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Friday, November 22, 2013

Message From Janet Wilmoth On Closing Of FIRE CHIEFMagazine

IT isn't easy to be the headline. As you probably have read by now, FIRE CHIEF is closing its doors, effective tomorrow. Our parent company, Penton, yesterday announced the closing of the 57-year old publication, its website, and supplementary products and events.

I first started with FIRE CHIEF in 1986 as associate editor working for original publisher Marvin Ginn and editor Bill Randleman. Over the years, FIRE CHIEF was bought by and sold to several different publishing companies, with different CEOs, publishers and editors.

In the late eighties, FIRE CHIEF started Industrial Fire Chief. In my time here, FIRE CHIEF has introduced a number of firsts: the tabloid Fire/EMS Product News, the quarterly In Service supplement, and the annual Focus on Foam supplement. In the eighties, FIRE CHIEF included the annual posters of the exhibit hall for the International Association of Fire Chiefs conference. Subsequently, we included oversize posters for Weapons of Mass Destruction response, health and exercise posters, and the ever-popular seatbelt posters. We even introduced the concept of the red, seatbelt wrap, which Rosenbauer produced and distributed over 30,000 wraps.

We introduced the Chief of the Year Awards in 1996, honoring Career Chief Steve Paulsell of Boone County, Mo., and Volunteer Chief John Buckman of German Township, Ind. The award was created to recognize the important role of fire chiefs across North America. Thanks to the support initially from E-ONE and later by Pierce Mfg., we have recognized 34 chiefs of the year.

FIRE CHIEF has always had a very specific target audience - fire chiefs and officers - and each of the editors have been fortunate to secure amazing contributors over the years. Twenty-three year Editor Bill Randleman tapped into the legends of the fire service: William Clark, Don Loeb and Charlie Rule to name a few.

He also is credited with talking Ron Coleman into writing his column, Chief's Clipboard, for the past thirty years. Another editor, Scott Baltic, took FIRE CHIEF to another level with writers like Chuck Burkell of the National Fire Academy, Colin Campbell on Washington updates, and correspondent Tim Elliott. Other editors, including Rick Markley, Glenn Bischoff and most recently Lisa Allegretti Williams have each contributed to FIRE CHIEF's expansion into the digital realm.

FIRE CHIEF has been privileged to be a part of the fire industry for the past 57 years. Many factors that have contributed to the decision to close, including the publishing industry's steady transition to digital, the economy, and the decline in ad revenue that most publishers are facing.

The FIRE CHIEF staff - past and present - is extremely proud of the impact the publication has had on the industry over the years. The fire and emergency services have changed dramatically over the 57 years, no role more so than that of the chief of a fire department.

Thank you for your support, and God bless the American fire service. 
Janet Wilmoth at Fire Chief Magazine.


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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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