Chief of Airport Rescue and Firefighting

MKE Airport

The Milwaukee County Fire Department at General Mitchell International Airport strives for excellence in emergency preparedness and response to enhance our customer focused, innovative role as industry leaders while overcoming expanding risks. We are committed to excellent leadership and professional accountability. We will achieve this through effective training, use of technology and adaptation to the changing needs of our community. There is one Fire Station which is strategically located near the middle of the airfield, close to the intersection of GMIA’s two longest runways. MCFD is also a full participating member of MABAS Division 107 (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System), which allows our MABAS partners to call upon our large supply of Firefighting Foam and our unique application devices.

Reporting to the Airport’s Director of Safety and Security, this role is focused on leading a team of professionals in the advancement of the Chief of Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting goals for Milwaukee County. Functions of the Chief of Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting as part of the Milwaukee Airport Division are: management of the airport fire department including emergency and non-emergency operations, ensures compliance with all applicable federal, state, and county regulations including Federal Aviation Regulation Part 139, directs the training of personnel, oversee the inspection of airport structures and facilities, custodian of department reports and records, provides risk managerial expertise to airport staff.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Manage emergency and non-emergency activities to include administering discipline, writing appraisals, and representing airport management during grievance procedures.
  • Oversee the design, development, and implementation of training programs to include Job Performance Requirements consistent with NFPA standards and FAR 139 requirements.
  • Oversee the design, development, and implementation of training programs to include Job Performance Requirements consistent with NFPA standards and FAR 139 requirements.
  • Oversee training of personnel (department, mutual aid departments, airport, and tenants) in the latest techniques of firefighting, prevention, and handling hazardous materials in an airport environment.
  • Ensure construction of all new airport facilities comply with all NFPA Codes.  Design, develop and implement inspection programs IAW FAR 139 and NFPA Codes.  Ensure inspections are performed and records are maintained.
  • Direct, research, and investigate hazardous material releases and assess environmental threat for LEPC.  Review and update Airport Emergency Plan (AEP) and conduct exercises to test plan and response by airport personnel and other responders.
  • Manage the maintenance of firefighting apparatus and appliances at the airport and fire station.
  • Prepare annual budgets and requisition of equipment and supplies necessary for the operation of the department.  Conduct monthly reviews of budgets to make sure division remains on track with budgetary objectives.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

  • Must be a current resident of the United States.
  • Course work or experience equivalent to a degree in Fire Science, Business Administration, or related field or the equivalent combination of education and/or relevant experience. Minimum of eight (8) years of progressively responsible experience (such as experience as a battalion chief, operations chief, or other responsible supervisory position) in the operation and management of an airport fire department is required.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Fire Science, Administration, or closely related field is highly desired/ preferred.
  • Ten (10) or more years of experience as a firefighter with seven (7) years of Airport firefighting experience.
  • Four (4) or more years of command level experience.
  • Experience in compliance with FAR Part 139 and NAS 3306 is essential
  • Ability to lift, carry, push, and pull up to 100lbs on a regular basis.

NOTE: High desired/preferred – Currently enrolled in or graduated from the NFA’s Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP).  A physical exam that meets National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards will be required for those who are not currently employed with the Milwaukee County Fire Department.


  • Must have the ability to acquire upon hiring a Class II Airfield Driver’s License
  • Valid Driver’s License at time of application with the ability to obtain a Wisconsin driver’s license within six (6) months of hire and maintain throughout employment.


  • Airport Firefighter (NFPA 1003) or equivalent
  • Fire Officer II (IFSAC/ProBoard or equivalent
  • Fire Instructor II (IFSAC/ProBoard or equivalent
  • Hazmat Operations
  • ICS: 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, 800 or equivalents.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Knowledge of all related computer and software applications such Microsoft Office as well as Web based applications for tracking response data.  Skilled at internal and frequent external communication; gathering information, answering queries, and building strong working relationships.  A good command of public speaking and information sharing.    Read, analyze, and interpret safety rules, operating/maintenance instructions, procedural manuals, business manuals, technical procedures, and government regulations.  Draft routine reports.  Regularly make decisions of responsibility, involving evaluation of information.  Decisions may require development or application of alternatives or precedents.  Able to lift, carry, push, and pull up to 50lbs on a regular basis.

Note: This Original Examination is open to all qualified candidates of the United States. In accordance Section 11, Rule 3 of the Civil Service Rules a non-competitive examination will be held for this position. The non-competitive examination will consist of criteria deemed appropriate by the Director of Human Resources to rank applicants on the eligible list for this position.

Note: Finalists will be required to prepare a “First 100 days” plan review as part of their application process.  Milwaukee County offers a comprehensive blend of benefits designed to make your life better both inside and outside of the workplace. Milwaukee County conducts job related criminal background checks and pre-employment screenings

Milwaukee County is committed to fostering an equitable working environment, free from discrimination and harassment, on the basis of any characteristic protected by law. We prohibit any form of discrimination, harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, pregnancy related condition, national origin, age, disability, FMLA status, sexual orientation, military status, marital status, or any other category or status that is now or in the future protected by federal, state, and local law. We maintain a drug-free workplace and perform pre-employment substance abuse testing, background checks and pre-employment physicals subject to job requirements. If special accommodations are needed, please contact 414-278-3936.

Effective October 1, 2021, Milwaukee County will require all employees to have completed COVID-19 vaccinations and provide proof of vaccination or have submitted a completed medical or religious exemption and accommodation request. All persons offered a position will be required to provide proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination at time of hire or have submitted a completed medical or religious exemption and accommodation request and been approved for an accommodation prior to hire.

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