FIRE CHIEF magazine's annual "Fire Chief of the Year Awards" honor longtime dedication and leadership in the fire and emergency services. The awards are sponsored by Pierce Manufacturing and are presented at Fire-Rescue International.
- Fire Chief of the Year main page
- Nomination Information
- Nominating Organizations
- Award-Winner Archive
2012 Career Chief Award Winner
Chief Kelvin Cochran
Atlanta Fire Rescue Department
Kelvin J. Cochran was 5 years old and living in a shotgun house in Shreveport, La., when the house across the street from him caught fire.
"I watched with tremendous amazement as the firefighters got off the big, red truck and put on their long, black rubber boots and black helmets and took the hose into Miss Matty's house," Cochran said. "I was totally smitten, and from that day forward that's all I ever wanted to do."
And that's exactly what he's done for the last 31 years.
2012 Volunteer Chief Award Winner
Chief Jona Olsson
Latir Volunteer Fire Department in Questa, N.M.
It takes a certain kind of person to sign up for a volunteer fire department while in his or her 50s, especially one as underdeveloped as the Latir Fire Department in New Mexico — the second-poorest state in the U.S. But that's just what Jona Olsson did, later becoming the department's fire chief. Olsson's work in Latir, plus her efforts to increase diversity in the fire service, earned her 2012 Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year honors.
Olsson was introduced to the fire service when she lived on the East Coast, where she "ran into a brick wall," she said.
Chief Debra Amesqua
Madison (Wis.) Fire Department
Chief Robert Perry
Union Fire District in Peace Dale, R.I.
Chief Tom Carr
Charleston (S.C.) Fire Department
Chief Tim Wall
North Farms Volunteer Fire Department in Wallingford, Conn.
Chief Randy Bruegman
Fresno (Calif.) Fire Department
Chief James Seavey
Cabin John Park (Md.) Volunteer Fire Department