Metro Chiefs Hold 2022 Annual Meeting

May 27, 2022
More than 130 Metro chiefs from the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Mexico attended the meeting.

May 26, 2022 – The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held its 2022 annual meeting on May 15-19, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. More than 130 Metro chiefs from the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Mexico attended the meeting and elected the Association’s 2022-2023 officers and board members.

The new officers are:

  • Chief Robert Rocha, president; Corpus Christi, Texas Fire Department
  • Chief Edward “Loy” Senter, Jr., vice president, Chesterfield County, Virginia Fire & EMS
  • Chief Ernest Malone, secretary, Indianapolis, Indiana Fire Department
  • Chief John Butler, board member; Fairfax County, Virginia Fire Rescue Department

The new board members are:

  • Chief Trisha Wolford, alternate board member; Anne Arundel County, Maryland Fire Department
  • Chief William Bryson (retired), as the senior board member; City of Miami, Florida, Miami Fire Rescue, and Miami Dade Fire Rescue
  • Chief Steve Dongworth, alternate board member; Calgary, Alberta, Canada Fire Department
  • Chief Don Lombardi, immediate president; West Metro, Colorado Fire Protection District

Outgoing Metro Board Member Chief John Lane issued the oath of office to the new officers and board members.

The Metro Chiefs bestowed the following 2022 Metro Awards and Honors:

  • Chief Ernest Malone, of the Indianapolis, Indiana Fire Department was named Fire Chief of the Year
  • Chief (retired) Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, received the Russell E. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Chief (retired) Russell E. Sanders, executive secretary (retired) IAFC/NFPA Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, received the Distinguished Service Award

USFA Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley, IAFC President and Chair of the Board Chief Ken Stuebing, IAFC, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council of the U.K., CFO Mark Hardingham, President of the Federation of European Fire Officers, CFO Stephan Wevers, and the Mexican Association of Fire Chiefs President Sergio Ramirez Lopez were just a few of the visiting dignitaries in attendance to address the membership.

A comprehensive education program focused on two major themes: Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Leadership within the fire service. DEI offerings featured Strategies for Leading Diversity, a moderated DEI Chief Panel discussion titled Behind the Headlines, Metro DEI Survey Results, a White Paper presentation, and a Fire Chiefs group break-out session. The Leadership track included Leadership: Evidence to Impact – Implementing Policy on Gear, Reproductive Health [Pregnancy], Lactation; l Pathway to Excellence, Leadership Lessons from Europe; Leadership During Deployment: Crew Size Effects on Firefighter Health and Safety (Metro Position Paper); and Leadership Lessons during Structural Collapse. Other significant learning opportunities included a leadership panel focused on risk and firefighter safety, as well as a recently completed study on Public Safety Answering Points - Primary to Secondary PSAP: Time to Transfer.

During the business sessions, a resolution was passed, endorsing the passage of the “Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act” (S.1873/H.R.1946), which authorizes Medicare to cover DNA blood screening testing to detect cancer and seeks its timely passage, and the establishment a federal government program to fund annual cancer screening tests for fire fighters. A letter along with a copy of the resolution will be sent by the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association to the President of the United States and Congressional Leadership.

The Metro membership approved an International Outreach Policy designed to encourage international participation in the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) through the establishment of an International Outreach Fund. International or Affiliate Metro Members who lead departments outside of Canada and the United States in a developing country who can demonstrate a financial need may apply for support to attend the Metro’s Annual Conference.

Lastly, Metro President Don Lombardi and the CFO Stepan Wevers, president of the Federation of European Fire Officers (FEU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding endeavoring to advance the international fire service through the exchange of experience and information in the fields of Leadership within the Fire Service, Training and Education, Exchange Programs, Risk inventories, and Analyzes, Disaster[CL1] Relief & Rescue and related services.

A special thank you to Memphis Fire Chief Gina Sweat and her entire team and the Metro loyal sponsors who went above and beyond in making this conference the outstanding event it was. The 2023 Metro conference will be hosted by Chief Jeffery Happ and the Columbus Division of Fire. The conference is scheduled for June 3-8, 2023. The 2024 and 2025 Metro Conferences will be hosted by the Tulsa (Okla.) Fire Department and the Horry County, S.C. Fire Departments 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 the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career fire fighters. 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.

NFPA: 125 Years of Protecting People and Property

The National Fire Protection Association® (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 began its work to solve the fire problem in a young, industrialized nation in 1896 and has since become a global force known for advancing safety worldwide. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 325 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy, and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. NFPA will formally celebrate its 125th anniversary at its Conference & Expo in Boston on June 6 – 9, 2022. For more information or to view NFPA codes and standards for free, visit

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