Candidates for WSFCA Board of Directors 2017

The following candidates will be running for open positions on the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs' Association Board of Directors (Click name to jump to profile):

Second Vice President (2017-2018 – one year term)

The 2nd Vice President has an automatic succession to 1st Vice President, President and then Past President. Total commitment is four years (until 2021).

Sergeant–at-Arms (2017-2020 – three year term)

Trustee (2017-2021 – four year term)

Proxy Voting

At this time, all positions are uncontested. If there are any nominations received from the floor, voting will occur at the 2017 Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs' Association Conference & Trade Show, June 22-25, 2017 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. The WSFCA Bylaws makes the following provision for voting members to designate a proxy in the event that they are unable or are unavailable to vote on matters before the association.

ARTICLE V – Power To Vote

Each and every active and honorary member (not honorary associate) in good standing shall be entitled to vote. In the event an active member is unable to attend the conference, such member shall have the right to appoint a proxy (delegate.) This shall be done by letter to the Treasurer of the Association, sent to the Business Office, advising the name of the person authorized as a voting member. No member shall cast more than one (1) proxy vote. No member is considered in good standing unless annual dues are current.

Click here to download the proxy voting form.

Bantes_web15.jpgName: Chief Timothy A. Bantes

Elected Position Sought: 2nd Vice President

Reason for Seeking the Position: My passion for both the Fire and EMS Service and the State of Wisconsin drives me to pursue the vision of making our emergency service organizations the safest and finest in the country. By serving in a leadership position of the Board, I am confident in my ability to continue this vital mission and preserve the honor and pride the Wisconsin Fire Service is reputable for. I will diligently strive to provide leadership and direction in the decision making processes that create positive impacts on responder safety, recruitment and retention, leadership development and other critical issues affecting fire departments represented in the State of Wisconsin. Additionally, As a member of the WSFCA Executive Board serving in the role of 2nd Vice President I intend to provide the guidance that drives the organization in a direction that focuses on uniting the Wisconsin fire service to maximize the benefits this association can offer to all of our members, communities, and most importantly the citizens we are sworn to protect.

Brief History in the Fire Service:

  • Current Position: Fire Chief
  • Department: Grand Chute Fire Department
  • Department Type: Combination Fire Department of more than 50 paid-on-call, part-time, and career personnel.

Other relevant fire service information: I have over thirty years of diverse experience in fire and emergency medical service delivery, having started out like many others in our state serving on a volunteer rescue squad as an EMT. I progressed through the fire service ranks as a Firefighter and Company Officer in Marinette. Seeking continuous personal and professional development, I then accepted a position as the Training Division Chief for the Town of Grand Chute, and for the past ten years I have had the honor to serve as their Fire Chief leading a combination fire department of over 50 paid-on-call/premise, part time and career personnel.

Additionally, I have experience within the WSFCA having served as a Trustee on the Executive Board since 2015. Previously, I was a member on the organizations membership sub-committee, and assisted in the development of the Fire Chief Mentoring Program. I've been a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs since 2007, I am currently the President of the Outagamie County Fire Chiefs Association and have served in that role for the past six years. I am also an active participant on the Fox Valley Technical College Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committees.

Rohlfing_Web14.jpgName: Chief Mark A. Rohlfing

Elected Position Sought: Sergeant–at-Arms

Reason for Seeking the Position: My reasons for seeking the Sergeant at Arms position include: I am currently serving as Sergeant-at-Arms, as a Board member I believe I have served the WI State Fire Chiefs with enthusiasm, honor and hard work. I would like to continue that work in a second term as your Sergeant-at-Arms. My reasons for running for the WI State Fire chiefs Board include, I believe that as a chief officer my duty is not only to my city and department but to our state and the nation's fire service as a whole. I have 34+ years in the fire service. I offer the WFCA a wide variety of experiences and knowledge. I believe my qualifications and extensive experience will continue to be an asset on the board as we work to serve and improve the fire service in Wisconsin and in the Great Lake Region.

Brief History in the Fire Service:

  • Current Position: Chief
  • Department: Milwaukee Fire Department
  • Department Type: Fully Paid
  • 1983 to 2007 Served as a firefighter, Driver operator, Captain, Battalion Chief and Assistant Chief with the Omaha NE Fire Department.
  • 2007 to 2010 Served as Fire Chief of the Rapid City SD Fire Department.
  • 2010 to present Serving as the Fire Chief for the City of Milwaukee Fire Department.

Other relevant fire service information:

Chief Mark Rohlfing was initially appointed to lead the Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD) on May 3, 2010. He had been in the fire service for 25 years in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, reaching the rank of Assistant Chief. Prior to moving to Milwaukee he spent two and one half years as the Fire Chief for the Rapid City Department of Fire & Rescue in South Dakota.

Chief Rohlfing holds a Master of Science degree in Executive Fire Leadership from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and an Associate Degree in Fire Protection Technology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Wisconsin State Chief's Association, the Metro Chiefs Association and serves as the President of the Milwaukee County Association of Fire Chiefs. He also proudly serves on the boards of the Milwaukee Area Salvation Army and St. Josaphat's Basilica Foundation.

Chief Rohlfing is married to Maureen Rohlfing. They have a son Ryan, who works as an environmental engineer in the Milwaukee area, a daughter Kaitlin, who live with her husband Steve and works in South Lake Tahoe, and a daughter Jordan, who works as an attorney in Madison, WI.

As the first MFD Chief hired from outside of the department, Chief Rohlfing has appreciated the dedication and professionalism of the men and women who serve Milwaukee. During his first four years, Chief Rohlfing initiated new and innovative programs that have improved the capabilities of MFD and enhanced the safety of our community.

He has been proactive in making firefighting in-service and EMS training a high priority as well as strongly encouraging firefighters to broaden their education and prepare for future leadership opportunities. He has worked tirelessly with union leaders to strive for fairness within the scope of reasonableness and create a constructive joint operational atmosphere of cooperation. Chief Rohlfing has innovatively found ways to do more with less as budgets shrink, while maintaining the high quality of service Milwaukee's citizens and visitors have relied upon since the MFD was founded in 1875. His dedicated focus on educating the public on fire safety remains the department's strongest weapon against fire deaths.

In the areas of health and wellness, MFD has made dramatic strides in researching and initiating physical fitness programs that focus on preventing firefighter injuries through proactive measures, while also instilling an awareness of the importance of how mental health plays a significant role in a firefighter's ability to remain focused and ready to take on any day's challenges.

Chief Rohlfing has worked hard to create a spirit of cooperation within the Milwaukee County Fire departments. It has been through his efforts and the efforts of several other key Milwaukee County Chiefs that the Milwaukee area fire departments have all signed and participate in a "Shared Service" agreement. He believes and champions the idea that at some time we all need help from our neighbors and partners, no matter the size of the department. Cooperation between Milwaukee County Fire Departments is now the norm rather than the exception.

Romas.jpgName: Chief Michael T. Romas

Elected Position Saught: Trustee

Reason for Seeking the Position: To continue the great leadership, direction and accomplishments of the current Board of Directors which makes the Wisconsin fire service better for ALL volunteer, combination, and career departments.

Brief History in the Fire Service:

  • Current Position: Fire Chief
  • Department: City of Sheboygan Fire Department
  • Department Type: Career/Fully Paid

Other relevant fire service information:

  • 34 year Wisconsin fire service career, four years as Sheboygan Fire Chief and 30 years with Milwaukee Fire Department
  • Current WSFCA Trustee, elected mid-term to fill vacancy
  • WSFCA Committee and Board involvement
    • Member Ad-Hoc Restructuring Committee
    • Membership Committee Chairman
    • WSFCA representative on the WTCS Advisory Board
    • WSFCA representative on the Alliance for Fire Safety Committee
    • WSFCA Mentor
  • Instructor for Waukesha County Technical College, 23 years
  • Executive Fire Officer Program graduate