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Fire Chief

Location:  City of Ann Arbor, MI Download:  City of Ann Arbor, MI - Fire Chief Brochure

About Ann Arbor
A bustling downtown and charming tree-lined neighborhoods make Ann Arbor an ideal place to live, learn, work and raise a family. More than 114,000 residents live within the city's 28 square miles.

The city is known for its eclectic urban setting, acres of trees and commitment to environmentally progressive initiatives. Ann Arbor has something for every interest - performance venues, museums, galleries, casual to fine dining and world-class shopping in nationally known stores and boutiques with local flair. Action-packed sporting events come courtesy of the University of Michigan; and nearly 160 city parks, seven golf courses, the beautiful Huron River and endless trails bring out the athlete and adventure seeker in us all.

Ann Arbor is also a hub for excellence in education. The city's acclaimed public school system has a comprehensive academic achievement plan to help ensure all students are successful. The University of Michigan is the dominant institution of higher learning in Ann Arbor, providing the city with a distinctly college-town atmosphere.

We take pride in our community's well-earned reputation.

  • 2014 "The 10 Most Intelligent College Towns in America," No.1,
  • 2014 "Top 25 Most Beautiful Cities in America,"
  • 2014 "Best Cities for Well-being," No. 6, USA Today and Gallup
  • 2014 "America's Best Main Streets," The Huffington Post & Fodor's Travel
  • 2013 "Most Walkable Cities," No. 4,
  • 2013 "Top 100 Best Places to Live," No. 13,
  • 2013 "Best Towns in Michigan for Young Families,"
  • 2013 "Top 10 College Towns," No. 2,
  • 2013 "Top Public Colleges," No. 5 University of Michigan, Forbes
  • 2013 "Top 50 Cities Leading the Economic Recovery," Area Development Magazine
  • 2013 "10 Best Cities for Young Adults," No. 2, Kiplinger
  • 2013 "10 Coolest Cities in the Midwest," MSN Travel

City Government
Ann Arbor has a Council-manager form of government. The City Council consists of the Mayor and ten Council members, two from each of Ann Arbor's five wards. One half of City Council is elected in annual partisan elections. Members serve two-year terms.

The Mayor is elected on a partisan ballot every even year. The Mayor is the presiding officer of the City Council and appoints all Council committee members and members of many boards and commissions, with the approval of City Council.

Mission Statement
The City of Ann Arbor is committed to providing excellent municipal services that enhance the quality of life for all through the intelligent use of resources while valuing an open environment that fosters fair, sensitive, and respectful treatment of all employees and the community served.

The Way We Work
The Employees of the City of Ann Arbor...

  • Work and accept responsibility to search for, create and execute new and innovative approaches to improve the performance of City services and objectives
  • Assist external and internal customers to serve their needs and take responsibility for continuously improving customer service
  • Foster meaningful interaction among people through the exchange of information to produce understanding
  • Continuously develop and use effective strategies and interpersonal styles to engage and guide others towards the accomplishment of identified objectives and goals in the best interest of the City and community
  • Consistently work toward the common good of the organization and encourage others to do the same
  • Conduct themselves at all times in a professionally appropriate and respectful manner
  • Apply the proper safety/security practices according to established protocols, guidelines and policies

The Position
The Fire Chief holds a highly responsible position, managing the operations of a municipal fire department. The Fire Chief plans, coordinates and directs a complete program of fire suppression, prevention, investigation, rescue and code enforcement services to protect the lives and property of the public.  The Fire Chief, in conjunction with the Director of Emergency Management and other City departments, is responsible for disaster preparedness and management. The Fire Chief will direct all functions of the Fire Services Unit consistent with organizational goals, supervise unit personnel, prepare and recommend annual budget for unit, and prepare monthly and annual reports on department performance.

Duties and Functions

  • Provides strong leadership by planning, coordinating, supervising and evaluating Fire and EMS operations
  • Establishes and maintains cooperative service agreements with surrounding jurisdictions
  • Develops resource sharing and cost-containment programs, including promoting cooperative fiscal relations with federal, state and regional agencies
  • Oversees daily operations, including emergency response, and daily administration
  • Develops budget, monitoring and approving expenditures, and evaluates budget performance and ensuring the appropriate use of public dollars and resources
  • Engages in long-term planning with the City Administrator and other City Leadership regarding future directions of the Fire Services Unit, articulating a vision and leading the development of strategic and master plans in support of that vision
  • Maintains departmental conduct and general behavior of all personnel.
  • Participates on the negotiations team, handles grievances and participates in arbitration when necessary
  • Reviews, updates and maintains policies consistent with efficient fire prevention and fire control programs
  • Provides training and development of personnel by directing the operation of the departmental in-service training activities
  • Establishes collaborative working relationships and partnerships with community and neighborhood associations, business groups, development organizations and other City Service Areas and Units, to pursue a common goal of community safety
  • Provides an appropriate flow of information to citizens, the media and interest groups, and serves as primary spokesperson on matters of fire safety, emergency response, disaster management and emergency medical related issues
  • Responsible for maintaining the necessary equipment and fire personnel to insure effective fire control, response to emergencies, disaster preparedness and management
  • Plans and develops programs based on standards of preparedness established by the Insurance Services Office (ISO Public Protection Classification (PPC) program)
  • Conducts staff meetings with officers to discuss administration, operations, fire prevention and fire control, disaster management, concerns.
  • Responsible for the management of all buildings, apparatus, equipment, supplies, and all other property and equipment assigned to the Fire Services Unit


  • Leadership in a high performance environment
  • Basic management principles
  • Participative and change management concepts and progressive labor relations concepts
  • Fire services consolidation and regionalization
  • Contemporary alternatives to traditional fire services organization and functioning
  • Basic building codes related to fire safety
  • Fiscal and budgetary management programs, policies and procedures
  • Various units, positions, functions, and procedures in city government
  • Modern fire services non-emergency functions, such as community-based fire education activities

Skills, and Abilities

  • Be politically astute and demonstrate highly refined analytical and critical reasoning
  • Demonstrate forward thinking and creative problem-solving when working with restricted resources
  • Demonstrate superior administrative qualities when planning strategically and addressing fiscal and budgetary management issues
  • Lead and facilitate the work of others and motivate the workforce toward mutually agreed upon goals
  • Interact with diverse individuals and demonstrate strong customer service ethics and philosophies

Experience and Education
Qualified candidates should have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college in Fire Services, Fire Administration, Public Administration, Management, or a related field.  A Master's degree and advanced education and training such as Executive Fire Officer (EFO) and/or credentials as a Chief Fire Officer Designate (CFOD) is highly preferred.

Licensing Requirements (position requirements at entry)

  • Valid Driver's License
  • Michigan Emergency Medical Technician (preferred)
  • Fire Officer Training Certification

The Ideal Candidate
Interested candidates must possess a minimum of ten (10) years experience in Fire Administration, with at least five (5) years as a Chief, or ten (10) years as an Assistant Chief in addition to a least five (5) years experience in public administration, leading in a union environment, and leading within city government.

This position is an important leadership role within the organization.  This individual will need to display excellent leadership, managerial ability, and decision-making skills and instill these traits within the rank and file of the Fire Department.  The ideal candidate must exhibit strong coordination and relationship-building skills in working with the entire organization and the community. 

It is essential that the incoming Chief has experience working in a unionized environment and has had proven success in establishing collaborative, diplomatic working relations with labor and employee associations.

The ideal candidate should have strong interpersonal skills, be a superior facilitator, advisor, mentor and technical expert.  The Fire Chief should be active and visible in the community, personally taking part in civic and community activities and events. 

Effective communication along with strong collaboration, negotiation, and team building skills will be necessary for this individual to be successful; advanced written and oral communication skills are imperative. This individual must be able to adhere to the highest ethical and moral standards and be able to display transparency.

The City of Ann Arbor is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will also be available for the successful out of area candidate.

How to Apply
Applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:; Reference: AAFIRE

**Candidates desiring confidentiality of their interest, as allowed for and provided by Michigan law, must indicate such in a separate subject line above the body of the cover letter. 

Affion Public
2120 Market Street, Suite 100
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Fax: 717-214-8004


**Deadline to receive resumes: September 15, 2014

Posted: 03/22/2022