Chief Morris is currently the Fire Chief for the Pine-Strawberry Fire District in Arizona. He served 30 years with the Phoenix Fire Department before 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. After leaving Phoenix Chief Morris served as Fire Chief for the Seattle Fire Department before returning to Arizona to be the Fire Chief for the Rural-Metro Department and was responsible for operations in Maricopa and Pinal counties near Phoenix.
Chief Morris has been an active and passionate advocate for firefighter safety since first assignment as a safety chief for the Phoenix Fire Department. He became a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) immediately after being promoted to chief officer in 1985 and taught at the annual IAFC conference later that year. Chief Morris quickly became a member of the IAFC’s old Safety Committee in 1988 and served as Chair of the Committee during the 2003-2004 period immediately prior to the Committees expansion to the “Safety, Health and Survival Section”. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Section since 2004. He spent 5 years representing the IAFC and the Section on the NFPA’s Technical Committee for the NFPA 1917 Standard for Automotive Ambulance. Chief Morris was a charter member of the IAFC’s Crew Resource Management and Near Miss projects. He was also the project manager in the development of the IAFC’s popular Rules of Engagement.
Chief Morris 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.
Chief Morris has authored more than 100 articles, many related directly to firefighter safety, which have been published in fire and emergency medical service journals. He has lectured to more than 400 fire service conferences 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 at 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 the past President of the National Fire Service Incident Management System Consortium. During the 1990’s, the Consortium completed work to merge the best elements of 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.
Chief Morris has received the Garry Briese IAFC Safety Performance Award for his decades of work on firefighter safety. He was also recognized by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health for his research on the elevated risks of basement fires to firefighters that led to scientific live fire research. That research changed firefighting tactics regarding basement and made the fireground safer.