others and this was very fulfilling for me. Training ultimately became my passion. I decided I wanted to have the opportunities to pass on the lessons someone else had passed on to me. I was hired by Portland Community College in 2010 and continue to work there today. My position with the college allows me to lead and mentor students through the fire academy classroom and drill ground activities while they pursue degrees and careers.
Our department hired a new chief in 2010 and shortly after my job description changed to the Training Officer. The position of training officer offers one of the greatest rewards as I get to organize, implement and maintain our department's training activities. I have been fortunate to help implement new and unique training strategies and programs to empower department personnel to attain the highest certification levels possible. In the training officer position, I mentor and coach peers and subordinates. I work collaboratively and nurture working relationships with other fire departments, police agencies, city departments, and state agencies. My job also allows me to instill department vision and core values into every training evolution.
In 2015 I decided I wanted to teach on a more national level and was hired by the National Fire Academy. As a contract instructor for the academy, I present the highest level of training content possible to off-campus students in various locations across the United States. My current focus is Incident Safety Officer and Health and Safety Officer.
I have been so fortunate in my life that I want to be able to share what the fire service has given me. When I started, I didn’t know if I could do this job. I didn’t know if I was smart enough, strong enough, and frankly if I was good enough. I believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to see if the fire service is right for them and remove obstacles that would interfere with this. My goal is to help make the fire service the best it can possibly be and that can only happen with allowing the highest character people a chance to succeed.
And yes, I do still play hockey!