"As a retired Battalion Chief with Santa Ana and the current Assistant Dean of Fire Technology and Human Service and Technology at Santa Ana College, Donald Mahany added valuable input regarding the academic needs of the fire academy graduate," said Nancy Salzman, Dean of Extended Education at Brandman University. "The CSFA Brandman partnership benefited tremendously from Mahany's insight from the community colleges, the entry level firefighter and fire academy student perspective."
With Mahany's viewpoint and experience firmly rooted in the initial talks, the partnership was clearly designed to set up fire fighters for success, regardless of their level of experience or education. His work in fire service leadership and educational leadership led to an intimate understanding of the symbiotic relationship that bonds and equally supports both communities.
"I am a firm believer that education has always been important in the fire service," said Mahany. "Education provides the road work you do to get your mind in shape to perform. Undergraduate and graduate degrees help potential fire fighters stand out from a sea of applicants and will be the impetus for upward mobility in their career path."
Mahany's contacts from 34 years with the Santa Ana Fire Department in Santa Ana, California proved to be another integral factor in negotiations. He served as a bridge and provided entrée into the public training officers associations and community colleges for the articulation agreement with Brandman University. His diverse background in the fire service community further elevated his reputation because he has worked at several different levels within the fire service, including Fire Fighter, Fire-fighter Paramedic, Fire Engineer, Fire Captain, Battalion Chief and Training Chief. While his point of view shifted from position to position, he also had to modify fire prevention tactics and strategies as the city of Santa Ana, with a population of about 360,000 people and 26 square miles in size, went through drastic changes in the landscape from primarily agricultural to heavy industry, high-rise office space and residential. From his varied experiences, Mahany led a fire department that consisted of more than 220 members and 10 fire stations that respond to about 20,000 alarms a year.
Mahany understands the need for innovation and using education as an instrument for change in professional development and one's career path. He holds an AA Degree in Fire Science, BA Degree is Public Service Management and a MA Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies Emergency Services Management.
Currently he strives to inspire and push his students through the fire technology program at Santa Ana College and encourage them to get their advanced degree at a university such as Brandman. Santa Ana College offers core classes that prepare students for the Fire Academy so they can go forward and test for fire fighter positions. The State "Fire Officers" program prepares fire fighters for the Captain's rank supervising engine and truck company operations. The State Fire Marshals, "Chief Officers" program teaches students how to become Chief Officers in the fire service. All of these classes are certified by the State Fire Marshal's office and are part of the articulation agreement with Brandman University.
"As an educator and retired fire fighter, I tell all the students that come through Santa Ana College, education is power," says Mahany. "Learning from the experience of others is what will keep you and your crew alive."
To find out more about Brandman University, visit www.brandman.edu or call (800) 581-4100.