Fire Chief at Arizona Fire & Medical Authority
Chief Mark Burdick

Command Fatigue

Mark Burdick started in the fire service in 1983 as a firefighter for the City of Glendale, AZ. He was promoted through the ranks, ultimately serving as fire chief for just over 12 years. During his tenure, the city constructed an 80-acre regional training facility, and the department implemented service to a newly built hockey arena and a football stadium (which included two Super Bowls).

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a master’s degree, both from Ottawa University. Mark also earned Chief Fire Officer (CFO) status from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. In 2011, he was chosen as “Chief Officer of the Year” by the Arizona Fire Chiefs’ Association, and then, in 2017, Mark was inducted into the Arizona Fire Service Hall of Fame.

In October of 2019, Mark accepted the position of Fire Chief for the Buckeye Valley Fire District in Maricopa County, AZ, where he currently serves. In April of 2021, the district entered a unique “shared chief agreement” with the Sun City Fire & Medical District, covering the retirement community of Sun City as well as the town of Youngtown. Burdick is currently serving as Fire Chief of both departments.

Over the years, Mark was privileged to have spent a significant amount of time with the late Alan Brunacini (known affectionately as “Bruno”), a former Phoenix Fire Chief who was known throughout the country as “America’s Fire Chief.”

Principal of Parow Consulting and Associates
Chief Jack Parow, Retired.

Lithium Batteries – The Science Behind Them and What the Fire Service Needs to Know

Jack Parow has over 43 years of distinguished experience in the fire service, and he served as Chief of the Chelmsford, MA Fire Department for 17 years. The capstone of his career culminated in serving as President and Chairman of the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). He is known as a leader, an educator, a strategist, and an innovator, and he is always up for a challenge. 

Chief Parow is Principal of Parow Consulting and Associates, and he has worked as a consultant in the Public Safety arena for 25 years. His experience includes conducting promotional exams, assessment centers, executive searches, developing strategic plans, conducting fire department evaluations, and various other consulting work. 

He also lectures nationally and internationally on Fire and EMS issues. In 2012, Chief Parow was appointed by then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to serve on the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee. 

Chief Parow holds his MBA from State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State College, and a Bachelor of Science in Fire Engineering Technology and Safety from the University of Cincinnati. He is also a graduate of both the U.S. Fire Administration/National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, and the Naval Postgraduate School’s Homeland Security Executive Leaders Program.  Additionally, Chief Parow has been a professor at Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA for the last 25 years,  where he teaches in the Master of Public Administration program.

Fire Chief with Elburn and Countryside Fire District
Chief Joseph Cluchey


SOS-Significant Others Support: Early Warning Awareness & Actions For Responders’ “Emotional Baggage” and How We Can Help Each 

With nearly 43 years of experience in the fire service, including over 20 years as a Chief of the Department, Joe Cluchey has a solid understanding of what it takes to be an effective leader in today’s fire service. He worked as the Statewide Operations Chief for MABAS-IL (the statewide mutual aid organization) for nearly three years. He has also been the recipient of local, county, and state recognitions for his leadership. 

Additionally, Chief Cluchey carries nearly 40 years of experience as an instructor on the local, regional, collegiate, state, national, and international levels. Among his educational experiences, Joe has served as the Department Chair of Fire Science for McHenry County College (IL) and presented at numerous conferences over the years.

Chief Cluchey’s conference contributions include:  

  • Delivering multiple presentations at the International Fire Chiefs’ “Fire Rescue International” Conference
  • Serving as a presenter at the American Association of Code Enforcement Conference
  • Being a repeat presenter of at least five presentations during the California Fire Chiefs Training Association’s Annual Instructors Symposium 
  • Being a repeat presenter at the MABAS-IL Training Summit and the Illinois Municipal Clerks annual conference
Fire Chief at City of Greenacres Fire Rescue, 1st Vice President at Fire Chiefs Association of Palm Beach County
Chief Brian Fuller

Tools for Fire Chiefs to Combat Firefighter Suicide

Brian Fuller has 29 years of professional experience and knowledge in firefighting and administration, with 19 years as a Chief Officer. He was certified as a firefighter in 1992 and began working as a Firefighter/Paramedic at the Town of Palm Beach in 1994. Brian held the ranks of Firefighter/Paramedic, Lieutenant, Division Chief of EMS, Division Chief of Training, and Assistant Fire Chief before retiring in 2014. He was hired as Assistant Fire Chief at City of Greenacres until February of 2021, when he was then promoted to Fire Chief. Chief Fuller has also served as Past Vice-Chair on the Palm Beach County EMS Advisory Council; Vice President for the Association of EMS Providers – Palm Beach County Chapter; and Adjunct Faculty at Palm Beach State College.

Key Contributions and Awards:

  • Raymond J. Kunkel Award for heroic or meritorious service to the Town of Palm Beach 
  • 2007 Distinguished EMS Service Award presented by the EMS Providers Association of Palm Beach County,       
  • Bachelor’s degree in organizational management, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Graduated Magna Cum Laude, Leadership Award from the Catherine T. MacArthur School of Leadership
  • National Fire Academy Graduate
  • Certified Fire Officer I 
  • Certified Fire Service Instructor III
  • Greenacres Fire Rescue Department Infection Control Officer  
  • Public Information Officer
  • Internal Affairs Investigator

Currently, Brian serves as Fire Chief at City of Greenacres Fire Rescue, and 1st Vice President at Fire Chiefs Association of Palm Beach County.

Oklahoma State Fire Marshal, Former U.S. Fire Administrator
Chief G. Keith Bryant


How To Continue To Grow & Serve, Even After Your Promotion To Fire Chief

Chief G. Keith Bryant has 44 years in the Fire Service, which began as a military firefighter in the U.S. Army.  He spent 35 years with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. During that time, he worked his way through the ranks within the Operations Division of the department.  He served as Battalion Chief of Operations, Chief Training Officer, and Deputy Chief of Operations before being appointed as Oklahoma City’s 20th Fire Chief in 2005, serving in that role until his retirement in 2017.  Chief Bryant was appointed by President Donald Trump as U.S. Fire Administrator within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and he held that position until January 2021.  Chief Bryant was appointed as the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal on May 1st, 2021, by the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal’s Commission.

Chief Bryant’s involvement in the Fire and Emergency Services includes serving in many professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels.  He was a member of the International Association of Firefighters Local 157, the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association, and past president of the Oklahoma Fire Chiefs Association.  He is a member of the National Fire Protection Association and past president of both the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.  Chief Bryant also served on the Oklahoma State Fire Marshals Commission, the Advisory Committee for Oklahoma State University’s Fire Protection Program, the DHS’s Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee, and he currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Fire Chief of the Shoreline Fire Department
Chief Matt Cowan


Professional Growth, Succession Development & Culture

Matt Cowan is currently the Fire Chief of the Shoreline Fire Department, a fire district located immediately north of Seattle in King County, Washington. The department is a fully career, all-hazards response fire department, serving four cities in an urban environment. Operations are provided out of five stations responding to nearly 18,000 calls annually, including Paramedic responses. In addition to all the other divisions, the Shoreline Fire Department is one of the few ALS providers in King County with the jurisdiction extending from Shoreline across the north end of King County through Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell, and downtown Woodinville. Total staff includes nearly 190 personnel with a current budget of over $45 million.

Chief Cowan started his fire service career in 1986, working as a volunteer for San Juan County Fire District #4, which is on Lopez Island. He volunteered during the summers while pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in physics with an emphasis in math and economics at the University of Puget Sound. After graduating, Matt continued to volunteer and work night shifts for King County Fire District #10. In 1992, he accepted an offer for a full-time position with Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety. Four years later he also became the Fire Chief of Snoqualmie Pass Fire & Rescue, a volunteer fire department in the community where he lived.

As Chief Cowan was progressing through the ranks in Maple Valley, he was also transitioning Snoqualmie Pass from a volunteer fire department to a combination fire department. Eventually, as things became busier in Snoqualmie Pass, he was able to promote his Assistant Chief to be the full-time Fire Chief, and Matt assumed a Deputy Chief role. In 2013, Matt was the Deputy Chief in Maple Valley when he was hired by the Shoreline Fire Department to be their Fire Chief, where he has been for the past ten years.

Soon after entering the fire service with a degree in physics and becoming a firefighter, Matt received an Associate’s Degree in Fire Command Administration, and then a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Chief Cowan is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program, a certified Chief Fire Officer with CPSE, and an Executive Chief Officer with the IAFC. He has received numerous citations throughout his career, and he currently sits on multiple advisory boards promoting succession development and education.

Most importantly, Matt has been married for 24 years and has three children. His two oldest are in college, and his youngest is getting closer to graduating high school. He lives in North Bend, Washington, up against the Cascade Mountains, where he enjoys winter and water sports, and golfing.

Fire Chief of the Evergreen Park Fire Department
Chief Ronald L. Kleinhaus


If You Can’t Communicate, You Can’t Operate – The View From Behind The Headset

Following in his father’s footsteps, Chief Kleinhaus began his fire service career by joining the Evergreen Park Fire Department as a cadet in 1972. Taking a leave from the fire department after his high school graduation in 1974, Chief Kleinhaus enlisted in the United States Air Force and served as a fire protection specialist until being honorably discharged from active duty in 1977. He then returned to the Evergreen Park Fire Department as a part-time firefighter, while continuing to serve in the United States Air Force Reserve as a fire protection specialist until 1991.

 Prior to being appointed as the department’s full-time Assistant Chief in 1998,  Chief Kleinhaus was employed as a federal firefighter at the Air Force Reserve Facility, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and then Hines VA Hospital. After leaving the federal service, he was employed as an Emergency Telecommunicator and Communications Training Officer at the Oak Lawn Regional Emergency Communications Center. In May of 2007, Kleinhaus was appointed Chief of the Evergreen Park Fire Department. 

Chief Kleinhaus also serves as the President of MABAS Division #21, which is comprised of 11 fire departments located in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. Additionally, he is a Co-Chairman of the MABAS-IL Communications committee and Chairman of the Oak Lawn Regional Emergency Communications Center Joint 911 Authority.

Chief Kleinhaus has been married to his wife Elizabeth for 46 years. Together, they have two grown children and three grandsons. Their daughter Kimberly is an elementary school teacher, and their son Michael is a third-generation firefighter.