IAFC President recognizes leadership in Fire Service Diversity

January 3, 2024

IAFC President commends Chief Diane Schroder’s contributions

IAFC President, Chief John S. Butler, expressed his deep appreciation for the dedication and service of their members, particularly highlighting Retired Battalion Chief Diane Schroder of the Louisville (CO) Fire Protection District.

Chief Schroder was commended for her exceptional role as the Co-Lead of the IAFC Diversity Executive Leadership Program (iDELP) in 2023.

Chief Butler described her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity within the fire service as “exemplary”, noting her significant contributions to the success of iDELP and its impact on the program and participants.

He acknowledged that her efforts in championing diversity not only enhanced the program but also reinforced IAFC’s core values.

New appointments to strengthen leadership and diversity

Chief Butler also announced new appointments in line with IAFC’s commitment to leadership and diversity.

Captain Jason Shanley of the San Diego (CA) Fire-Rescue Department will take over as iDELP Co-Lead, with his experience and dedication to promoting diversity in the fire service being key factors in his selection.

Additionally, Spencer Cheatham of the West Point (VA) Fire Department has been appointed to the USFA Recruitment and Retention Working Group.

Chief Cheatham’s expertise is expected to be invaluable in addressing critical areas of recruitment and retention in the fire service.

These appointments are seen as a reflection of IAFC’s ongoing commitment to developing leadership and promoting diversity within the fire service.

FSJA Comment

The recent statement by IAFC President, Chief John S. Butler, underscores the significant strides being made in the area of diversity and leadership within the fire service.

The recognition of Chief Diane Schroder’s contributions to the IAFC Diversity Executive Leadership Program highlights the importance of inclusivity and representation in critical emergency service roles.

The appointments of Captain Jason Shanley and Chief Spencer Cheatham in key leadership positions further demonstrate IAFC’s dedication to nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment.

This initiative not only fosters a broader range of perspectives and skills but also ensures that the fire service community continues to evolve and respond effectively to the diverse needs of the communities they serve.

The emphasis on diversity and leadership development is crucial for the future of the fire service, ensuring it remains adaptive, representative, and effective in its vital role in public safety.

About IAFC

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide.

IAFC members are renowned experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials response, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety policy.

Founded in 1873, the IAFC has been a pivotal organization providing a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally, and uncover the latest best practices and services for first responders.

The association is headquartered in the Washington, DC metropolitan area​​.

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