Metro Chiefs hold 2024 annual meeting in Tulsa

June 4, 2024

International fire chiefs meet in Tulsa

As reported by the NFPA, the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), recently held its 2024 annual meeting in Tulsa, OK.

The event drew over 130 fire chiefs from countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Guatemala, and Mexico.

The conference agenda featured a broad educational program covering advancements in fire service management and operations.

Attendees received updates from key organizations like NFPA, IAFC, and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

Key topics included leadership, cultural intelligence and diversity, fire hazards and response strategies, firefighter health, recruitment and retention, the ethical use of AI in the fire service, transitioning to “PFAS-Free” protective clothing, and emerging trends in emergency medical services.

Legislative endorsements and international cooperation

A significant moment during the business sessions was the passage of a resolution endorsing the Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act (H.R.

2407) and the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act (S. 2085).

These acts authorize coverage of multi-cancer early detection blood-based screening tests for firefighters. International cooperation was also highlighted.

Metro Chiefs President Edward “Loy” Senter Jr. and CFO Mark Hardingham, chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council of the UK, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the exchange of experience and information in areas such as leadership, training, risk inventories, disaster relief, and related services.

Metro Chiefs recognise contributions to the fire service

The Metro Chiefs honored several individuals for their contributions to the fire service.

Commissioner Adam Thiel of the Philadelphia Fire Department was named Fire Chief of the Year.

Chief Keith Bryant (retired) of the Oklahoma City Fire Department received the Russell E. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award.

Chief Ernest Malone of the Indianapolis Fire Department and Chief Steve Dongworth of the Calgary Fire Department both received the Metro President’s Award.

Several dignitaries addressed the gathering, including U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley, IAFC President and Chair Chief John Butler, and IAFF General President Edward Kelly.

International fire service leaders were also present.

New leadership and future events

Outgoing Metro Chiefs Immediate Past President, Chief Robert Rocha, administered the oath of office to the new officers and board members.

The newly elected officers are:

  • President: Chief Ernest Malone, Indianapolis, IN Fire Department
  • Vice President: Chief John Butler, Fairfax County, VA Fire Rescue Department
  • Secretary: Chief Trisha Wolford, Anne Arundel County, MD Fire Department
  • Treasurer: Chief Steve Dongworth, Calgary, Alberta, CA Fire Department

New board members include:

  • Board Member: Chief Samuel Peña, Houston, TX Fire Department
  • Senior Board Member: Chief Keith Bryant (retired), Oklahoma City, OK Fire Department
  • Alternate Board Member: Chief Chuck Ryan, Tucson, AZ Fire Department
  • Immediate Past President: Chief Edward “Loy” Senter, Jr., Chesterfield County, VA Fire & EMS

Special appreciation was extended to Tulsa Fire Chief Michael Baker, his team, and the loyal Metro sponsors for organizing the conference.

The 2025 Metro Chiefs conference will be held from April 26 to May 3 in South Carolina, hosted by Chief Joseph Tanner and the Horry County, SC Fire Rescue Department.

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