June 16, 2023 – The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a section of the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) and International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), held its 2023 annual meeting in Columbus, OH on June 4-8, 2023. More than 130 Metro chiefs from the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Guatemala, and Mexico attended the meeting and elected the Association’s 2023-2024 officers and board members.
Newly elected officers:
- Chief Edward “Loy” Senter, Jr., president, Chesterfield County, Virginia Fire & EMS
- Chief Ernest Malone, vice president, Indianapolis, Indiana Fire Department
- Chief John Butler, secretary, Fairfax County, Virginia Fire Rescue Department
- Chief Trisha Wolford, treasurer, Anne Arundel County, Maryland Fire Department
New board members:
- Chief Steve Dongworth, board member, Calgary, Alberta, CA Fire Department
- Chief William Bryson (retired), senior board member, City of Miami, Florida, Miami Fire Rescue, and Miami Dade Fire Rescue
- Chief Samuel Peña, alternate board member, Houston, TX Fire Department
- Chief Robert Rocha (retired), immediate past president, Corpus Christi, Texas Fire Department
Outgoing Metro Board member, Chief Don Lombardi, issued the oath of office to the new officers and board members.
The Metro Chiefs also bestowed the following 2023 Metro Awards and honors:
- Chief Samuel Peña, Houston, Texas Fire Department, named Fire Chief of the Year
- Chief Don Lombardi, West Metro Fire Protection District, received the Russell E. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award
- Bob Norton, CEO/Founder, Tenzinga, received the Metro Presidents Award
- Chief Trisha Wolford, Anne Arundel County, Maryland Fire Department, Metro Commendation
- Chief Tiffany Green, Prince Georges County, Maryland Fire Department, Metro Commendation
- Chief Joanne Rund, Baltimore County, Maryland Fire Department, Metro Commendation
Visiting dignitaries, USFA Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell; NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley; IAFC President and Chair of the Board Chief Donna Black; CFO Mark Hardingham, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council of the UK; CFO Stephan Wevers, president of the Federation of European Fire Officers; CFO Milan Dubravac, president of CTIF – International Association of Fire and Rescue Services; CFO Milan Dubravac, Mexican Association of Fire Chiefs; and President Marcos Sanchez Guerrero, Chief José Marco España Sánchez, and Executive Director Lucía Vilariño Fiore, of the Organizacion de Bomberos Americanos, were in attendance to address the membership.
A comprehensive education program focused on five major themes: global energy transition, the impact of severe weather (wildfire, extreme heat, flooding, hurricanes) on emergency response, implementation of fire/EMS whole blood programs, Diversity Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and firefighter health and wellness/behavioral health programs for the fire service.
During the business sessions, a significant resolution was passed, endorsing the "Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act" (H.R. 2407). The resolution calls for Medicare to cover DNA blood screening tests for cancer detection, and advocates for the establishment of a federal government program to fund annual cancer screening tests for firefighters. A letter and copy of the resolution will be sent by the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association to the president of the United States and Congressional leadership.
In collaboration with the International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management, the Metro membership approved the establishment of an Emerging Scholar Award. This prestigious award aims to foster the development of the next generation of fire service researchers and scholars. Recipients of the Emerging Scholar Award will have the opportunity to present their research article at both the annual meeting of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs and the annual IFSJLM Research Symposium.
To support the participation of the award recipients, all travel expenses to attend and present their articles at each respective event will be covered by the Metro Chiefs and Fire Protection Publications (FPP) for the Metro Chiefs Conference and RS 24 (Research Symposium), respectively. The inaugural presentation of the Emerging Scholar Award is scheduled to take place in 2024, where recipients will present their research articles at the 2024 Metro Chiefs Conference and RS 24, both held in Tulsa, OK.
In a significant step toward advancing the international fire service, Metro President Edward "Loy" Senter Jr. and CTIF President Milan Dubravac signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This agreement aims to facilitate the exchange of experience and information in areas such as Leadership within the Fire Service, Training and Education, Exchange Programs, Risk Inventories, and Analysis, Disaster Relief and Rescue, and related services.
Special appreciation goes to Columbus Fire Chief Jeffery Happ, his entire team, and the Metro loyal sponsors for their exceptional efforts in organizing this outstanding conference. The 2024 Metro conference will be hosted by Chief Michael Baker and the Tulsa, OK fire department in May 19-24, 2024. The Horry County, SC fire department and the Milwaukee, WI fire department will host the 2025 and 2026 Metro Conferences, respectively.
The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues affecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career firefighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Otto Drozd III.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research, and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, self-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1-617-984-7275