Saskatoon’s Morgan Hackl crowned 2023 National Fire Chief of the Year

October 5, 2023
Chief Morgan Hackl

Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs honors Saskatoon’s Fire Chief for his innovative community outreach

On September 19, 2023, in a ceremony focused on partnerships and community safety & well-being (CSWB), Fire Chief Morgan Hackl of Saskatoon was bestowed with the National Fire Chief of the Year Award by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.

The prestigious recognition sheds light on Hackl’s pioneering efforts to diversify the scope of the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD). The official announcement from the city of Saskatoon details his endeavors.

From firefighter to innovative leader: Chief Hackl’s journey

For over three decades, Hackl has been an integral part of the Saskatoon Fire Department. His journey began as a firefighter, transitioning through roles such as captain, battalion chief, and assistant chief.

In 2015, Hackl’s leadership journey culminated as he took the helm as the Fire Chief. His tenure as Chief has been marked by his tireless pursuit of community engagement and creative problem-solving.

Community safety through collaboration and partnerships

Under Chief Hackl’s leadership, the Saskatoon Fire Department has consistently sought innovative methods to enhance community safety. By fostering collaborations and outreach partnerships, SFD has broken traditional molds, focusing instead on community-centric safety initiatives.

City Manager, Jeff Jorgenson, shared his admiration: “Chief Hackl is a true community leader. He gained firsthand knowledge of the challenges to the most vulnerable in the community he serves, participating this year in the Sanctum Survivor Challenge, where he spent 36 hours living as if homeless on the streets of Saskatoon.”

Jorgenson emphasized that Chief Hackl has always viewed community challenges as collective responsibilities.

His dedication was evident through the Covid-19 pandemic, wherein he led the establishment of an Incident Management structure assisting over 50 community agencies.

A testament to Chief Hackl’s forward-thinking approach is his successful collaboration with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Together, they initiated the Overdose Outreach Team, a unique fusion of Saskatoon Fire Primary Care Paramedics and SHA Addictions Counsellors.

Highlighting this, Jorgenson added: “Hackl believes in and supports a whole-community Emergency Management and Community Risk Reduction approach that engages all partners in problem solving and shared leadership.”

In closing, Jorgenson said: “It takes vision and courage to lead the way Chief Hackl does and as an organization we congratulate him on this much deserved recognition!”

FSJA Comment

Fire Chief Morgan Hackl’s recognition as the 2023 National Fire Chief of the Year is not just a testament to his exceptional leadership but also underlines the evolving role of fire departments.

By embracing community-centric initiatives and collaborations, Chief Hackl has set a benchmark for other departments.

His strategies, focused on holistic community safety and partnerships, resonate with modern challenges, showcasing a roadmap for fire departments to be more than just emergency responders.

Read Next

Subscribe Now