The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) installed Larry J. Grorud, CFO, MIFireE, Fire Chief of the Janesville (WI) Fire Department, as its president at its recent Fire-Rescue International (FRI) conference in Denver. The installation ceremony was held the evening of Saturday, August 16, during the FRI Presidential Celebration.
As president, Chief Grorud will provide leadership to an 18-member board of directors for the association located in Fairfax, Virginia, and will serve as the primary spokesperson for the association on matters of national and international interest. He will be called to testify at House and Senate hearings and is the representative dignitary for the association in all major political and international functions.
Larry J. Grorud began his career as a firefighter in 1974 and has served as chief of the Janesville (WI) Fire Department since 1989. Chief Grorud has been very active with the IAFC since joining in 1987. He has served on the IAFC board as the Great Lakes Division director and he chaired the IAFC Constitution, Bylaws and Resolutions Committee. As an IAFC board member, Grorud has served on 11 committees and task forces. He holds a fire science degree and graduated in 1988 from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. He received his Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation in 2003 and MIFireE certification in 2008.
Grorud plans to continue to move forward eminent IAFC and joint-organizational programs, particularly those surrounding leadership development, firefighter health and safety, and fire and life safety issues. He is dedicated to ensuring the fire and emergency service has the capacity to make their voices and opinions heard at the international, national and local levels, and aims to ensure that IAFC is providing the tools and resources for fire chiefs and others to lead and sustain positive change in their communities, nations and the world. In addition to expanding membership and collaborative opportunities in the United States and Canada, Grorud aims to expand international cooperation.
Grorud’s belief in grass-roots leadership and the power of community is evident from his long-established affiliations with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Viet Nam Veterans, the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, the Moose Club and the Kiwanis Club, as well as from his style of leadership that will center around the vision of the fire service community as a whole, not just his own.
“I have been frequently asked about my vision for the IAFC,” said Grorud. “But it is not about my vision, it is a shared vision of a stronger, safer, more collaborative fire and emergency service. My goal is to support the vision of the IAFC members which they laid out in our strategic plan and the vision of the entire fire and emergency service community which is made clear by their dedicated efforts each day in the field.”
At the IAFC dinner, Jeff Johnson, fire chief and chief executive officer of Tualatin Valley (OR) Fire & Rescue was installed as first vice president and will succeed Grorud in 2009 as president of the IAFC. Jack Parow, fire chief of the Chelmsford (MA) Fire Department won a spring election to become the association’s second vice president.