The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held its 2016 annual conference in Long Beach, California from May 13-18. Approximately 120 Metro Chiefs from Australia, Canada, China, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States attended the conference and elected the Section’s 2016-2017 officers and board members.
The new officers are:
- Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, president; Austin, Texas Fire Department
- Chief Maurice Kemp, vice president; Miami, Florida Fire Rescue Department
- Chief Otto Drozd, secretary; Orange County, Florida Fire Rescue Department
- Jon Hannan, treasurer; Charlotte, North Carolina Fire Department
The new board members are:
- Chief Teresa Deloach Reed, board member; Oakland, California Fire Department
- Chief (retired) Luther Fincher, senior board member; Charlotte, North Carolina Fire Department
- Chief Michael Duyck, alternate board member; Tualatin Valley Oregon Fire & Rescue Department
- Chief Ken Block, immediate past president; Edmonton, Alberta Fire Rescue Service
NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley issued the oath of office to the new officers and board members.
The Metro Chiefs bestowed the following 2016 Metro Awards:
- Chief Maurice Kemp was named Fire Chief of the Year
- Chief (retired) William “Shorty” Bryson, former Chief of the Miami and Miami-Dade Fire Departments, received the Lifetime Achievement Award
- Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr received the President’s Award of Distinction
Among the many dignitaries addressing the chiefs were: USFA Administrator Chief Ernie Mitchell; IAFC President and Chair of the Board Rhoda Mae Kerr; IAFC CEO and Executive Director Mark Light; IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger; NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley; Chief Roy Wilsher, CFO of the Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue and a director of the Chief Fire Officers Association of the United Kingdom; and President Dino Padayachee of the South African Emergency Services Institute.
A comprehensive education program included updates and presentations on numerous topics, such as Diversity in Hiring and Promotions, Succession Planning, Fire Dynamics and the Importance of Pre-Incident Planning, Disaster Recovery and Educational Initiatives, the updated Labor Management Alliance, Big Data, Civil Unrest, Explosives Training and Research, and several EMS and terrorism related presentations, including a survivor’s story told by Ms. Kristina Anderson who survived the Virginia Tech mass shooting. International perspectives in fire and life safety were given by several chiefs including Hong Kong, China Chief Jeffrey Leung and Melbourne, Australia CFO Peter Rau. The chiefs also passed resolutions expressing unanimous support for numerous initiatives, such as the NFPA Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation as well as others.
The 2017 Metro conference will be held in Orlando, Florida and hosted by Chiefs Otto Drozd (Orange County, Fla.) and Roderick Williams (Orlando, Fla.). The conference will be April 7-14 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Hotel.
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 350 fully paid career fire fighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Russ Sanders.