Award Criteria

One award will be given to a chief officer each year.

Individuals who are eligible for nomination and selection as Fire Chief of the Year are not limited to chiefs of department, but include all chief officers, (assistant chief, deputy chief, battalion chief, fire marshal), past or present, career or volunteer, who are members of the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs’ Association.

Selection criteria will emphasize leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public and contributions to the fire service as a whole. All of a nominee’s fire service activities and accomplishments will be considered, but because this is the Fire Chief of the Year award, special emphasis will be placed on the period when the person holds the rank of chief. For instance, if a chief’s term in office as an assistant, deputy, etc., is from 2003-2006, then all these years should be counted in the selection criteria. A nominee’s command role at a major emergency incident, while relevant, will not be enough to place that individual into contention for the award. All nominees shall be active members of the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs’ Association. The deadline for nominations shall be July 1st of each year.

Once a chief has been selected as the Fire Chief of the Year, he or she shall not be eligible to be nominated in future years.

There will be a standard format for the nominations to include:

  • The Official nomination form
  • A cover letter on the organization’s letterhead, signed by the organization’s chairperson, president, chief or under-chief, describing why this candidate is being nominated.

  • A current resume detailing the candidate’s involvement in the fire service.

  • A minimum of three other documents supporting the candidate’s nomination, such as citations, newspaper articles, or letters of recommendations from appropriate elected or appointed officials.

The nomination and selection process is:

  • A fire department or any member of the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs’ Association can nominate a member. However, nominations submitted by a member must also be accompanied by a cover letter from the fire department.

  • The person making the nomination is responsible to notify the candidate and determine that he or she is willing to participate in the selection process.

  • The nomination package shall be submitted to the Secretary of the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs’ Association no later than July 1st.

  • The winner shall be selected by a special committee appointed by the President of the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs’ Association.

  • The Fire Chief of the Year Award shall be presented at the Annual Meeting by the President.

  • The form of the Award shall be determined by the Board of Directors.