Chief Morris is currently retired and engaged in fire service consulting. He most recently served as the Fire Chief for the Rural-Metro Department and was responsible for operations in Maricopa and Pinal counties, near Phoenix, Arizona. Previously, he was the Fire Chief for the Seattle, Washington, Fire Department. Chief Morris also served 30 years with the Phoenix, Arizona, Fire Department, retiring as Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal. He also held a paramedic certification for 15 years and served as the safety chief officer on two separate assignments while with the Phoenix Fire Department.
Gary holds a Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Supervision (and a minor in Vocational Technical Education) from Arizona State University and an Associate of Arts degree in Fire Science from Phoenix College. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, as well as, Arizona State University’s Advanced Public Executive Program. He also is a Certified Public Manager, obtaining the certification under the auspices of the Consortium of the National Certified Public Manager Program. He is a member in the Institution of Fire Engineers, United States Branch.
Chief Morris has authored over sixty articles, many related directly to firefighter safety, which have been published in fire and emergency medical service journals. He frequently lectures on fire service management, health and safety programs, disaster planning and mass casualty management, police-fire unified command operations, as well as, the application of the Incident Management (Command) System to major incidents. Chief Morris has lectured to over three hundred state, national and international conferences, including conferences in Great Britain, Ireland, Finland, Australia, South Africa, Venezuela and Canada.
Chief Morris has worked as a consultant and contractor for the National Fire Academy and assisted in the development of four Academy courses. He has also served as an adjunct instructor at the Academy’s Emmitsburg, Maryland, campus. He has been a faculty member in the fire service bachelor degree programs for both Arizona State University and Ottawa University.
Chief Morris is currently a member of International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), as well as, several other fire service organizations. Chief Morris participated in the IAFC’s Safety Committee for two decades. He was appointed Chair of the safety committee during 2003-2004. He currently is a member of the Board of Directors for the IAFC’s Safety, Health, and Survival Section. He participated in the IAFC’s Crew Resource Management and Near Miss projects
Chief Morris is the past President of the National Fire Service Incident Management System Consortium. During the 1990’s, the Consortium completed work to merge the two most popular Command systems used by the American fire service – Fireground Command and the Incident Command System. The Consortium has released seven model procedures guides reflecting the merger.
During the 1990’s Chief Morris also assisted the Phoenix Police Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona Department of Corrections, and the Arizona Department of Transportation in adopting the Incident Management System for law enforcement.