Fire chiefs of the year announced by IAFC

August 07, 2018
Written by
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has announced winners of the 2018 IAFC Fire Chief of the Year awards, sponsored by Pierce Manufacturing Inc.

Volunteer Fire Chief Herbert Leusch of the Glen Echo Fire Department in Bethesda, Maryland, and career Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White of the San Francisco Fire Department are this year’s winners.

A selection committee appointed by the IAFC reviewed nominations for active chiefs of departments that have shown exemplary contributions in the areas of leadership, innovation, professional development, service to the public and contributions to the fire service community as a whole.

The award recipients will be recognized during a presentation Aug, 9 at Fire-Rescue International’s general session at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas,Texas. Pierce Manufacturing Inc. is the leading global manufacturer of custom fire apparatus.

“I look forward to the captivating moment each year when we share the nominations for the two Fire Chief of the Year award honourees,” said Jim Johnson, president of Pierce Manufacturing. “Chief Leusch and Chief Hayes-White have had distinguished careers. These two leaders have shown how to lead with grace, professionalism, and devotion that inspires others. On behalf of the Pierce Manufacturing team, we’d like to share heartfelt congratulations to Chiefs Leusch and Hayes-White.”

Chief Leusch has been at the helm of the Glen Echo Fire Department for 10 years. The department has 70 personnel and responds to more than 2,200 calls a year. Some of Leusch’s accomplishments include establishing a bicycle emergency response team, developing a heavy-apparatus driver-training program, building advanced life-support capabilities, and co-leading a firefighting task force in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In his day job, he is senior principal at General Dynamics Information Systems.

Chief Hayes-White has been chief of the San Francisco Fire Department since 2004. The department is the largest urban fire department in the world with a female chief. The mother of three has instituted many changes, including introducing a random on-duty alcohol and drug testing policy, the reconfiguration of emergency medical services and the restoration of promotional examinations.

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