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Volusia County ARFF Chief Completes AFO Training

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief William Whalen earned the distinction of Airport Fire Officer (AFO) by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). Currently, Whalen is only the second in the State of Florida to achieve this honor. The expertise gained from this program is needed daily, as Whalen leads a team of firefighters for Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) for the Daytona Beach International Airport located in Daytona Beach, Florida.

To begin his pathway to this professional airport accreditation, he first completed the Airport Master Firefighter Program (AMF) to understand federal aviation requirements, the responsibility of protecting evidence in the case of an emergency, and operational regulations.

To qualify for the AFO distinction, he had to complete two phases of the accreditation process: an examination and a writing requirement. By earning the title of Airport Fire Officer, Whalen joins a select group of individuals who have earned the designation in nearly three years of the program’s existence.
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ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE ( is the world’s largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE’s 8,000-plus members represent some 870 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C. and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.

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MEGAN JOHNSONCorrespondent

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