Metropolitan Fire Chiefs from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom participated in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Mass. NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley welcomed the chiefs and provided an overview of the association’s Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem, reinforcing the critical role urban fire chiefs play in ensuring safe communities. Special guests at the Forum included the President of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) Chief Ken Block. Also at the Forum were National Fire Chiefs Council of the United Kingdom (NFCC) Chairman CFO Roy Wilsher, CEO and Executive Director of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Chief Mark Light, United Kingdom Crown Premises Fire Safety Chief Inspector CFO Peter Holland; and Administrator of the United States Fire Administration (USFA) Chief Keith Bryant. UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers The group adopted five important documents as official UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers: Safety Investigation Reports: Addressing Line of Duty Deaths and Injuries Post Incident (AKA After Action Reports). Telling the Story: Fire Department Operational Performance Measures. Community Risk Assessment/Threat Assessment Checklist. Smart Cities. Active Shooter/Mass Casualty Terrorist Events. Forum presentations Update on Fire DynamicsFindings on Basement Fires, Fire Attack, Fire Exposure/ Decontamination and Training Fires by Dr. Daniel Madrzykowski, PE, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute. Hostile Threat Assessment/Complex Coordinated Attacks and Fire Department Response Capability, Performance and System ResiliencePresented by Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, Assistant to the General President and Head of Research at the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). NFPA 3000, Active Shooter Hostile Events Responder Program (ASHER) and Counting Responses Presented by Orange County (Fla.) Chief Otto Drozd, III. Smart Cities, School Safety and EFFECT Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby Presented on his department’s decontamination policy. NFPA staff members Robert Solomon, PEPresented on Smart Cities. Birgitte Messerschmidt, PEPresented on the External Façade Fire Evaluation and Comparison Tool (EFFECT). Meghan Housewright and Amanda Kimball, PEJointly discussed a Fire Protection Research Foundation study addressing the Economic Impact of Fire. IAFC CEO Mark Light and Robert SolomonJointly presented on Maintaining School Safety during ASHER events. Maintaining Building and Fire Safety Today it is more important than ever for chiefs to understand and embrace the latest research” Following their presentation, the chiefs endorsed an IAFC position paper titled Maintaining Building and Fire Safety During Active Assailant and other Terrorist Events. “Today’s firefighters respond to a broad range of emergencies and catastrophic events that have become commonplace in the United States and throughout the world. To adequately handle these crises, fire chiefs must think differently today, as the first responder landscape has dramatically changed over the past decade. Today it is more important than ever for chiefs to understand and embrace the latest research, and have access to quality and timely data,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders and coordinator of the event. “The position papers endorsed by the Forum provide the information and resources needed to effectively address the challenges facing today’s fire service.” Core group of UFF The following officers of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) Executive Board make up the core group of the UFF: Chief Otto Drozd – Orange County Fire Rescue Department, Orlando, Fla., President Chief Mike Duyck – Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Tigard, Ore., Vice President Chief John Lane – Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service, Winnipeg, Man., Canada, Secretary Chief Don Lombardi – West Metro Fire Protection District, Lakewood, Colo., Treasurer Chief (Ret.) William “Shorty” Bryson – Miami and Miami-Dade (Fla.) Fire Rescue, Senior Board Member Metro Chiefs The Chiefs/Metro Board Members listed above were joined by a select group of at-large Metro Chiefs. The participating at-large chiefs were: Chief Ken Block – Edmonton Fire & Rescue services, Edmonton, Alb., Canada. Chief Kristin Chilton – Lexington Fire Department, Lexington, Ky. Chief David Downey – Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami, Fla. Chief Joanne Hayes-White – San Francisco Fire Department, San Francisco, Calif. Chief Kara Kalkbrenner – Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, Ariz. Chief Daryl Osby – Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles, Calif. Chief Samuel Pena – Houston Fire Department, Houston, Tex. Commissioner Jose Santiago – Chicago Fire Department, Chicago, Ill. Commissioner Adam Thiel – Philadelphia, Pa. Urban Fire Forum Mission The Urban Fire Forum brings together fire chiefs who are responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world. The program objectives are to provide the chiefs an opportunity to learn from their peers and expert speakers and for NFPA to stay abreast of current trends and needs in the fire service. As part of the overall mission of the UFF, chief officers share UFF position papers and associated information with fire officers from all over the world.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has announced the winners of the 2018 IAFC Fire Chief of the Year awards, sponsored by Pierce Manufacturing. Volunteer Fire Chief, Herbert Leusch, of the Glen Echo Fire Department in Bethesda, Maryland, and Career Fire Chief, Joanne Hayes-White, of the San Francisco Fire Department are this year’s honorees. A selection committee appointed by the IAFC reviewed nominations for active chiefs of departments that have shown exemplary contributions in the areas of leadership, innovation, professional development, service to the public, and contributions to the fire service community as a whole. Sponsored by Pierce, the 2018 Fire Chief of the Year award recipients will be recognized during a presentation taking place on Thursday, August 9 during FRI’s general session at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. 2018 IAFC Fire Chief of the Year awards Chief Leusch and Chief Hayes-White have had distinguished careers in their respective fire departments" “I look forward to the captivating moment each year when we share the nominations for the two Fire Chief of the Year award honorees,” said Jim Johnson, President of Pierce Manufacturing, adding “Chief Leusch and Chief Hayes-White have had distinguished careers in their respective fire departments. These two leaders have shown how to lead with grace, professionalism, and devotion that inspires others. On behalf of the Pierce Manufacturing team, we’d like to share heartfelt congratulations to Chiefs Leusch and Hayes-White.” Volunteer Fire Chief Honoree, Herbert Leusch, of the Glen Echo (Bethesda, Md.) Fire Department has over the last 25 years exhibited the highest standard for volunteer fire-rescue through extraordinary dedication. During his career, his competency and outstanding achievements have led him up the ranks from Firefighter to Deputy Chief, to his current position of Fire Chief which he took on nearly a decade ago with the Glen Echo Fire Department. Glen Echo Fire Department Fire Chief honored In his current role, Chief Leusch is responsible for all operational aspects of a combination fire department made up of 70 personnel, responding to over 2,200 calls a year. He has maintained the highest level of commitment to service throughout his distinguished career and has been an inspirational role model for others. Some of Chief Leusch’s most notable accomplishments include successfully establishing a bicycle emergency response team, developing a heavy apparatus driver training program, building Advanced Life Support capabilities, and co-leading a firefighting task force in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Firefighting task force veteran His exceptional leadership is evident not only through his actions, but also the recognition he’s received including a high-level citation for “Dedication and Heroic Service” in Maryland from US Congressman Chris Van Hollen, an official citation from the Maryland General Assembly for “Distinguished Service,” and multiple top-responder awards. Not only is Chief Leusch a highly decorated and respected volunteer fire-rescuer, he has accomplished these achievements while excelling in his day job as Senior Principal at General Dynamics Information Systems. While juggling both his fire-rescue and professional career, Chief Leusch has made his family and continuing education top priorities. In conjunction with earning multiple graduate degrees and educating others in various areas of fire-rescue service, Chief Leusch is wholeheartedly committed to being a devoted husband and father. He genuinely epitomizes what it means to be a great volunteer fire chief. Chief Leusch is a clear representation of the highest ideals demonstrated by a Fire Chief of the Year. Fire Safety responsibilities and duties In 2004, Chief Hayes-White was sworn in as Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department Career Fire Chief Honoree, Joanne Hayes-White of the San Francisco Fire Department began her career with fire department 28 years ago as she embarked on a journey that would take her up the ranks from Firefighter to Assistant Deputy Chief. Making an incredible impression along the way, in 2004, Chief Hayes-White was sworn in as Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department – the largest urban fire department in the world with a female chief. As a hands-on, collaborative and team-oriented leader, Chief Hayes-White takes pride in knowing most of the department’s 1,800 members by name. During her tenure as Chief, she has instituted many vital changes, both in the department and externally, including the implementation of a random on-duty alcohol and drug testing policy, the reconfiguration of emergency medical services, and the restoration of promotional examinations – all of which have increased accountability and led to greater operational efficiency. San Francisco Fire Department veteran With the history of the San Francisco Fire Department under consent decree from 1988-1998, Chief Hayes-White worked diligently to improve diversity and inclusion in the department. Under her leadership, uniformed women personnel increased from 5% to 15% (with the national average between 3-4%) and the percentage of male and female minorities increased to 50%. This success resulted in the department being selected to participate in the Department of Labor Study on Promising Practices for Increasing Diversity Among First Responders. While attending to many operational improvements, Chief Hayes-White also focused on outreach to the community with programs including the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, San Francisco Firefighters in Safety Education and a partnership with San Francisco Unified School district and the American Heart Association to incorporate CPR training into 9th grade curriculum. Fire Chief of the Year An active member of IAFC, Chief Hayes-White currently serves as a member of the Presidential Public Safety Officers’ Medal of Valor Board and has also served with the Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee, the National Advisory Council to FEMA, and the American Red Cross – Bay Area Chapter. In 2010, Chief Hayes-White was selected to attend and complete the Senior Executives in State and Local Government course at Harvard, Kennedy School of Government. Her accomplishments are many, but what speaks most to why Chief Hayes-White’s embodies a true Fire Chief of the Year is the way her team describes her: decisive, energetic, collaborative, servant-leader, innovator, courageous, and down to earth. As proud as she is to serve as chief of the San Francisco Fire Department, Chief Hayes-White says her proudest accomplishment is being mom to her three sons, Riley, Logan and Sean, who will be with her in Dallas to accept the Fire Chief of the Year award.