Recruitment #1905-6470-001


The City of Tucson is seeking an accomplished professional to serve as the next Fire Chief. The successful candidate will have the ability to develop a vision, strategy, and roadmap to lead the Fire Department and its partners. The Fire Chief is an executive level position that reports to the City Manager and will work closely with his leadership team as well as other key regional stakeholders. This position requires creative and strategic leadership with the ability to fully implement best practices for deployment of firefighting resources as well as emergency management issues. Top candidates for this challenging leadership role must thrive in a robust, fast-paced, and complex environment.

To review the recruitment brochure, click here.

General Description

The Fire Chief is a key member of the City Manager’s Executive Leadership Team and works closely with them as well as other key regional stakeholders. The Fire Chief will be joining a high-energy, creative, and professional executive management team and will assume command of a professional organization with a tradition of providing excellent service. In addition to providing oversight and leadership for the day-to-day operational activities of the Department, he/she will serve as a technical advisor to other City departments on fire, disaster management, and EMS issues. The Chief is also responsible for establishing and maintaining a positive employee/labor relations climate and the proper and efficient use of both human and financial resources. Specific responsibilities and skills required of the Fire Chief include:

  • Providing strong leadership that will inspire achievement and earn the confidence of Department personnel, the Council, City Manager, outside agencies, and the community;
  • Articulating a vision and leading the development of strategic and master plans in support of that vision;
  • Effectively manage the Department’s financial resources and in communicating the Department’s financial structure and position to internal and external stakeholders;
  • Possessing a participative leadership style and working effectively with the City Manager, Council, Department Heads, other agencies, and the affiliated labor association toward the common good of the organization and the community;
  • Ensuring professional development of command staff and employees that will enhance their success as managers, and facilitate positive employee morale and strong organizational performance;
  • Establishing collaborative working relationships and partnerships with community and neighborhood associations, business groups, development organizations, and other agencies, to pursue a common goal of community safety; and
  • Providing an appropriate flow of information to citizens, the media, and interest groups, and serving as the primary spokesperson on matters of fire safety.

In summary, the Fire Chief will provide dynamic leadership and vision to manage people and constructive change while continuing to mentor, coach, and provide staff development.

Minimum Qualifications

Education: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in Fire Science, public or business administration, or a closely related field of study is required.

Experience: This position requires a minimum of five years of progressively responsible and effective management of firefighting operations in multiple functional areas, e.g., fire codes, fire prevention fire suppression, emergency medical services, disaster preparedness, and emergency management; proven interpersonal and negotiating skills. Valid and Unrestricted Class D - Driver's License

Preferred Qualifications: Master’s degree in Public or Business Administration or similar program, Executive Fire Officer Certification and six years management experience, or higher-level education and experience equivalent to twelve years at the Deputy Chief level or higher.

Final Selection and Appointment: The City Manager will select the most highly qualified candidate based on a combination of education, career experience, and accomplishments that best fit the needs of the City of Tucson.

Preferred Qualifications

The selected candidate for consideration as the City of Tucson’s next Fire Chief will be an experienced fire services manager and administrator who possesses the “courage to lead” with outstanding interpersonal and organizational skills. The ideal candidate will have the ability to develop a vision, strategy, and roadmap to lead the Fire Department and its partners. This top executive will have exceptional communication skills and be able to work effectively as leader of a team. The ideal candidate will be amiable, open, and honest and possess a reputation as a firm, competent, fair, and consistent manager. An unblemished record of ethical and professional conduct is essential.

The Fire Chief will establish positive relationships with employees throughout the organization and place a high value on the professional development of staff. The Chief must have a reputation as an effective developer, motivator, and evaluator of subordinate personnel, with a reputation for providing training and education equitably for all. The Fire Chief will be considered a progressive leader within the fire service and be recognized for being an ongoing contributor to the advancement of the profession.

In summary, the Fire Chief will be a positive influence on day-to-day operations, have a “can-do” attitude, and will be comfortable with a hands-on approach to all aspects of the operations.

Selection Plan

This is a confidential process and will be handled accordingly throughout the various stages of the process. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. The first review of resumes will take place on June 24, 2019. This position is open until filled; however, candidates are encouraged to apply early in the process for optimal consideration. Resumes will be reviewed and evaluated throughout the recruitment process.

To be considered, candidates must submit a compelling cover letter, comprehensive resume, salary history, and six professional references.

Interested candidates may apply via email to

Ralph Andersen & Associates will conduct the initial evaluation of submitted materials to determine the best overall match with the established criteria as outlined in this recruitment profile. The evaluation and selection process may consist of a supplemental questionnaire and/or written exercise(s) to further evaluate relative experience and overall suitability for this position. 

Finalist candidates will be required to sign a release form to authorize preliminary reference calls and verifications to be conducted. Employment history, degrees obtained, and other certifications/accomplishments will also be verified.

Should you have any questions regarding this position or the recruitment process, please call Robert Burg at (916) 630-4900. Confidential inquiries are welcomed.


This recruitment will incorporate existing rules and regulations that govern public sector recruitments in the State of Arizona. Information presented to the City of Tucson for consideration may be made available to the public, in accordance with public disclosure/open records laws.