Metro Chiefs Meet in Baltimore

The Metropolitan (Metro) Fire Chiefs Association, a section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held its 2014 annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland May 31 – June 5. Approximately 107 Metro chiefs from Canada, China, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States attended the conference and elected the Section’s 2014-2015 officers and board members.

The new officers are:

·         Chief Larry Few of the Fulton County, Georgia Fire & Rescue Department, president;

·         Chief Ken Block of the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Fire & Rescue Services, vice president;

·         Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr of the Austin, Texas Fire Department, secretary; and

·         Chief Maurice Kemp, Miami Fire-Rescue, treasurer.

The new board members are:

·         Chief Otto Drozd, Orange County, Florida, Fire Rescue Department, board member;

·         Chief (retired) William “Shorty” Bryson of the Miami, Florida/Miami-Dade Florida Fire Rescue, senior board member;

·         Chief Jon Hannan, Charlotte, North Carolina Fire Department, alternate board member; and

·         Chief G. Keith Bryant of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Fire Department, immediate past president.

The Metro Chiefs bestowed the following 2014 Metro Awards:

·         Chief G. Keith Bryant of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Fire Department was named Fire Chief of the Year;

·         Executive Fire Commissioner (retired) Donald Austin of the Detroit Fire Department, received the Lifetime Achievement Award; and

·         President & CEO James M. Shannon of the National Fire Protection Association received the President’s Award of Distinction. Honorary Metro Chief status was also bestowed on Mr. Shannon. In the Metro’s 49-year history, Mr. Shannon is only the second person to receive this honor.

Chief Ernest Mitchell, administrator of the United States Fire Administration; Chief Bill Metcalf, president and chair of the Board of the IAFC, Chief Mark Light, executive director and CEO of the IAFC; Mr. James Shannon, president & CEO of the NFPA; Chief Paul Fuller, president of the Chief Officers Association of the United Kingdom; and Mr. Tore Eriksson, president of the International Fire and Rescue Services, addressed the chiefs. President Bryant signed memorandums of understanding, along with both Presidents Fuller and Eriksson, directing enhanced cooperation and information sharing among the three organizations. A comprehensive education program included presentations that discussed topics such as groundbreaking fire behavior research, presumptive cancer legislation, active shooter/attacker, labor management initiatives, high-rise firefighting, and much more.

The 2014 Metro Chiefs Conference was dedicated to the memory of Birmingham, Alabama Fire Chief and Metro Board Member Ivor J. Brooks, Sr., who unexpectedly and tragically passed away on May 28, 2014.

The 2015 Metro conference will be hosted by Chief Bertral Washington and the Clark County, Nevada Fire Department.

The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 400 fully paid career fire fighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Russ Sanders.

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