The Board of Directors of the National Fire Heritage Center met in Emmitsburg, Maryland, on Oct. 8, 2018 and inducted the following fire and emergency services leaders into the Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders.
Ronny J. Coleman
Retired Fire Chief, California State Fire Marshal, and founding president of the National Fire Heritage Center
Ronny Coleman devoted more than 60 years of his life to the fire service. In 1999, he was selected as one of the 20 Most Influential Fire Service Leaders of the 20th century by Fire Chief Magazine. Chief Coleman has served in many elected positions, including President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
William J. Darley (1928-2018)
Former W. S. Darley President, CEO and Chairman of the Board, W. S. Darley (1950-2010)
William Darley served in several elected positions, including President of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers Association, Director of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation, Liberty Mutual Board of Advisors, and several National Fire Protection Association committees.
Dennis Darvis has over 50 years of technical knowledge, management and leadership qualities which propelled him into the highest levels of the fire service, corporate and political entities. He is a Life Fellow in The Institution of Fire Engineers and holds a Master’s degree of Philosophy. He rose through the ranks from firefighter to Chief Fire Officer of the Cheshire Fire Brigade, which recognized as the most progressive brigade in the United Kingdom.
Thomas N. Forster (1958-2018)
Thomas Forster was instrumental in the development of Skywalker Ranch, where he served as Director of Operations and Facilities. He developed and served for over 20 years as Fire Chief of the Skywalker Ranch Fire Brigade. An avid fire service historian, he served on the Marin County Disaster Council and the Marin Sonoma Fire Training Officers Association, and as Chair of the California State Fire Association Committee for Volunteers.
David E. Hedrick
David Hedrick has a lifetime of contributions to the fire service and a legacy of established training programs. In his 40-year career in fire and emergency services, he has served at the local, state and national level. His specialization and work in fire training has made substantive positive change in the fire service, producing a long-lasting legacy of programs, initiatives and developments.
Clarence Jungwirth (1919-2018)
Clarence Jungwirth was a historian, author, WWII veteran and Oshkosh Truck Engineer. He joined the Army’s 32nd Red Arrow Division in 1940 and served in New Guinea, the Philippines and the liberation of Leyte Island. Upon honorable discharge from the Army, he was employed by Oshkosh Truck and served until the week of his death, a total of 72 years. The Winnebago County Historical and Archaeological Society created the Clarence J. Jungwirth Historian Award in his honor.
Matthew Kelleher (1956-2018)
Kelleher’s 42-year fire service career included service as a volunteer and career firefighter in Montgomery County, Maryland. At the request of the Maryland State Fire Marshal, he chaired the Maryland State Some Alarm Task Force and led the development of the current Maryland Smoke Alarm law, and assumed a lead role in the implementation of Montgomery County’s NFPA 13D requirement for automatic sprinklers in new one and two-family dwellings.
John C. “Jay” Livingston Jr.
Jay Livingston dedicated his life to the safety of others, from his years of service with the Silver Spring Fire Department to starting his own company installing fire sprinkler systems. During his 54-years in the sprinkler industry, he has served on numerous NFPA technical committees and lobbied tirelessly for sprinklers to be mandated in single-family homes in the State of Maryland. A generous businessman, he has donated sprinkler systems to many worthy causes in the Metropolitan Washington DC area.
Mary Marchone is a renowned, internationally recognized leader in Community Risk Reduction who has contributed to numerous state and national organizations and served as Chair of the Fire Safety Educators Section. Mary received the Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for Leadership in Fire Safety Education and was the first State of Maryland Fire Educator of the Year in 1993.
John T. O’Hagan (1925-1991)
At the time of his appointment in 1964, Chief O’Hagan was the youngest FDNY chief in the department’s history. Appointed Commissioner in 1973, he implemented several innovative concepts. He dramatically improved firefighter safety by equipping every on-duty member with a two-way radio, a major first for a large city fire department.
Russell SandersColonel (Fire Chief, Retired)
Russell Sanders has had a long and distinguished career in local, national and international fire and emergency service matters. His name is recognizable throughout the industry and carries respect and admiration for an individual who has devoted his life to improving fire and safety issues. He was awarded the NFPA Metro Fire Chiefs Association’s Award of Distinction and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dwight Williams became a legendary leader in industrial fire protection and built a family business using innovative efforts to make industrial fire protection safer and more effective. He successfully extinguished or controlled over 100 major industrial fires and his post fire assessments to identifying new tools and practices. He owns or has pending 59 firefighting equipment patents and is recognized around the world as the leader in the field of flammable liquid firefighting.
Thomas A. Wright
Thomas Wright has a long and progressive record of active fire department service with career and volunteer fire departments spanning 47 plus years, Fire Chief, and president and chairman of numerous committees. He was a key figure, as an employee of the U.S. Fire Administration, in the establishment of the National Fire Academy and the National Fire Incident Reporting System. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the FEMA Meritorious Service Award in 1983 and 1986.
The National Fire Heritage Center’s Board of Directors established the Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders (HLLL) in 2010. The HLLL provides individual recognition of significant contributions and distinguished service to the fire and emergency services mission.