Mayor Chris Beutler today named Assistant Fire Chief John Huff, a veteran of 37 years with the Lincoln Fire and Rescue Department (LFR), as Interim Fire Chief. This is the last work day for Niles Ford, who resigned as Fire Chief to accept the City Manager position in Chamblee, Georgia.
"I am very pleased that John has agreed to serve as Interim Chief," said Mayor Beutler. "I'm confident that with his depth of experience, the Department will be in fine hands as we begin to discuss the future direction and management of Lincoln Fire and Rescue."
As Assistant Chief, Huff has been responsible for LFR's support services, such as administration, training and maintenance. He began his LFR career in 1974 as a firefighter and served as company officer on both engine and truck apparatus. He was named Deputy Chief in emergency services in 1991 and Deputy Chief of administration in 1992, a position that was re-titled as Assistant Chief in 2002.
Huff has been involved in the Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue Program based at LFR since its inception in 1991. He also is Task Force Leader for Nebraska Task Force 1. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he spent 10 days directing search and rescue operations at the Pentagon. He also responded to the1995 Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City, the 2007 tornado in Greensburg, Kansas and many hurricanes. He spent two weeks in New Orleans directing task forces following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Huff is a graduate of the Southeast Community College (SCC) Fire Protection Program and the National Fire Academy - Executive Fire Officer Program. He's been an instructor for the Community College Fire Science program and is a member of the Fire Protection Advisory Committee at SCC. He earned a bachelor's degree in Public Administration from Doane College in 1995.
Huff has coordinated LFR's Hazardous Materials Program for more than 10 years. He represented LFR on the original Emergency Medical Services committee from 1991 to 1994. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association, the local chapter of the National Management Association and other community and professional organizations.