John M. Buckman III Leadership Award
Sponsored by Provident Insurance and VCOS
The award recognizes a chief officer of a volunteer or combination fire department who stands out on the local or regional level as a true professional who has demonstrated leadership, integrity, and outstanding values within the fire service. The annual award is presented each November at the VCOS Symposium in the Sun.
The 2018 application period will be open later this year. Nominees must be IAFC members.
"Provident has been privileged to work with many truly amazing fire service leaders over the past eighty years." said Jeff Siegrist, Regional Director of Provident Insurance. "During that time, it's been our belief that outstanding fire chiefs from the volunteer and combination services, despite the fact that they represent nearly 80% of our nation's fire service, have been largely unrecognized when it comes to national awards. For that reason, all of us at Provident are very proud to join with the IAFC's Volunteer & Combination Officers Section by sponsoring the John M. Buckman III Leadership Award."
In addition to the actual award, Provident pays the winner's travel and lodging expenses to attend the award ceremonies at the VCOS Symposium in the Sun and the VCOS will waive the recipient's registration fee for the conference.
If you know a chief officer deserving of national recognition for leadership skills, please nominate him or her for the John M. Buckman, III Leadership Award. Nominees must be IAFC members.
2017: Chief Judy Thill, Inver Grove Heights (MN) Fire Department
Past Award Winners
2016: Chief Rich Cowger, Columbus (Mont.) Fire Rescue
2015: Chief Joseph Florentino, Little Elm (TX) Fire Department
2014: Chief Michael Morgan, Fire Chief of Colorado River (Colo.) Fire Rescue
Chief Morgan has been in the fire service for 28 years. He brought his department from an all-volunteer organization with 35 members and one fire station to a combination department of more than 100 members and 5 staffed fire stations. He has developed and instructed many courses at the National Fire Academy and around the country including being instrumental with the VCOS FROG program. He has lobbied to the Colorado congress to make being in the fire service safer for firefighters. Chief Morgan has served in all positions of the Colorado State Fire Chiefs. His most recent accomplishment has been merging two fire departments into one. Some words his nominators used to describe him as a leader include, “willing to be servant first, a mentor, passionate, respected by others, high ethical standards, integrity, a great listener, and takes ownership.”
Pictured left to right: Chief John M. Buckman, III, Chief Mike Morgan, Mr. Jeff Siegrist of Provident.
2013: Chief Charles Addington, II, EFO of Wolfforth (Texas) Fire & EMS
Chief Addington demonstrates the importance and hierarchy of wearing the fifth bugle. He has a commitment to the EMS and fire service for not only his community but for the region and state. He completed the EFO Program in just 2 ½ years. He has been on the Wolfforth City Council for twelve years, is now the Mayor, and participated in National Fire Academy course rewriting (Leadership I, II & III). He is Chief of the Wolfforth Fire Academy. He has been the Medical Director of the Brayton Fire Field in College Station, Texas (and instructor) for eight years. He is a volunteer fire chief for the Wolfforth Fire & EMS Department.
Front row from left to right: Mr. Jeff Siegrist, Provident Insurance, Chief Charles Addington, II, Chief John M. Buckman, III, Mr. Ron Oettel, Provident Insurance. Back row are members from Chief Addington’s department.
2012: Chief Christopher Barron, Fire Chief of the Manchaca (Texas) Fire/Rescue Department
Chief Barron has been a champion for the volunteer firefighters his entire fire service career, not only in Texas but across the country. He actively advocates for the volunteers through his career job as the Executive Director of the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association, by his service as a member of the Rural Fire Advisory Council, the First Responder Advisory Council and the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS).
Pictured left to right: Chief Timothy S. Wall, VCOS Chair, Mr. Barry Balliet, President of Provident, Chief Christopher Barron, Chief John M. Buckman, III.
2011: Chief Christopher Jones, Mount Carmel (Tenn.) Fire Department
During his tenure as fire chief, Chief Jones proved to be a fine example of an effective fire service leader.
Pictured left to right: Chief Christopher Jones receives the award from Chief John M. Buckman, III as Chief Jones' son and Mr. Jeff Siegrist from Provident look on.
2010: Chief John E. Bales, Golden (Colo.) Fire Department
The award was presented by Chief Bales' son, Captain Steve Bales, who, unknownst to his father, was brought to the Symposium in the Sun to make the presentation.
Pictured left to right: Chief John Buckman stands with Chief John Bales as his son, Captain Steve Bales presents the 2010 award.
2009: Chief Randall F. Parr, Tomball (Texas) Fire Department
"Chief Parr is truly an outstanding example of a great fire service leader." said Jeff Siegrist of Provident. "Chief Parr's accomplishments over the course of his long career are many, and his leadership skills are evident to anyone given the opportunity to meet him. I was most impressed by his unassuming, but confident demeanor. On a personal level, he exhibits the type of humility that often seems to be an important characteristic of a true leader... He is quick to give all credit for his success to his subordinates."
Pictured left to right: Chief Randall Parr, U.S. Fire Administrator (2009-2010) Chief Kelvin Cochran and Chief John Buckman.