October 5, 2011 – Today the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a nomination hearing for Chief Ernest Mitchell, Jr., who was nominated by President Obama to be the United States Fire Administrator.
In his testimony, Mitchell cited the role of the USFA in “elevating and enhancing the American fire service’s response capability.” He spoke of various priorities surrounding all-hazards preparedness, professional development and education for responders and critical life safety issues—particularly for those most vulnerable. “Given the dynamics of change in these times,” said Mitchell “we cannot become satisfied with our efforts to reduce the loss of life and property.”
Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-Maine) both praised Mitchell’s distinguished career in community service and noted their support for a quick confirmation process.
The IAFC endorsed Mitchell’s nomination when it was announced in August. Leaders from the association—including IAFC President Al Gillespie, VCOS Chair Tim Wall and Alexandria (Va.) Fire Chief Adam Thiel—attended the hearing to demonstrate the support of America’s fire and emergency service leaders for Chief Mitchell.
Today’s hearing is the first step in the public confirmation process. It is anticipated that the Senate will vote on the nomination this fall.
About the IAFC
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world’s leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.