Chief Joanne Rund to Lead Family Programs at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

May 13, 2024
The Baltimore County Chief will oversee NFFF’s Family Programs, providing year-round services to families of firefighters honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, MD.

May 10, 2024, Emmitsburg, Md. — The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) has named Baltimore County Chief Joanne Rund as its new Director of Family Programs. Having been appointed in 2019 as the first permanent female fire chief in Baltimore County’s history, she is retiring from that role in July. She led the department’s emergency response efforts throughout multiple major incidents; previously, she spent 32 years with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services. Chief Rund has a deep understanding of the challenges families and firefighters face after losing a loved one.

In her new role, Chief Rund will oversee NFFF’s Family Programs, providing year-round services to families of firefighters honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, MD. This includes donation-funded kids’ camps, family retreats, peer support, and scholarships for children, stepchildren, and spouses of honored firefighters.

On May 4-5, 2024, when the nation paid tribute to 226 fallen firefighters at the 43rd Annual Memorial Weekend, Chief Rund presented families with folded American flags that had flown over the U.S. Capitol and the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

Rund currently serves as secretary of NFFF’s Board of Directors but will resign to assume her new staff position. Board Chair Troy Markel expressed his enthusiasm for Rund’s new role. “We are thrilled to welcome Joanne to the NFFF staff. Her impact on the Foundation has already been felt via her engaged role on NFFF’s Board of Directors. Now, her leadership will have an even more direct connection to the most treasured members of the Foundation’s community: our Fire Hero Families.”

Baltimore County leadership reacted upon hearing of Rund’s selection to head up Family Programs. “Honoring the courage, heroism and sacrifice of our fallen first responders while providing much-needed support to their families and loved ones is critical, and I am confident that Chief Rund’s extensive experience and unique perspective will make her an asset to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We are excited to see the continued growth and success of the Foundation’s Family Programs division under her leadership and wish her the best in this next chapter of her career.”

While reflecting on Rund’s joining the team, NFFF’s CEO Victor Stagnaro also extended his gratitude to NFFF’s long-time Director of Family Programs, Beverly Donlon, who has announced her retirement. “Our ability to serve our families with the utmost of care and sensitivity is due to the legacy Bev leaves behind. She equipped our entire Family Programs team to fulfill our mission to support the families of fallen firefighters for long as we are needed. I extend my personal gratitude to Bev for always putting our families first.” Bev Donlon will retire on May 31, 2024, and Joanne Rund will step into the role of Director of Family Programs in July.

About the Author News

Content curated and written by Firehouse editorial staff, including Susan Nicol, Steven Shaw, Peter Matthews, Ryan Baker and Rich Dzierwa.

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