Randy Bruegman Named 2009 Fire Chief of the Year

Fresno Fire Chief Randy Bruegman has been honored for his career-long dedication and leadership in fire and emergency service by being named 2009 “Fire Chief of the Year”. The award was made in a presentation at the annual International Association of Fire Chief’s Fire-Rescue International Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Fire Chief Magazine Editor Janet Wilmoth was joined by Pierce Manufacturing President Wilson Jones to announce the 14th annual Career Fire Chief of the Year award before a large crowd of chief officers representing fire departments from throughout the nation.

Chief Bruegman joined the City of Fresno in September 2003, after having served as Fire Chief in California, Illinois, and Oregon. He is a past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and has written numerous books, including Exceeding Customer Expectations, The Chief Officer: A Symbol is a Promise, and Leading and Managing in the Fire Service. He is a widely respected authority on fire service management issues.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin commended Chief Bruegman on his outstanding achievement. “It’s my great honor to join with our entire community to congratulate Chief Bruegman on this award, which recognizes his many professional accomplishments and his commitment to protecting the public. The people of Fresno are very proud of their Fire Chief!"

Since joining the City of Fresno, Chief Bruegman has implemented a number of important initiatives that have benefitted the community, including the consolidation of City fire services with the North Central and Fig Garden Fire Protection Districts and a boundary drop with the City of Clovis Fire Department to create seamless emergency response areas. Consolidation of fire and EMS emergency communication centers has reduced the processing time to dispatch first responders to emergency requests for service. In addition, the Fresno Fire Department has added new stations and personnel to improve service levels and reduce response times throughout the community.

Chief Bruegman began firefighting as a volunteer in Nebraska. Since then, he has served in a variety of leadership positions, both locally and nationally. Since 2004, he has served as President of the Board of Directors of the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He has also served as chair of the Commission of Fire accreditation. As Chief of the Fresno Fire Department, he led the formation of Fresno Fire Chief’s Foundation, a non-profit established to provide for enhanced life-safety education and community outreach. He also created the “4 Minutes to Excellence” theme to focus community efforts toward reducing response times.

Fire Chief Magazine Editorial Director Janet Wilmoth said, "This year we received a number of excellent nominations for the 2009 Chief of the Year Awards, and I think our Editorial Advisory Board had a tough time selecting from the nominees submitted."

“The top fire chiefs in the United States possess a vast array of experience and know-how as well as extraordinary dedication and, with annual Fire Chief of the Year awards, we seek to honor that, “ said Wilson Jones, President of Pierce Manufacturing. “