May 31, 2011 – The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held its 2011 annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina May 13-18. The theme of the conference was Tough Times – Tough Choices. More than 90 Metro chiefs from Australia, Canada, the Peoples’ Republic of China, the United Kingdom and the United States attended the conference and elected the Section’s 2011-2012 officers and board members.
The new officers are: Chief Ned Pettus, Jr., of the Columbus, Ohio Division of Fire, president; Chief Steven Dean of the Mobile, Alabama Fire and Rescue Department, vice president; Chief G. Keith Bryant of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Fire Department, secretary; and, Chief Larry Few of the Fulton County, Georgia Fire & Rescue, treasurer. The new board members are: Chief Ken Block of the Edmonton, Alberta, Fire Rescue Services, board member; Chief (retired) William Bryson of the Miami, Florida Fire-Rescue Department, senior board member; Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr of the Austin, Texas Fire Department, alternate board member; and, Chief Gregory Frederick of the Louisville, Kentucky Division of Fire, immediate past president.
The Metro Chiefs bestowed the following 2011 Metro Awards: Chief Richard “Smokey” Dyer of the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department was named Fire Chief of the Year and Chief Glenn Gaines, Acting Administrator of the United States Fire Administration and former Chief of the Fairfax County, Virginia Fire Department received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
NFPA President & CEO James M. Shannon, Acting U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines, IAFC CEO and Executive Director Mark Light, IAFC President and Chairman of the Board Jack Parow, and Chief Peter Holland, President of the Chief Fire Officers Association of the United Kingdom addressed the chiefs. A comprehensive education program prepared by Chief Pettus included presentations ranging from the Gulf oil spill, to the latest innovations in the international fire services with a focus on Europe and China, fire service research and projects related to EMS, high-rise firefighting, ventilation, and electric vehicles.
Chief Kelvin Cochran, Atlanta, Georgia Fire Department gave the keynote address and several attending chiefs served on a panel to discuss economic issues and solutions. The chiefs also passed motions expressing unanimous support for numerous initiatives, such as the NFPA fire sprinkler initiative and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Public Safety Spectrum Trust/D-Block broadband issue. The chiefs also passed a resolution expressing strong opposition to the proposed House Homeland Security Subcommittee’s plan to cut the AFG and SAFER programs by more than half, reduce funding for the USFA by more than $3 million, limit Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) funding to the top 10 highest-risk urban areas, and appropriate only a total of $1 billion to fund the UASI, the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) and other DHS grant programs. The resolution calls on the Metro member chiefs to work with the IAFC, NFPA and all other fire service organizations in contacting their elected representatives to oppose these drastic reductions in fire funding.
This year’s event was hosted by Chief Jon Hannan and the Charlotte Fire Department. The 2012 Metro conference will be hosted by Chief Greg Frederick and the Louisville Fire Department, Louisville, KY. The conference will be May 18-23.
About the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association
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.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.