Ellington Fire Chief Receives National Fire Chief of the Year Award

FIRE CHIEF magazine announced Chief Russell Tarver, Regional Fire Chief, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Japan, and Chief Michael D Varney, Ellington Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Ellington, Connecticut, as the winners of the 12th annual Fire Chief of the Year awards. The awards were presented at the general session of the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Fire-Rescue International Conference and Exhibition in Atlanta.

Nominations were solicited from more than 60 emergency service–related associations and organizations. The winners were selected by Fire Chief magazine’s editorial advisory board.

The 2007 Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year, Michael D. Varney of the Ellington Volunteer Fire Department, was nominated by the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs Volunteer & Combination Officers Section, and by previous Fire Chief of the Year Award winners.

Varney was elected fire chief of the Ellington Volunteer Fire Department in 2000. He has served on the board of the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association and in various capacities for the State of Connecticut Emergency Management & Homeland Security Coordinating Council. Varney serves on the IAFC Emergency Management Committee; as chair of the Credentialing Subcommittee; as representative to the NIMS Standards Technical Working Group; as chairman of the Statewide Public Safety Radio Interoperability Committee; and as adjunct instructor and program developer for hazardous materials, fire officer and other programs.

The 2007 Career Chief of the Year, Russell Tarver, Regional Fire Chief, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Japan, and was nominated by the Federal and Military Fire Service Section of the IAFC. Tarver first served in the U.S. Air Force and became an assistant fire chief, Operations at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. Under Tarver’s leadership, since becoming regional deputy fire chief and regional fire chief in 2005, the Naval Forces Japan Region has consistently earned awards and commendations including 2005 and 2006 Department of Navy, Fire Department of the Year awards.

“We are extremely pleased to name Chief Varney and Chief Tarver as winners of our 2007 Fire Chief of the Year Awards,” said Janet Wilmoth, editorial director of FIRE CHIEF magazine. “Each of these chiefs exemplifies the changing role of the fire and emergency services today. Both Chief Varney and Chief Tarver have raised the bar for commitment and dedication in the leadership role of fire chief.”

The 2007 awards are sponsored by Pierce Manufacturing.

Profiles of both winners will be featured in the October issue of FIRE CHIEF.

The Commission on Fire Prevention and Control and staff of the Connecticut Fire Academy extends its congratulations to Chief Varney on his receipt of this prestigious award.  We are very proud of you!!