The Mesa Fire and Medical Department announced recently that Deputy Chief Forrest Smith has been selected as the new assistant fire chief replacing Assistant Chief Mike Dunn, who is retiring in July.
Smith is the first Black assistant chief for the Mesa Fire and Medical Department.
“Forrest is a visionary leader. He has consistently proposed new program models and developed award-winning initiatives for the department,” Fire Chief Mary Cameli said in a release. “Forrest has established great relationships with our Mesa community as well as with our sworn and civilian staff. I look forward to what he will accomplish in this new role.”
Smith joined the department in 1999 and has served the residents of Mesa for 23 years, rising through the ranks of firefighter/paramedic, captain/paramedic and deputy chief. He oversees the Departmental Communications-Public Information Division, Community Education Division and the Social Services Division. Forrest has a bachelor of arts degree in public relations from California State University at Fullerton.
He has served on a variety of community boards and committees, including the Public Relations Society of America, the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts & Science Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter, Visit Mesa, the National Forum of Black Public Administrators, the 100 Black Men of Phoenix, East Valley United Black Firefighters, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Arizona, Mesa Fire and Medical Department Honor Guard/Pipes and Drums, the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association, the Arizona Local State Assistance Team (AZ L.A.S.T) and served as a member of the Public Safety Advisory Group to former Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon.
He is a graduate of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce Leadership and Training Development program and served as a committee member, and program curriculum coordinator. He is a FEMA instructor for the Arizona Department of Military and Emergency Affairs.
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