Fire Chief of the Year Award


Award Criteria

The criteria for the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs' Association (WSFCA) Chief of the Year Award will be based on the criteria used by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). The rationale for this approach is that because the WSFCA is recognized by the IAFC as a nominating organization, the winner(s) of the WSFCA Chief of the Year Award will then be submitted for consideration for the IAFC Chief of the Year Award.

Nominations will be considered for two awards each year by the WSFCA; one for a career fire chief and one for a 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 one who earns is 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 chiefs of departments. Previous Fire Chief of the Year winners are not eligible.
  • 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, but, because this is the Fire Chief of the Year Award, special emphasis will be placed on the previous three year period. A nominee's command role at a major emergency incident, while relevant, will not be enough to place that individual into contention for the award.
  • Organizations are responsible for notifying its candidate to ensure that he/she is willing to participate in the selection process for both the WSFCA and the IAFC Chief of the Year Awards. 

Nomination Format

Nominations may be sent electronically to the WSFCA at

Four steps to prepare the official entry form:

  1. Complete the official nomination form (click here). Remember this is a career achievement award, not one specific incident.
  2. Include a cover letter on your organization's letterhead describing in less than 1,000 words the nominee's major accomplishments and why the candidate is being nominated.
  3. Include a high resolution digital photo of the nominee.
  4. Current resume or CV detailing the candidate's involvement in the fire service. Limit of three other documents supporting the candidate's nomination, such as copies of awards, newspaper articles, or letters from appropriate elected or appointed officials (items will not be returned). 

No politicking is permitted:
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 the WSFCA staff, directors, or any members of the nomination/selection committee after the nomination has been made and before the final selection has been made. Any violations of this will subject the nominee to disqualification.

The WSFCA is not responsible for submissions received past the deadline due to shipping or electronic errors.

Nomination Deadline:
April 1, 2019

Selection Process

Each nomination package will be reviewed by a selection committee to select the winners. The WSFCA reserves the right to omit an award. Winners will be announced at the WSFCA Annual Conference and will be featured in an issue of Wisconsin Fire Chief magazine.

Past Winners

Past Fire Chief of the Year Award Winners will be listed on the WSFCA website.

International Association of Fire Chiefs Nomination

The WSFCA Chief of the Year Award winners will be nominated for consideration by the IAFC Chief of the Year Award Committee.

Click Here to Download the Nomination Materials