Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company Chief James Cook has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Volunteer and Combination Section (VCOS) of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
The Mission of VCOS is to provide Chiefs and Chief Officers who work within a volunteer or combination Fire and Rescue System with access to services, networking opportunities, education and representation to enhance their respective organizations. VCOS works with different departments across the nation, with varying demographics and needs.
According to Fire and Rescue officials, Cook has 25 years of experience in the fire and rescue field and has been a member of the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company (LVFC) since 2004. He worked his way up through the ranks of Leesburg Fire to Deputy Chief and Assistant Chief before taking over as the Chief in 2012. As he also sits on both the Executive and Fire Operations Committees for the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System, Cook has a critical role in policy development on many fronts.
In the past five years, Cook has worked to grow LVFC’s volunteer membership, increase duty crew coverage and procure additional apparatus.
“As a member of the VCOS board, I will support and develop resources to enhance volunteer recruitment and retention, professional and ethical standards, and leadership development within the system,” Cook said in a release. “I also recognize the importance of working alongside our career peers. By maintaining a unified combination system, our volunteer and career fire and rescue personnel will work together to provide outstanding services to the citizens and visitors of Loudoun County.”
VCOS is the most active section within the International Association of Fire Chiefs with over two thousand members. Through his appointment to the VCOS board, Chief Cook will provide Loudoun County with access to an important national platform.
Cook plans to utilize his three year term to represent LVFC and the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System on a national level at various conferences and symposiums across the country. His work with VCOS will allow him to pass along valuable information regarding education, policy and procedures gleaned from peers in other national fire departments that will ultimately benefit the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System. Cook will also be working on numerous literature items, reports, articles and trainings for IAFC-VCOS that will distributed and utilized by the fire service throughout the U.S.