New Board elected at annual meeting of Metro Fire Chiefs Association

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The annual Conference was hosted in Columbus, Ohio

On June 4-8, 2023, over 130 fire chiefs from across the globe assembled in Columbus, Ohio for the annual Metro Fire Chiefs Association meeting. Chiefs from countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Guatemala, and Mexico, gathered to elect the Association’s 2023-2024 officers and board members.

New officers and board members

The meeting saw the election of several officials:

  • Edward “Loy” Senter Jr., was elected president, hailing from Chesterfield County, Virginia Fire & Emergency Medical Services.
  • Ernest Malone from the Indianapolis, Indiana Fire Department was elected vice president.
  • The Fairfax County, Virginia Fire Rescue Department’s John Butler was elected as secretary.
  • Trisha Wolford from Anne Arundel County, Maryland Fire Department was chosen as the treasurer.
  • The board welcomed new members including Steve Dongworth, Calgary, Alberta Fire Department; William Bryson (retired), City of Miami, Florida Fire Department; Samuel Peña, Houston, Texas Fire Department; and Robert Rocha (retired), Corpus Christi, Texas Fire Department.

Don Lombardi, the outgoing Metro Board member, issued the oath of office to the new officers and board members.

2023 Metro awards and honours

Several commendations and awards were also given:

  • Fire Chief of the Year was awarded to Chief Samuel Peña of the Houston, Texas Fire Department.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Chief Don Lombardi of the West Metro Fire Protection District.
  • Trisha Wolford, Tiffany Green, and Joanne Rund all received the Metro Commendation for their respective contributions to the Fire Department.

Dignitaries from various fire associations were present, including US Fire Administration Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, National Fire Protection Association President and CEO Jim Pauley, and others.

Key Resolutions and Partnerships

The assembly also marked several significant developments:

  • The group passed a crucial resolution endorsing the “Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act” advocating for Medicare coverage of DNA blood tests for early cancer detection and a federal programme for annual cancer screenings for firefighters.
  • A partnership with the International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management resulted in the establishment of an Emerging Scholar Award, aimed at fostering the next generation of fire service researchers and scholars.
  • The conference saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Metro President Edward “Loy” Senter Jr. and CTIF President Milan Dubravac, promoting collaboration in areas like leadership, training, education, and disaster relief.

Looking to the Future

The Metro Fire Chiefs Association expressed gratitude to Columbus Fire Chief Jeffery Happ and his team for organising the successful conference. The upcoming 2024 Metro conference is set to be hosted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Chief Michael Baker. Future conferences in 2025 and 2026 are slated to be hosted by the fire departments of Horry County, South Carolina, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, respectively.

The Metro Fire Chiefs Association comprises fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments, focusing on major policy-changing issues in the US and abroad.

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