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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.
Nominations for the 2024 season will open in Q1 2024.
Two awards will be presented at FRI 2024; 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 2021 through 2023. 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 Firechiefaward@iafc.org 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.
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 12, 2024 and honored on Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at Fire-Rescue International in Dallas, Texas. Also, the recipients will be featured in iCHIEFS - member enewsletter and on FIRECHIEF.com.
Questions? Contact: Firechiefaward@iafc.org
Current Fire Chiefs of the Year
- Chief Thomas Bell of Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department (PA)
- Chief Brian Fennessy of the Orange County Fire Authority (CA)
View Press Release
Past Fire Chiefs of the Year