TAKING THE CAPE OFF by Patrick J. Kenny, used in Southern Illinois University Master’s Degree in Homeland Security and Administration

Taking Off The Cape & Executive Leadership/Critical Thinking 

April 30, 2023

According to Lindsay Laycoax, MPA, Lead Site Coordinator/Faculty, Public Safety Management Degree Programs, School of Justice and Public Safety, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, “TAKING OFF THE CAPE How to Lead Through Mental Illness, Unimaginable Grief and Loss, by Patrick Kenny (Chief/Retired) is a very unique and interesting book that was utilized in two courses in the Southern Illinois University master’s degree in Homeland Security and Administration. When coupled with the Executive Leadership and Critical Thinking, the book actually accentuates the segments on mental and physical health of public safety responders. In any leadership position, whether administrative or supervisory, one needs to be cognizant of their employees’ health both physical and mental.


In the SIU program, we offer courses that educate the public safety responders in areas that are sought after by individuals that seek the higher education experience. In this experience, TAKING THE CAPE OFF, Patrick Kenny goes into an area of personal experience that not only describes and addresses very sensitive issues but provides avenues of understanding and also ways to assist the individual having personal challenges and, with his ‘Lessons Learned’, provides some ideas to assist those in need. In the master’s courses, this book and Patrick Kenny’s presentation, demonstrates to the leader of any organization, that people skills are very much needed and critical decisions are going to be made that not only affect an individual but, the organization as well. This book is a must for any public safety department not just for a degree path but also for personal development. “

The premise of Every Fire-Rescue Professional is a Leader is stated in its title. Although “leadership” may not appear in their job descriptions, leadership is the job of every person who enters this profession by virtue of the trust their community places in them. This practical “how to” book fills major gaps in their development by teaching readers how to acquire and improve key leadership skills so they will be ready when their turn comes. It defines each skill, states why competency is important, lists sample behaviors, and suggests how to develop or enhance readers’ proficiency and apply the skills. The applications are brought to life by some 150 stories shared by over forty fire-rescue professionals from all ranks. The fact that each skill’s information is contained in 3-4 pages makes it easily accessible for training purposes. Completing the self-assessments throughout the book results in a customized leadership training plan.

PATRICK J. KENNY has been a member of the fire service for over 38 years, and before retiring in January 2021 served as the Fire Chief in Hinsdale and Western Springs, Illinois. He has been a Chief Officer for over 25 years and a speaker in multiple countries on Mayday for Mental Health® for more than a decade. He is the international best-selling author of TAKING THE CAPE OFF: How to Lead Through Mental Illness, Unimaginable Grief and Loss and has articles published in the areas of mental health, leadership, fire safety, and fire code challenges. He was awarded the Fire Chief of the Year in 2004 by the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and in 2021 he was awarded Fire Chief Emeritus status by the Executive Board of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association. He was awarded the Fire Engineering/International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award for 2020-2021.

Information about Patrick J. Kenny and the international bestseller TAKING THE CAPE OFF How to Lead Through Mental Illness, Unimaginable Grief and Loss as well as where to purchase it can be found at https://patrickjkenny.com/


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