Lee County Fire Chief of the Year Selected

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Fort Myers Beach Fire Department Fire Chief Matthew R. Love, was recently selected by the Lee County Fire Chiefs Association (LCFCA) as the Fire Chief of the Year. This award is only given out once a year and the selection is made by the members of the LCFCA. The recipient is recognized by other local leaders and selected based on notable accomplishments achieved over the past year.

Fire Chief Matthew R. Love joined the Fort Myers Beach Community as Fire Chief in March of 2016 and since that time, has made tremendous progress both internally and externally for the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department. Just of few of his accomplishments as Fire Chief of the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department are:

  • Establishment of Capital Improvement and Sustainment plan to address aging infrastructure in a fiscally conservative manner
  • Leading the Fire Department through the large regional event Hurricane Irma
  • Establishing, maintaining and cultivating new partnerships with our neighbors and other Governmental Entities.
  • Department wide re-organization and rebranding.

Chief Love brought nearly 20 years of fire experience with him when he was selected as Fire Chief of the Fort Myers Beach Department in 2016, having served the emergency services community since 1997 with the support of his wife Kristen and sons, Tyler & Noah. Chief Love has served as a Fire Chief since 2009, and has also served as a Deputy Fire Chief of Operations and Division Chief of Training. He has worked for many emergency service agencies including the City of Colorado Springs Fire Department.

Chief Love has earned the distinguished Chief Fire Officer Designation by the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and he is a proud graduate of the United States Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. Chief Love holds a Master of Science Degree in Leadership with an Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety and Emergency Management, holds an Associate Degree in Fire Science Technology, and an Associate Degree in Wildland Fire Science.

Chief Love spent several years as an adjunct professor for the Colorado Community College system, teaching a variety of Fire Science courses. He also teaches courses in Leadership, Customer Service, and Firefighter Safety throughout the Nation. Chief Love speaks nationwide at various leadership events  and has had the honor of being a reoccurring speaker for United States Air Force Academy Character and Leadership programs. In addition, Chief Love has written for National leadership publications, and many of his research papers have been published by the United States Fire Administration.

Chief Love was recognized by the Colorado Springs Fire Department for his creation of the Firefighter Seatbelt Safety Program, “25 Percent- Simply Preventable.” This program gained national attention after delivery at the National Fire Academy, and a subsequent collaborative effort with Dr. Burton Clark of the U.S. Fire Administration resulted in the promotion of the National Firefighter Seatbelt Pledge.

Chief Love’s career has been strongly focused on Firefighter Training, Departmental Training Program Management, and building training programs for several fire agencies. He is a strong believer in the power of an organization’s Mission, Vision and Values, and provides presentations on “Shared Vision” and “Creating Motivation in Leadership” for both fire and non-emergency service agencies. Chief Love has made it a priority for team members to share in organizational vision and to take ownership of the organization’s values and mission creation.

Information provided by Executive Assistant Fire Chief Ronald L. Martin and the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department.