Press Release: Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders: Class 2022
The mission of the National Fire Heritage Center (NFHC) is to preserve the perishable history of the fire services and fire protection disciplines. The Hall of Legends, Legacies, and Leaders (HLLL) helps fulfill that mission by providing recognition to the individuals who have made significant contributions and have distinguished themselves in the service of Fire and Emergency Services and Fire Protection disciplines and who have become known/recognized in the national and or international fire service arena.
Now in its 12th year, the 2022 HLLL inductees is the second largest class with 13 outstanding individuals. The HLLL Committee determined the following individuals met all of the criteria to be inducted into the National Fire Heritage Center's Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders:
Robert C. Andrews, Jr. #98
Chief Robert C. Andrews, Jr. is a Texas Registered Professional Engineer (fire protection branch specialty), a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers- United States of America Branch, and a Professional Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). A graduate of the University of Maryland, he practiced fire protection engineering for over forty years. Chief Andrews has specialized in the fire safe design of very complicated and unusual projects, emphasizing the petroleum, chemical and petrochemical industries. He is a life member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and a life member of the IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs. Chief Andrews was an active member of the fire service for 40 years, joining his local volunteer fire company in suburban Philadelphia when he was sixteen years old. He was one of the first industrial Fire Chiefs to earn the prestigious Center for Public Safety Excellence, Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Designation in 2003 and is an internationally recognized author and speaker, having delivered emergency response, industrial firefighting, and railroad fire-safety presentations worldwide.
Meri-K Appy #99
Meri-K Appy served more than 40 years at the national level of the fire service and is one of the most recognizable leaders in the fire service nationally and internationally. Appy served as Vice President for Public Education at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) from 1989 – 2003, President of the Home Safety Council from 2003 – 2010, and President of Safe Kids USA until December 2011. She serves on several national Boards and Advisory Committees, including NFPA's Educational Messaging Advisory Committee and the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. Appy has previously served on various technical committees, including IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs – serving on the Fire and Life Safety Section Board (2016 – 2021), the Vision 20/20 Project – serving on the Steering Committee since 2008, and the Executive Committee since 2021, and frequent advisor to the U.S. Fire Administration and the Congressional Fire Services Institute. Her work with the (NFPA) is renowned and has significantly improved the fire service. She is the recipient of the 2006 Mason Lankford Award for fire service leadership by the Congressional Fire Services Institute and the 2009 Everett E. Hudiburg Award from the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA-FPP) for significant contributions to the training of firefighters.
Stephen P. Austin #100
Steve Austin is a 55-year veteran of the volunteer fire service. A life member of the Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company of Newark, Delaware, serving as a Fire Police Officer. He is also the Vice President of the Allison Hook & Ladder No. 2 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After 37 years, Steve retired from the State Farm Insurance Company where he was a Senior Public Policy Analyst. He is part of a small group of fire service representatives who monitor federal issues that impact the fire service and is the Director of Governmental Relations for the International Association of Arson Investigators, Inc. (IAAI).
Steve is the Project Manager of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association's Emergency Responder Safety Institute and is a Past President. The Institute is recognized as a leading source of information and advocacy concerning highway incident scene safety. He is a member of several boards and foundations, including liaison to the Board of Directors of the Safety, Health and Survival Section of the IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs. Steve is Chairman of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee of Traffic Control Incident Management Professional Qualifications and Chairman of the First Responder Center for Excellence, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. He is a member of the Congressional Fire Services Institute Board of Directors.
In 2015, Steve received the Garry Briese IAFC Safety Performance Award, and in 2018, he received the CFSI Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. In 2020, he was inducted into the Firehouse Magazine Hall of Fame. In addition, he holds the distinction of being the only Chair of the CFSI National Advisory Committee to have served four terms.
Robert J. Brady, Sr. (1917 - 1992) #101
Robert J. Brady, Sr., was the founder of the Robert J. Brady Company, an emergency services publishing company that developed the Brady Firefighting Series in the 1970s. The Brady Company subsequently developed textbooks and associated training materials that assisted in the training of firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics for decades. Mr. Brady played a critical role in the eventual selection and sale of St. Joseph's College to FEMA, which today is the home of the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, MD. Brady met with fire service leaders around the country and reviewed their textbooks, many of which were then published with audio/visual training materials used in classroom presentations. Brady was introduced to Harvey Grant (DSFS) and Robert Murray (MFRI), who had jointly authored an Emergency Care textbook to train the very first "Emergency Medical Technicians." Finally, Mr. Brady could bring many fire service professionals together, resulting in the publication of dozens of firefighting training and prevention programs throughout the years. Today the "Brady" name is still associated with fire service textbooks.
Randy R. Bruegman #102
He is a noted author and lecturer on such topics as leadership and managing change in the fire and emergency services and is a contributing author of fire service literature. He served as President of the IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2002-2003 and as Chairman of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, 1996-2000; and the President of the Board of Directors of the Center for Public Safety Excellence from 2004-2017.
In 2018, the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) established the Randy R. Bruegman Agency Innovation Award to recognize his quarter-century of dedicated service to CPSE between 1992 and 2017. Building on CPSE's core values, this Award is presented to an agency that has embraced continuous improvement. The Award is focused on outcomes that embody progressive leadership, as well as being internationally accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). Additionally, the organization must have worked collaboratively within their agency and community to innovate a practice leading to improved outcomes that could serve as a model for the fire and emergency service.
Chief Bruegman also served for eight years as a principal member on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1710 Technical Committee, a standard on the organization and deployment of resources in career fire departments. Chief Bruegman is a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers - United States of America Branch and Internationally Designated Chief Fire Officer.
Dr. Kelvin J. Cochran #103
Fire Chief (Ret.) Dr. Kelvin J. Cochran rose through the ranks from a Firefighter in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1981 to Fire Chief from 1999 to 2008. Kelvin served as Fire Chief in the City of Atlanta, Georgia, in 2008-2009 until called by President Barack Obama to serve as the U.S. Fire Administration Administrator 2009-2010. Convinced by the Mayor of Atlanta, Kelvin returned to the City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department to serve a second term as Fire Chief in 2010-2015.
Chief Cochran served on the Metropolitan Fire Chief's Association Board of Directors 2001-2006. Additionally, he served as Second Vice President for the IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs Board of Directors 2005-2006 and First Vice President 2006-2007.
Dr. Cochran has presented papers at several significant international, national, and state conferences on fire and emergency services leadership and management. He has been published in numerous periodicals, newspapers, and association newsletters. In addition, Chief Cochran is a contributing author to several books, including "Pass it On." In 2007, he was one of sixteen members of an IAFC contingent that traveled to Israel to study emergency response to terrorism.
In 2010, Chief Cochran received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association. Additionally, he received the Career Fire Chief of the Year Award from FIRE CHIEF Magazine in 2012.
Harry E. Diezel (1940 - 2019) #104
Chief Diezel assumed the position of Fire Chief in Virginia Beach on May 1, 1974, replacing the Department's first Chief, E.B. Bayne, after his retirement in June of that same year. When Chief Diezel took the helm of the Virginia Beach Fire Department, there were just 120 career firefighters, and today that number has grown to almost 500. So much has changed since 1974, but Chief Diezel's leadership did much to shape this Department into what it is today. Chief Diezel was an early supporter of a diverse workforce. He was always a forward thinker; he hired the first African American, the first woman, the first Native American, and the first Asian American. In addition, he was proactive in seeking to recruit more women into the fire department.Chief Diezel retired from the Virginia Beach Fire Department in 1997.
Chief Diezel networked nationwide to share ideas to improve fire departments through the Baggers group, which he began with a small group of Fire Chiefs, including Chief Alan Brunacini. Innovation was crucial in the group's informal meetings, which focused on challenging existing conditions with new ideas. In addition, Fire Chiefs and staff from across the country met periodically for no holds barred brainstorming sessions, which helped broaden the scope of modern firefighting.
The Virginia Beach Fire Training Center itself is part of Chief Diezel's legacy. He secured the initial funding needed to build the Fire Training Center in 1975. After successfully getting this project into the Capital Improvement Plan in 1975, the next two years allowed the design and bidding process to get underway. Construction of the Fire Training Center began in 1978. In 1979, the 10,000 square foot facility was complete with administration offices, a 120-seat auditorium, training classrooms in addition to a full-service library and burn building. In February of that same year, the facility opened, and 24 VBFD recruit firefighters were first to be trained in the state-of-the-art regional fire training center. In his honor, the Virginia Beach Fire Department renamed their Virginia Beach Fire Training Center to the Harry E. Diezel Fire Training Center.
William D. Killen #105
Fire Chief (Ret.) William "Bill" Killen is a Fire and Emergency Services Consultant and retired Fire Chief with 65+ year's fire risk management and fire and emergency services management experience, 44 years at the Chief Officer level.
Chief Killen is one of four surviving members of the original Astronaut Rescue Team at the Kennedy Space Center Fire Department. He served on four Apollo and three Skylab missions. As President of the IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs, he commissioned the National Mutual Aid System Task Force following Hurricane Katrina, September 2005, resulting in the development of the National Mutual Aid System. In addition, Chief Killen developed and coordinated the publication of "National Mutual Aid System for the Fire Service: A Strategic Plan," September 2006.
Chief Killen is a charter member of the National Fire Heritage Center and served ten years from 2008-2018 as Vice President and three terms as President/CEO. He is a Fellow with the Institution of Fire Engineers- United States of America Branch, where he served as Vice President.
He authored several books, including the "History of the Apollo and Skylab Astronaut Rescue Team" and has been a contributing author to the books "Firefighters" and "Pass It On," and has been published in several national and international fire service publications.
Chief Killen is the recipient of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution's Fire Safety Commendation and Emergency Medical Services Awards in 2021, the Military Firefighter Heritage Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 and he was inducted into the Navy Fire & Emergency Service Hall of Fame in 2004.In addition, he was inducted into the Department of Defense Fire Service Hall of Fame in 2013.
Roger A. McGary #106
Fire Chief (Ret.) Roger A. McGary is a Fire and Emergency Services senior-level leader/manager with over 50 years of experience in public and private emergency services organizations. His responsibilities have included planning, budgeting, personnel management, community relations, and public policy. He is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker and trainer, including recently completing 25 years as a contract instructor in the National Fire Academy's Incident Management Curriculum, teaching Command and General Staff Functions in the Incident Command System; Command and Control (C&C) Decision Making at Multiple Alarm Incidents; C&C National and Manmade Disasters; C&C of Incident Operations; High Rise ICS; Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management. Chief McGary has served in local, regional, and national leadership roles, continuously being recognized for his integrity, progressive thought processes, and willingness to lift others up to improve the Fire Service.
"Throughout his long career, Chief McGary devoted his life to improving the fire service. As a leader, he possesses the ability to attract firefighters of all ranks, teaching them professionalism and commitment. His leadership inspires all to live by those qualities that Chief McGary demonstrated his entire career. Chief McGary has had such effect on hundreds, if not thousands of Fire Officers across the country through his writing, teaching, and example as a national leader." - Assistant Fire Chief (Ret.) Francis "Kip" Deleonibus
"Roger McGary has always been the consummate instructor and leader who has been both a colleague and a mentor. His ability to analyze situations understand their complexity, and imaginatively work through solutions helps people and organizations grow and develop. Roger is an incredible man of integrity and has been a strong supporter of so many young fire officers and fire instructors, and we are in his debt." - Chief (Ret.) Edward Cleveland
Patricia T. Mieszala, RN #107
Patricia Mieszala, RN, served more than 45 years as a special consultant for various fire service groups nationally since the mid-1970s. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her contributions to the fire and life safety education field, particularly her expertise in youth firesetting behaviors, prevention, and interventions. Patricia has taught numerous classes and presented fire and life safety education at local, state, national, and international conferences since 1981, when she began her private consulting firm. She has done so by invitation and contracted by organizations like the U.S. Fire Administration, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the Vision 20/20 Project. In addition, Patricia has taught and provided technical services in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and most Canadian Provinces.
Donald B. Moltrup #108
Fire service leaders have the ability to influence multiple generations of peers. Chief Donald Moltrup began his fire service career in 1962 as a firefighter and quickly rose through the ranks of the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department, Maryland until his appointment as Chief in 1970. Working with Dr. John L. Bryan of the University of Maryland Department of Fire Protection Engineering, they developed one of the first "live in" programs for college students in the early 1970s, a program that continues to this day and in many areas. Through this concept and its graduates (both career and volunteer), Chief Moltrup has impacted the American fire service well beyond his original vision and efforts. Today, the HVFD alumni list reads like a "who's who" in the American fire service, with many of its members and graduates now serving in positions that profoundly impact the fire protection community. Chief Moltrup is well known and respected throughout Maryland for his progressive leadership, knowledge, expertise, fireground command presence, and most importantly, his mentorship of many individuals who have served under him. As a leader, teacher, mentor, and molder of young men and women for over 35 years, Chief Moltrup "Doc" Moltrup fostered an organization and an environment that provided an opportunity for his subordinates and peers to pursue their paths to success. These individuals, in turn, have touched many thousands of people worldwide.
Pamela A. Powell #109
Pam Powell has served nearly 50 years as a staff member and special consultant for various fire service and other fire protection groups. She is a nationally recognized leader in fire and life safety education and fire protection publishing. Pam has served as a writer, editor, and managing editor for the National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA-FPP), Oklahoma State University Fire Service Training, the National Fire Heritage Center and as a Technical Advisor for the Vision 20/20 Project. Pam is the recipient of the Dr. Anne W. Philips Award from the Congressional Fire Services Institute and the International Fire Service Training Association for leadership in fire safety education.
Ronald J. Siarnicki #110
Fire Chief (Ret.) Ronald Jon Siarnicki began his career as a firefighter with the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department in 1978 and, over 24 years, progressed through the ranks to Chief of the Department. In this position, he served as the Chief Executive Officer responsible for the fire, rescue, and emergency medical services of Prince George's County, Maryland. While with the Department, he also served on the Joint Fire and Police Pension Board for four years.
Prior to joining the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, he served as a volunteer firefighter with the Monessen Volunteer Fire Department, Hose House #2, in western Pennsylvania. In doing so, he followed a family tradition-both his father and grandfather were volunteer firefighters.
In July 2001, he retired from the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department to take the position of Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. In this role, he has managed the Foundation's day-to-day operations to include the National Memorial Services, construction of the National Memorial Park, and the renovation of the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In addition, he created the catalyst for the development of the Everyone Goes Home® Program designed to reduce the number of firefighter line-of-duty deaths that occur each year in the United States.
Chief Siarnicki delivers presentations at fire and emergency conferences and meetings across the country, increasing awareness of the Foundation, the efforts of its prevention work, and support for the families of the fallen. In recognition of his outstanding leadership with the Foundation's and the fire service as a whole, he has been recognized by various groups and organizations to include: The Fire Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award, Alan Brunacini Fire Services Executive Safety Award from the IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs' Presidents Award of Distinction, University of Maryland, University College Distinguished Alumnus, American Burn Association's Moncrief Award and the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Silver Medal of Valor.