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Chief John Tippett

John Tippett

Chief (Ret.)
Director of Fire Service Programs, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF)

Chief (Ret.) John Tippett is the Director of Fire Service Programs at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). He is a 48-year veteran of the fire service and joined the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) in April of 2018. Chief Tippett began his career as a volunteer in Montgomery County, Maryland, in 1974. He was hired as a career firefighter in Montgomery County in 1976 and spent the next 33 years with various departments across the county, serving as a firefighter, company officer, and battalion chief. He was also an adjunct instructor, member, and task force leader of Maryland Task Force 1, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urban search and rescue team, as well as an integral part of the department's safety office.

Chief Tippett retired from Montgomery County in 2009 as the Safety Battalion Chief to take a position with the Charleston Fire Department in South Carolina as its first Deputy Chief of Operations. John spent the next seven and a half years as the Operations Deputy, assisting with the rebuilding of the fire department after the Sofa Super Store Fire. From 2017 to 2018, he served as interim Fire Chief and is still actively serving with the North Beach Volunteer Fire Department in Calvert County, Maryland.

Chief Tippett has worked extensively on firefighter safety initiatives throughout his career, including introducing Crew Resource Management to the fire service and the National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System (NFFNMRS). He frequently writes and lectures on topics of firefighter safety, decision making, leadership, and strategy and tactics. He is a Fellow with the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) and currently serves as an at large board member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health, and Survival Section, and holds Health and Safety Officer (HSO) and Incident Safety Officer (ISO) credentials through the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA). Chief Tippett was the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) George D. Post Instructor of the Year in 2006.

Chief Tippett holds a BS in Fire Science and an MS in Emergency Services Management from Columbia Southern University. He earned his Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) in 2012 and has successfully re-certified since.