Fire Chief of the Year

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Since 1996, the prestigious Fire Chief of the Year award has recognized one volunteer and one career fire chief for their leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, public service and contributions to the fire service. The IAFC presents the Fire Chief of the Year award in proud partnership with Pierce Manufacturing. The program’s media partner is FireRescue1 by Lexipol.


Two awards will be presented at FRI 2022; one for a career fire chief and one for a volunteer fire chief.
  • A volunteer fire chief is defined as one who earns his or her principal livelihood by some means other than serving as a fire chief, even if the position of chief carries some compensation.
  • A career fire chief is defined as one who earns his or her principal livelihood as a fire chief.
  • In each category, the status of the fire department as a whole — paid, volunteer or combination — is not considered.
  • Individuals who are eligible for nomination and selection as Fire Chief of the Year are limited to active chiefs of departments. Previous Fire Chief of the Year recipients are not eligible.
  • Selection criteria will emphasize leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public and contributions to the fire service as a whole.
  • All of a nominee's fire service activities and accomplishments will be considered. Special emphasis will be placed on the period from 2019 through 2021. A nominee's command role at a major emergency incident, while relevant, will not be enough to place that individual into contention for the award.

No politicking is permitted. The nomination submission and supporting documents comprise the entire documentation for a candidate's nomination. Neither the nominee nor anyone representing him or her is to contact the IAFC staff or any member(s) of the nomination/selection committee after the nomination has been made and before the final selection has been made.  Any violations of this will subject the nominee to disqualification.

The IAFC is not responsible for submissions received past the deadline due to electronic errors. Contact if you experience difficulty submitting your nomination. Submitted nomination information will not be shared with anyone beyond the selection committee of IAFC members and  IAFC staff assigned to administer the program.

Selection Process

Each qualified nomination will be reviewed by a committee of members appointed by the IAFC. The IAFC reserves the right to omit an award. Recipient and regret notifications to the nominators will be issued in July. The recipients will be announced on Monday, August 22,  2022 and honored on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at Fire-Rescue International in San Antonio, Texas. Also, the recipients will be featured in iCHIEFS - member enewsletter and on

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Current Fire Chiefs of the Year


  • Marshall Turbeville, Northern Sonoma County Fire District (CA)
  • Gary Ludwig, Champaign Fire Department (IL)

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Past Fire Chiefs of the Year

2020 and 2021

Due to COVID-19, no awards were presented.


  • John Morrison, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (VA)
  • James Clack, Ankeny Fire Department (IA)


  • Herbert Leusch, Glen Echo Fire Department (MD)
  • Joanne Hayes-White, San Francisco Fire Department (CA)


  • Marvin Riggins, Macon-Bibb County (GA) Fire Department
  • Brian Wade, North Lenoir (NC) Fire and Rescue Department


  • Harry Beck, Mesa (AZ) Fire and Medical Department
  • Willard H. “Bill” Halmich, Washington (MO) Volunteer Fire Company


  • Charles Addington, Wolfforth (TX) Fire & EMS
  • Dan Eggleston, Albemarle (VA) County Department of Fire Rescue


  • Alan Martin, Tuscaloosa (AL) Fire and Rescue
  • Chris Barron, Manchaca (TX) Fire Rescue

Complete Fire Chief of the Year winners list.

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