Morgan Hackl recognised as 2023 National Fire Chief of the Year

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Saskatoon Fire Chief, Morgan Hackl, has been honoured by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs with the prestigious 2023 National Fire Chief of the Year Award.

Fire Chief’s dedication to community collaboration

The award, presented on September 19, 2023, revolved around the theme of partnerships and community safety & well-being (CSWB).

Chief Hackl stood out for his visionary approach to expanding the roles of the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD) in non-conventional public safety initiatives.

Through fostering community collaboration and outreach partnerships, the SFD has consistently identified innovative methods to bolster community safety.

City Manager acknowledges Chief Hackl’s community-driven approach

City Manager Jeff Jorgenson commented on Chief Hackl’s achievements: “Chief Hackl is a true community leader.

“He acquired direct experience of the challenges faced by Saskatoon’s most vulnerable, notably by participating in the Sanctum Survivor Challenge.

“During this, he spent 36 hours experiencing life as a homeless individual in Saskatoon.”

Furthermore, Jorgenson emphasised that Chief Hackl sees community challenges as a collective responsibility.

He highlighted the significant role Saskatoon Fire plays in addressing the city’s most pressing concerns.

Chief Hackl’s leadership extended during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Notably, his team established an Incident Management structure assisting over 50 agencies focused on aiding Saskatoon’s most vulnerable.

Moreover, Jorgenson acknowledged Chief Hackl’s aptitude for cultivating essential partnerships.

An instance of this is the collaboration between Saskatchewan Health Authority and Saskatoon Fire.

Together, they founded an Overdose Outreach Team, consisting of Saskatoon Fire Primary Care Paramedics and SHA Addictions Counsellors.

Jorgenson added: “Hackl endorses a comprehensive Emergency Management and Community Risk Reduction method that involves all stakeholders in collaborative problem-solving and leadership.”

Fire Chief’s journey: A glance at his career

Chief Hackl’s career with the Saskatoon Fire Department spans 35 years.

He embarked on his journey as a firefighter, progressing to captain, then served as battalion chief and assistant chief. He assumed his present position in 2015.

IFSJ Comment

The recognition of Saskatoon Fire Chief, Morgan Hackl, underscores the evolving role of fire departments in contemporary society.

Chief Hackl’s dedication to community collaboration and his approach to non-traditional public safety initiatives highlight a forward-thinking model for fire departments globally.

As the fire safety landscape continues to change, such leadership offers valuable insights and sets benchmarks for departments worldwide.

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