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Disaster Zone Podcast: ‘What’s Happening with the Fire Service?’

A great summary for what is impacting the fire service.

Think of all the different types of impacts that are happening to the fire service. Staffing, technology, climate change, to name only a few. My guest for this Disaster Zone podcast, “What’s Happening with the Fire Service?” is one of the better spokespersons for the fire service with years of experience in a wide variety of senior positions across the nation.

See below for a brief description of the podcast and an extensive bio on Commissioner Adam Thiel.

“The fire service is having to adapt to the realities of today’s challenges. In this podcast we hear from one of the national leaders in the fire service. To give you the depth and breadth of his experience I’m including much, but not all, of his biography. How do you measure up when it comes to experience and education?

“In May 2016, Mayor James Kenney appointed Adam Thiel to serve as the 20th Fire Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia. Commissioner Thiel is responsible for leading the Philadelphia Fire Department’s 3,000+ members in every facet of protecting our Nation’s 6th-largest city from fires and emergencies arising from all hazards. Adam also served as Director of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management from 2019-2022.

“From 2014-2016, he was a Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In that role, Adam helped provide strategic direction, policy advice, management oversight, and operational coordination for eleven agencies with an overall budget of more than $3.1B and 30,000 employees. Deputy Secretary Thiel was directly responsible for the Departments of: Emergency Management, Fire Programs (including the State Fire Marshal's Office), Military Affairs (Virginia Army/Air National Guard), and State Police, along with the state’s Homeland Security and Resilience portfolios.

“Commissioner Thiel is currently enrolled in the Organizational Dynamics graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania and he has also completed: doctoral coursework in Public Administration and Public Policy at Arizona State University (ABD) and George Mason University, respectively; a MSc. in Cities from the London School of Economics; his M.P.A. degree from George Mason University; a B.S. in Fire Science from the University of Maryland University College; his B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government; the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security Executive Leaders Program; the Army War College Commandant’s National Security Program; and the Virginia Executive Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University.”
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.