Fire Chief of the Year and Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year Award

Nominations accepted February 1 - June 1

Fire Chief of the Year Nomination Form
Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year Nomination Form

The career and volunteer Fire Chiefs of the Year Awards are the most distinguished honors presented to active fire chiefs in the Florida Fire Service.  This distinction was established to recognize a truly outstanding fire chief whose acts and deeds in their profession, home, community, and country, serve as an example and challenge for all other chief fire executives, both career and volunteer, throughout Florida.

To nominate a chief for this award, any member can nominate another member by completing a summary of why your nominee is deserving of this award. 

Selection Criteria
Selection criteria will emphasize leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public and contributions to the fire service as a whole.  All of the nominee's fire service activities and accomplishments will be considered but, special emphasis will be placed on the most recent year. A nominee's command role at a successfully mitigated major emergency incident, while relevant, will not be enough to place that individual in contention for the award.

The Nomination Process

  • Complete the online nomination form.
  • Include an executive summary, detailing the highlights of his/her qualifications and contributions to the fire service as a whole.
  • Include any other support documents; awards, citations, newspaper articles, or letters of recommendation from appropriate elected or appointed officials.
  • Deadline for submission:  June 1 of the year

The Selection Process

  • The Career and Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year of the Year Award Committees will review the nomination packages and select the winner.  
  • The committee consists of the last three award recipients.
  • Please be sure to include all documentation.  Failure to do so could disqualify a candidate.

Past Fire Chief Recipients:
Earl Levy (1977); Charles Deal (1978); Don Hickman (1979); Howard Wright (1980); Jim Hancock (1981); Herman Brice (1982);Robert Richardson (1983); Ed Arrants (1984); Gene Reynolds (1985); Ed Donaldson (1986); Jerry Knight (1987); Harold Stinchcomb (1988); Gene Gallo (1989);  Richard Cherry (1990); William Austin (1991); T. L. Siegfried (1992); R. D. Paulison (1993); Jack Alford (1994); Michael Long (1995); Robert Pudney (1996); Herminio Lozenzo (1997); Herman Brice (1998); Thomas A. Harmer (1999); Richard Knoff (2000); Julius Halas, CFO (2001); William Bingham (2002); Terry Schenk (2003); Richard Williams (2004); Barry Baker, CFO (2005); Michael Murphy (2006); William Gulbrandsen (2007); Thomas Weber, CFO, EFO, MPA (2008); Richard Talbert (2009); James Angle (2010); Michael Tucker (2011); Cindy Dick (2012); Kingman Schuldt (2013); James White (2014); Dave Downey (2015); Darell Donatto (2016); Frank Babinec (2017); Julie Downey (2018); Ryan Lamb (2019); Douglas Riley (2020); Reginald Duren (2021); Jim Large (2022); Dennis W. Jones (2023)

Past Volunteer Fire Chief Recipients:
Timothy Diamond (2013); Davis S. Freda (2014); John King (2015); Robert "Robbie" Whitfield (2019); Michael Barrett (2023)

Eligibility Questions
Call 850.900.5180 or email [email protected]