Hal Bruno retiring from National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Hal Bruno has announced his retirement as Chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. He has served on the Board of Directors since 1993 and has been the Chairman since 2000. The Board unanimously approved Bruno’s recommendation that he be succeeded by Vice Chairman Dennis Compton.

“I considered retiring for several months,” Bruno explained, “because I believe that the Foundation needs younger leadership at this time. However, I intend to remain active as a member of the Board, where I will continue to work on special projects with the Foundation’s professional staff—which makes up the most dedicated and effective team I have ever known. I am grateful that Chief Compton is able to take my place and continue to support our Executive Director, Chief Ron Siarnicki, in carrying out our mission.”

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation was established by Congress in 1992 to honor firefighters who die in the line of duty and assist their families in rebuilding their lives.

“It is with a deep sense of gratitude and bittersweet feelings that we accept Hal’s decision,” Chief Siarnicki said. “The Foundation’s programs have grown tremendously during his years as Chairman, and we are pleased that he will continue to serve as an active member of the Board of Directors.”

Bruno had a 50-year career as a professional journalist with ABC News, Newsweek magazine, The Chicago American newspaper, and the Chicago City News Bureau. Away from work, he served as an active volunteer firefighter over a period of 40 years with fire departments in Arlington, VA, Port Chester, NY, and Montgomery County, MD. He is a director of the Chevy Chase (MD) Fire Department, a member of the District of Columbia’s Friendship Fire Association and a contributing editor to Firehouse magazine, where he has written the “Fire Politics” column for 32 years. He has won numerous awards for his work in journalism and the fire-rescue service.

Chief Compton was the Fire Chief of Mesa, AZ, for 5 years and Assistant Chief in Phoenix, AZ, for 27 years. Chief Compton has served as Chair of the Executive Board of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA), Chair of the Congressional Fire Services Institute’s National Advisory Committee, is Chair of the Home Safety Council Board of Directors, and serves on the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute Steering Council.

Chief Compton was selected as the 1991 George D. Post National Fire Service Instructor of the Year and the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s Fire Service Person of the Year in 2000. Dennis was also named the 2001 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the University of Phoenix and received the 2003 Mason Lankford National Fire Service Leadership Award. He was the recipient of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award and is a charter member of the Arizona Fire Service Hall of Fame.

“I can only echo the feelings of the other Board members when we say that we accept Hal’s decision with regret. I am honored to accept the Chairmanship and will do my best to carry on Hal’s legacy,” Chief Compton stated.

For further information on the Foundation and its programs, visit www.firehero.org.


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