Yuma Fire Department Chief awarded 'Fire Officer' designation


Yuma Fire Department Chief awarded 'Fire Officer' designation


Story by: Meteorologist and Reporter Tim Lavigne

YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - One of Yuma Fire Department's very own is honored with the designation of 'Fire Officer' by the Commission of Professional Credentialing.

Yuma Fire Department's Battalion Chief Charlie Smith is now one of 155 people internationally to have been awarded the fire officer designation.

The award is monumental, because it means that Yuma’s Fire Department has one of the best firefighter trainers in the world.

This makes recruiting efforts for the fire department that much easier, because new firefighters know it gives them the potential to follow in Smith’s footsteps.

Chief Smith brings more than 20 years of experience to the table. He served as a fire captain for 10 years before being promoted to Battalion Chief of the EMS Division in the fire department this year.

Smith’s reputation and leadership have inspired firefighters, including Fire Captain Richard Root.

Root says Smith is one of the big reasons that he wants to become a fire officer himself one day.

“He was a mentor to me when I promoted to captain. He set the foundation for me to want to promote. He is a respected member of the fire department and a respected member of the community,” Root said.

The benefits for the Yuma Fire Department don’t end there. Chief Smith is the second battalion chief in Yuma to be designated a Fire Officer.

This means two of the three fire officers in the entire state of Arizona are right here, protecting the City of Yuma.

Aside from Chief Smith, Battalion Chief Mike Walton was awarded the fire officer designation earlier this year, according to YFD Public Information Officer Mike Erfert.

Chief Smith now serves as the department's Emergency Medical System Division Chief, and Chief Walton heads the professional services division.


  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page