Chief John Sinclair of the Kittitas Valley Fire Rescue in Washington was recently installed as president and chairman of the board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).
Sinclair will head the 18-member board of directors and serve as the association’s primary spokesperson on national and international issues. Sinclair will also testify on behalf of the organization at congressional hearings and serve as a representative dignitary.
“We are facing significant challenges in the fire service and I want to shine a light on some of them,” Sinclair said. “We are learning more and more about PTSD, and behavioral health issues facing firefighters. Firefighter suicide is a trend we must reverse. Firefighter cancer is on the rise and we need to work together to change the culture of the fire service, honoring the nobility of firefighting, but focusing on health and safety issues after the fire is out. Working together, we can make progress on these issues.”
Sinclair currently serves as the fire chief of Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue, as well as the emergency manager for the city of Ellensburg, Washington. Sinclair has served as a firefighter, paramedic, lieutenant, battalion chief, assistant chief and deputy chief.
Chief Tom Jenkins of the Rodgers Fire Department in Arkansas was also appointed as the association’s first vice president, while Gary Curmode of the Copper Mountain Fire Department in Colorado was appointed as second vice president.
The association’s current president, Chief Rhonda Mae Kerr, will continue to serve on the IAFC executive committee.