This year, the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs (AAFC) has selected Huntsville’s Chief Mac McFarlen as the Career Fire Chief of the Year. Chief McFarlen carries 45 years of experience and has greatly improved the public safety of Madison County and the City of Huntsville.
Contributing to a better Huntsville
There’s no doubt that without Chief Mac McFarlen, Huntsville would be a different place. He’s always the first to respond when natural disaster strikes. Additionally, he has significantly enhanced training strategies for the city’s public safety officials over the years.
“Mac has gotten our community through numerous disasters, from devastating tornados and floods to harrowing rescues and industrial accidents. He has consistently advocated for and implemented the highest training, health, fitness and accreditation standards for his employees. He also fought for competitive pay for personnel, along with state-of-the-art facilities, technology and equipment.”Mayor Tommy Battle
Check out a few of Chief McFarlen’s most notable contributions to Huntsville:
- Secured funding, developed, enacted and oversaw a new dispatch unit for 17 volunteer fire departments in Madison County
- Restructured the radio numbering system to become first in the region certified by National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatchers
- Served as chair of the Huntsville/Madison County E911 Operations Executive Committee
- Reorganized Huntsville Fire & Rescue’s Hazmat Team to become a top-notch, 24/7 special assignment unit
- Guided the unit in becoming a special operations division and joining the Alabama Mutual Aid System (AMAS)
- Chaired the AMAS Training Committee and facilitated the training and growth of all AMAS teams statewide
The Career Fire Chief of the Year Award
The Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs (AAFC) is a a fellowship of fire chiefs and senior chief officers from across the state. The Career Fire Chief of the Year is the most prestigious honor a fire chief can attain. It’s given to an individual whose leadership in the home and community serves as a beacon for the city, state and beyond.
“Rarely does one encounter an individual with a passion for service and public safety that matches that of Chief Mac McFarlen. He has worked hard to advance firefighter and rescue worker excellence. There is not a single public safety organization or operation in Huntsville that has not benefitted in some way from his work.”Mayor Tommy Battle
Upon receiving the news that he was selected as AAFC’s Career Fire Chief of the Year, Chief McFarlen’s responded in gratitude to those he serves alongside.
“I am extremely grateful for this award, and thank the AAFC for this honor. I am also thankful for the brave men and women of Huntsville Fire & Rescue who I have the great privilege of leading each day. I look forward to continuing to serve with you and for the community as a whole.”Chief Mac McFarlen