Fire Chief Of The Year


This award, the most prestigious honor the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs can bestow upon its chief fire officer executives, was conceived to recognize truly outstanding fire chiefs whose actions and leadership in their profession, home, community and country, serve as an example and challenge for all other chief fire executives throughout the southeast.


Two awards will be presented annually; one for Career Fire Chief and one for a Combination/Volunteer Fire Chief.

  • A volunteer fire chief is defined as one who earns his or her principal livelihood by some means other than serving as a fire chief, even if the position of chief carries some compensation.
    • A career fire chief is defined as one who earns his or her principal livelihood as a fire chief.
    • In each category, the status of the fire department as a whole – paid, volunteer or combination – is not considered.
    • Individuals who are eligible for nomination and selection as Fire Chief of the Year are limited to active fire chiefs (organization head) of fire rescue agencies. Previous Fire Chief of the Year winners are not eligible for additional nomination.
    • Selection criteria will emphasize leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public and contributions to the fire service as a whole.
    • All of a nominee’s fire service activities and accomplishments will be considered. A nominee’s command role at a major emergency incident alone, while relevant, will not be enough to place that individual into contention for the award.
    • All nominees must be a member in good standing with the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs.


One nomination for Career and one nomination for Combination/Volunteer from each of the Southeastern states fire chief’s associations will be accepted, or any Association member in good standing may submit.

All nominations must comply with criteria below.


Nomination Period

The nomination period shall open on January 1 and close on March 31, annually. Nominations shall be accepted for the previous calendar year only. Example: 2014 Fire Chief of the Year nominations shall be accepted January 1 to March 31, 2015.


Deadline for nomination packages to be received is the close of business on March 31, annually.


Three steps to prepare the official nomination form:

  1. Complete the official nomination form. Remember, this is a lifetime achievement award, not one specific incident.
    2. Cover letter on the organization’s letterhead, signed by the organization’s chairperson, president or executive director, describing in less than 1200 words the nominee’s major accomplishments and why the candidate is being nominated.
    3. Digital (CD or email) attachment of the nominee. [High-resolution digital or good quality print photo.]


The nomination form and supporting documents comprise the entire documentation for a candidate’s nomination. Neither the nominee nor anyone representing him or her is to contact any member(s) of the Fire Chief of the Year Committee or Board of Directors once the nomination has been made and before the final selection has been made. Any violations of this will subject the nominee to disqualification.

Nomination of candidates for the SEAFC Fire Chief of the Year, by policy, must be registered via email on the proper form to the SEAFC Executive Director. The notification must be followed by the mailing of five hard copies of the required documents to the SEAFC office by the deadline for submission. Only properly submitted documents will be reviewed for submission, with no exceptions.

The SEAFC is not responsible for submissions received past the deadline.