Charlotte, N.C. – Chief Tom Jenkins, Rogers (Ark.) Fire Department, was installed July 27 as president and chairman of the board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).
Chief Jenkins will lead the association’s 18-member board of directors. He will serve as the association’s primary spokesman on national and international issues, testify on behalf of the organization at Congressional hearings and serve as the association’s representative dignitary.
During his inaugural address at Fire-Rescue International 2017 (FRI) in Charlotte, N.C., Chief Jenkins said over the next year, the IAFC will undertake efforts to better lead, educate, and serve fire chiefs across the world.
“We will do this through improved outreach, better social media interaction, strategic political advocacy and by continuing to elevate OUR annual conference, Fire-Rescue International,” Jenkins said. “Research, data, and technology are tools that must be harnessed by fire chiefs to be successful. We cannot be allergic to change and evidenced-based decisions. Therefore, our association will push forward in finding ways to harness, disseminate, and improve these cutting-edge initiatives.”
Read Jenkins full general session remarks.
Chief Jenkins has served as the City of Rogers, Arkansas fire chief since 2009. Prior to his arrival in Arkansas, he served as deputy chief for the City of Sand Springs, Oklahoma Fire Department.
He holds a bachelor's degree in fire protection and safety engineering from Oklahoma State University, and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. He is a 2006 graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md., and became Arkansas's first Chief Fire Officer Designee from the Commission on Professional Credentialing in 2010.
Chief Jenkins is a regular presenter at national conferences and serves in various capacities on numerous boards and committees, including NFPA 1710. He serves on the Industrial Advisory Board for Oklahoma State University's Fire Protection and Safety Program and serves as an adjunct professor for Oklahoma State University and Northwest Arkansas Community College.
Chief Jenkins has been an active member of the IAFC's Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee, Company Officer Mentoring Program, and Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR) Working Group.
In addition to Chief Jenkins being installed as president and chairman of the board, Chief Gary Curmode, Copper Mountain (Colo.) Fire Department, was installed as the association’s first vice president and Chief Dan Eggleston, fire rescue chief, Albemarle County Department of Fire Rescue (Va.), was installed as second vice president. Chief John Sinclair, IAFC President 2016-2017, will continue to serve on the IAFC executive committee and board of directors for 2017-2018 as immediate past president.
IAFC Fire Chief of the Year
During the general session, Chief Sinclair and Pierce Manufacturing presented the 2017 IAFC Fire Chief of the Year awards. Fire Chief Marvin Riggins of the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department in Macon, Georgia was named career fire chief of the year and Fire Chief Brian Wade of the North Lenoir Fire and Rescue Department in Kinston, N.C. was named volunteer fire chief of the year.
Selected by a committee appointed by the IAFC, the winners were honored for their leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity and contributions to the fire service. Sponsored by Pierce, the awards were presented during FRI’s general session. Praetorian Digital, publisher of FireRescue1.com and FIRECHIEF.com, is the IAFC's media partner on the program.
IAFC/Motorola Solutions Ben Franklin Award for Valor
Also, Sinclair and Motorola Solutions presented the 2017 IAFC/Motorola Solutions Ben Franklin Award for Valor. This award recognizes firefighters around the world for their expert training, leadership, heroic actions and safe practices. Named after Benjamin Franklin, the nation’s first fire chief, it is the highest honor bestowed by the IAFC.
Emergency responders from the Monroe (Ohio) Fire Department were honored for acting with courage and expertise to save the lives of senior citizens trapped on the top floor of an assisted living facility, directly under the burning roof. In what could have been a catastrophic situation, instead all of the residents were rescued as the fire spread before the roof collapsed and thick smoke rapidly engulfed the three-story building.
Nominated by their fire chief, John Centers, the honorees include:
- Lieutenant Scott Clasgens
- Lieutenant Chris Marker
- Lieutenant Russell Rickard
- Fire Medic Josh Spradling
- Fire Medic Paul Peters
IAFC Presidents Awards of Recognition
Chief Sinclair presented three Presidents Awards of Recognition. The President’s Awards honor individuals from the fire service who have contributed in a significant way during the president's term. The IAFC salutes each of these individuals. This year’s winners include:
- Dr. Denis Onieal, acting administrator, U.S. Fire Administration. Honored for outstanding lifetime contributions to the American fire and emergency service through his exemplary work at the National Fire Academy and the U.S. Fire Administration.
- Gregory B. Cade, director of government affairs, National Fire Protection Association. Honored for outstanding lifetime contributions to the American fire and emergency service through his exemplary work at the National Fire Protection Association, the U.S. Fire Administration, the City of Hampton (Va.) Division of Fire/Rescue, and the City of Virginia Beach Fire Department.
- Chief Luther L. Fincher, Jr. (ret.), Charlotte Fire Department. Honored for his outstanding lifetime contributions to the International fire and emergency service through his leadership and counsel as a member of the IAFC Board of Directors and the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association.
More than 10,000 fire and emergency service leaders, experts, exhibitors, guests and industry partners from around the globe participated at FRI, held July 26-29 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. FRI offers current and future career and volunteer fire chiefs and chief fire officers throughout the international community information and education to enhance their professionalism and capabilities. In addition, FRI features more than 450 exhibitors who showcase their products and services for fire and emergency service leaders.
About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more