Dr. Ronald Wakeham

Dr. Ronald Wakeham

Dissertation Chair

Emergency Services

Dr. Ronald Wakeham’s career encompasses over 40 years working and teaching emergency and protective services. After joining law enforcement following military service, his career track shifted to fire and emergency services. There he rose through the ranks from firefighter to fire chief and served in that capacity for three different departments. As his formal education progressed further opportunities led him into emergency management and teaching. From 1996 – 2016 he was a course developer and contract faculty member (1996 – 2016) for the Department of Homeland Security/National Emergency Training Center/National Fire Academy. He also served as undergraduate faculty at several universities before taking a position as Department Chair of Security Emergency Services for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University from 2011-2019. He earned an Associate in Applied Science in Fire Science from Tidewater Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Governmental Administration from Christopher Newport University, a Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University and a Doctorate in Public Administration from NOVA Southeastern University. He also has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Crisis/Emergency/Disaster Management
  • Emergency Medical Care
  • Fire Prevention and Safety Technology
  • Fire Services Administration
  • Fire Science and Fire-fighting
  • Hazardous Materials Management
  • Leadership and Evaluation



  • D.P.A. from NOVA Southeastern University, (2003)
  • M.P.A from Old Dominion University, (1985)
  • B.S.G.A. from Christopher Newport University, (1980)
  • A.A.S.  in Fire Science, Tidewater Community College, (1977)
  • Harvard University: Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, (1993)
  • University of Virginia: Senior Executive Institute, (1992)

Professional Achievements

  • International Association of Emergency Managers, (IAEM) - Certified Emergency Manager
  • The Commission on Professional Credentialing - Chief Fire Officer
  •  Emergency Management Institute (EMI) - Professional Development Series - Advanced Emergency Management
  • The Congressional Fire Services Institute/U.S. Fire Administration - Executive Fire Officer
  • American Council on Education (ACE) Reader/reviewer of course offerings in Fire and Emergency Services 2017-present
  • International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC)
  • Evaluator for fire-related curriculum offered by regionally accredited universities 2016-present

Research & Publications

Published – Journal  

  • Griffith, J., C., Schultz, M., C., Schultz, J., T., & Wakeham, R., T. (2015).  Does the fire station have a glass ceiling?  Perceptions of female firefighters.  Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 20(1), 26-32.               

Published – Conference proceedings  

  • Griffith, J., C., & Roberts, D., L., Wakeham, R., T. (2015, January). A meta-analysis of crew resource management/incident command systems implementation studies in the fire and emergency services. Aviation / Aeronautics / Aerospace International Research Conference, Phoenix AZ.
  • Wakeham, R., T., & Griffith, J., C.  (2015, January). Unmanned aerial systems in the fire service:  Concepts and issues. Aviation / Aeronautics / Aerospace International Research Conference, Phoenix AZ.  

Accepted for presentation and publication in conference proceedings:  

  • Griffith, J., C., & Roberts, D., L., Wakeham, R., T. (2015, October). Bullying at the fire station? Perceptions based on gender, race and sexual orientation.  Presentation proposal approved for the National Workplace Bullying Coalition Workplace Dignity Conference, Shippensburg PA.
  • Griffith, J., C., & Roberts, D., L., Wakeham, R., T. (2015) A Meta-analysis of crew resource management/incident command systems implementation: Studies in the fire and emergency services.  Paper submitted to the Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research.
  • “Understanding of Wearing the Maltese Cross” Firehouse (2007).
  • International Association of Fire Chiefs, Fire Rescue International 2007, “Establishing Command of Your Career Development: Lessons From NFA Executive Fire Officers” (2007).
  • Fire Department Instructors Conference, Answering the Call for Superior Training. “Mentoring Program for Enhancing Officers Career Development” (2005).
  • “Getting Educated About Getting a College Education.” Firehouse (2004).
  • Performance Institute, Washington, DC, The 2004 National Conference on Recruitment and Retention for Fire and EMS Agencies. “Succession Planning and Leadership Development”.
  • National Society of Executive Fire Officers, Sixteenth Annual Conference. “Mentoring and Succession Planning at the Executive Level” (2004).
  • “An Investigation into Fire Department Mentoring Practices and Their Impact on Career    Outcomes of Chief Executive Fire Officers”. Doctoral Dissertation. “Budgeting for Danger.” Fire Chief (1995). 
  • “The Emerging Role for Fire Chiefs as Total Emergency Managers.”
  • Emmitsburg, Maryland: National Emergency Training Center (1995).
  • “A Pilot Study to Determine the Effect of OSHA’s Occupational Exposure to 
  • Blood-borne Pathogens Final Rule on Pre-hospital Emergency Medical Care Providers Universal Precaution Practices.” Unpublished research study (1993).
  • “An Attitudinal Survey to Examine Current Trends in the Selection of Fire Chiefs: Education vs. Experience.”  Fire Chief (1980).