Growing up in the fire service, Chief Ronald Jon Siarnicki joined the volunteer fire service at sixteen, but knew that he wanted to serve as a career firefighter. In 1978, he became a career firefighter in Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and worked his way up to Chief of Department. After 20 years of service with the department, he knew that he needed to start planning his life after the fire department. That’s when he found an opportunity to serve as Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Chief Ronald Jon Siarnicki

Chief Ronald “Ron” Jon Siarnicki began his career as a firefighter with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department in 1978 and, over 24 years, progressed through the ranks to Chief of the Department. In this position, he served as the Chief Executive Officer responsible for the fire, rescue and emergency medical services of Prince George’s County, Maryland. While with the Department, he also served on the Joint Fire and Police Pension Board for four years.

Prior to joining the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, he served as a volunteer firefighter with the Monessen Volunteer Fire Department, Hose House #2, in western Pennsylvania. In doing so, he followed a family tradition-both his father and grandfather were volunteer firefighters.

In July 2001, he retired from the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department to take the position of Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). In this role, he managed the day-to-day operations of the Foundation to include the National Memorial Services, construction of the National Memorial Park and the renovation of the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In addition, he created the catalyst for the development of innovative training to reduce the number of firefighter line-of-duty deaths that occur each year in the United States. Chief Siarnicki retired from the NFFF in December 2023.

In recognition of his outstanding leadership in the fire service, he has been recognized by various groups and organizations to include: The Fire Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award, Alan Brunacini Fire Services Executive Safety Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs’ Presidents Award of Distinction, University of Maryland, University College Distinguished Alumnus, American Burn Association’s Moncrief Award and the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Silver Medal of Valor.

A strong proponent of higher education, he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and served as a UMUC faculty member for the Fire Science Curriculum.

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About the Series

Inspiration for the Next Generation of Fire Service Leadership

The Legacies in Leadership video series captures thoughts from fire service leaders with advice for the next generation of leaders. Viewers will hear how the nation's fire service legacies started their careers, learn about the impact of notable emergency incidents, and perspectives on how the fire service has changed and what the future holds.

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