Full Name
Rick DeGroot
Job Title
Public Safety Consultant
Cotter Strategies LLC
Speaker Bio
During a fire service career spanning more than 46 years Rick DeGroot has served in many positions including Volunteer Firefighter, Fire Dispatcher, Career Firefighter, Lieutenant, Battalion Chief/Shift Commander and Deputy Chief of Operations with the Summit New Jersey Fire Department. In 2011, as Accreditation Manager, he successfully led the effort to secure Accredited Agency status from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, making the Summit NJ Fire Department only the second municipal fire agency in New Jersey to earn this prestigious award. He served as department representative during the most recent review by ISO that resulted in a reduction of the Public Protection Classification for the City of Summit from a rating of Class 3/9 to a Class 2, making the city one of only 15 other fire departments in New Jersey that enjoys the reduced residential and commercial insurance premiums resulting from the revised rating. Rick retired from the Fire Department in 2012 after a 36-year career. Rick is also a nationally certified Fire Service Instructor Level 2 and Fire Officer 2. He previously served as a Senior Fire Instructor at Sussex County Community College, Public Safety Training Academy from 1998 to 2012, and after retirement, he relocated to Southeastern Pennsylvania, where he presently serves as a Lead Fire Instructor for the Chester County Pennsylvania Department of Emergency Services focused on developing and presenting fire officer development and leadership courses.

Rick has a keen interest in the career development of emerging fire service leaders and has been a guest lecturer for the Executive Fire Service Leadership course series held bi-annually by the Center for Public Safety and Security at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He has also presented numerous National Fire Academy courses to fire departments throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. He also created and administers the Facebook fire training group page, Building Construction for the Fire Service, that currently has 45,000 group members.

In 2014, Rick joined the ranks of the Rodgers Group, LLC, a public safety consulting firm recognized as a leader in providing professional consulting services to public safety agencies in the Northeast. In 2022, the Rodgers Group merged with Lexipol. In 2023, Rick became a contract public safety consultant with Cotter Strategies LLC.
Rick DeGroot