Mesa Fire and Medical Department Chief Harry Beck will be recognized tomorrow, Aug. 18, as career Fire Chief of the Year by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) during the Fire-Rescue International (FRI) general session at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Selected by a committee appointed by the IAFC, Beck will be honored for his leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, and contributions to the fire service as a whole for 2016.
“With this award, we celebrate the achievement of Chief Harry Beck and his commitment to the advancement of the fire service on a local, regional and national level,” said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president of the Fire and Emergency segment and Pierce Manufacturing. “Pierce is pleased to acknowledge the positive impact of this truly exceptional leader; all of us benefit from his leadership, dedication, and integrity.”
Beck, who has devoted more than 40 years to fire and emergency services, began his career with the Phoenix Fire Department where he rose through the ranks to the position of deputy fire chief. He joined the Mesa Fire and Medical Department (MFMD), located in the nation’s 38th largest city, as fire chief in 2003. Known as a progressive team builder and innovator, Beck’s accomplishments with MFMD are far reaching and reflect a leadership style that fosters empowerment and collaboration. As chief he established a five-year strategic vision that guided the department through financial challenges during the Great Recession. Beck led efforts in developing innovative processes – through partnering with health services organizations – to deliver fire service-based EMS that has set an example for the state of Arizona, and which has the potential to revolutionize it on a national basis. Through this process, Beck was able to secure a multi-year Healthcare Innovation Grant totaling $12.5 million to enable MFMD to expand programs to provide more efficient and effective emergency response for those who call 911 for help. He coordinated with the United Mesa Fire Fighters to lead the development and implementation of improved services for first responders, including PTSD awareness, life stress and addiction awareness, and resiliency training. Earlier this year, Beck secured funding for a new MFMD Dispatch Center and City Emergency Operations Center.
Recognition for outstanding efforts include the Congressional Fire Services Institute Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award, Telly Awards for Public Education Programming and Automatic Aid Education, and an Emmy Award for Drowning Awareness and Prevention. Beck is an active member of the NFPA, the IAFC, and the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association. He serves on multiple boards, including the Mountain Vista Medical Center and Life Safety Council, and is an Advisory Board member for the East Valley ACS Relay for Life. Known for having an open mind and being an excellent listener, Beck exemplifies the characteristics of a true leader worthy of Fire Chief of the Year.