Metro Chiefs meet in San Antonio

May 10, 2018The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held its 2018 annual conference in San Antonio, Texas May 4-10. More than 120 Metro chiefs from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States attended the conference and elected the Association’s 2018-2019 officers and board members.

The officers are:

  • Chief Otto Drozd III, re-elected for a second one-year term as president; Orange County, Florida Fire and Rescue Department
  • Chief Mike Duyck, vice president; Tualatin Valley, Oregon Fire & Rescue Department
  • Chief John Lane, secretary; Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Chief Don Lombardi, treasurer; West Metro, Colorado Fire Protection District

The new board members are:

  • Chief Robert Rocha, board member; Corpus Christi, Texas Fire Department
  • Chief (retired) William Bryson, senior board member; Miami and Miami-Dade, Florida Fire and Rescue Departments
  • Chief Eric Tade, alternate board member; Denver, Colorado Fire Department
  • Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, to serve a second one-year term as immediate past president; Austin, Texas Fire Department

Chief Luther L. Fincher (retired) issued the oath of office to the new officers and board members.

The Metro Chiefs bestowed the following 2018 Metro Awards:

  • Chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department was named Fire Chief of the Year,
  • Chief Mark Light, Chief Executive Office and Executive Director of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and former Chief of the Henrico County (VA) Fire Department, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Chief David Downey of the Miami-Dade County, Florida Fire Rescue and Mr. Ken LaSala, Director of Government Relations and Policy for the IAFC both received the President’s Award of Distinction.

USFA Administrator G. Keith Bryant, NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley, IAFC President and Chair of the Board Tom Jenkins, IAFC CEO and Executive Director Mark Light, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs President Ken Block, CFO Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council of the UK, and CFO Peter Holland, the United Kingdom’s Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety, are just a few of the many dignitaries in attendance. A comprehensive education program included presentations ranging from new technology for managing fire fighter fatigue, cancer and post-traumatic stress issues for fire fighters, the latest in fire research from FM Global and Underwriters Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute, as well as multiple presentations on terrorist-related topics, Fire-Based EMS, and the opioid crisis. The education program concluded with a panel discussion by the Metro Chiefs who managed or assisted in managing major wildfire, flooding and hurricane events in the past year.

During the business sessions, motions were adopted to support federal legislation to repeal the T-Band auction requirement, to clarify requirements included in NFPA 1851, to establish a Metro Fire Chiefs Homeland Security/JCAT Committee to identify and support JCAT fellows from Metro fire departments, and to urge FEMA to identify the National Urban Search and Rescue Branch of DHS/FEMA, Operations Directorate, as the sole entity responsible for the validating and cataloging of resources responsible for US&R-type missions. Member chiefs of the Metro act as the sponsoring agency for 22 or the 28 National Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces. The membership also passed motions to provide financial support to the Canadian and United States Fallen Fire Fighters Associations, and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition.

“A special thank you to San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, his entire team and the Metro loyal sponsors who went above and beyond in making this conference the outstanding event it was,” said Russ Sanders, Metro Executive Secretary. The 2019 Metro conference, scheduled for June 8-14, will be hosted by Chief Ken Block of the Edmonton, Alberta, Fire Department.

The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting 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, Russ Sanders.  

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at

Contact:Lorraine CarliPublic Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275