Allen recognized as NC Fire Chief of the Year
Friday, February 12, 2016

Photo courtesy of Karen Holder, Holder Photography

CONCORD – The North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs (NCAFC) has recognized the Concord Fire Department's Chief Ray Allen as its 2016 Fire Chief of the Year. The award was announced in Concord on Saturday, February 6 at the association's annual mid-Winter conference, which has been hosted at the Concord Convention Center since 2011. The 2016 conference had over 700 attendees and vendors in attendance.

This award is the most prestigious honor the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs can bestow upon its chief fire officer executives. It was conceived to recognize truly outstanding fire chiefs whose actions and leadership in their profession, home, community, and country serve as an example and challenge for all other chief fire executives throughout the southeast. His nomination for the award cited his leadership in regional cooperation in the form of the Concord Fire Department's recruitment and training partnerships with surrounding jurisdictions, which allow more frequent and efficient opportunities for all involved. Additionally, the nomination praised his development of automatic aid agreements that benefit thousands of local residents and visitors.

"I am humbled and honored to receive such a prestigious award, especially when the other nominees were people I consider worthy themselves," said Allen. "Receiving this award has emboldened me to work to protect the public trust and continue the Concord Fire Department's long history of community service."

Chief Allen has served in the Concord Fire Department for his entire career, beginning as a Firefighter in 1991. He began gaining leadership experience in 1997 when he was promoted to Senior Firefighter. In 2001, Allen's promotion to the rank of Captain added responsibility for the personnel, training, and equipment of a fire company. He became a Battalion Chief in 2004, where he led several companies on each shift and commanded incident responses.

In 2007, Allen was named Deputy Chief of Operations, with expanded responsibilities including the overall management of daily operations, coordinating with other agencies and community organizations, and assisting the Fire Chief. He contributed to budget preparation and administration, strategic planning, promotional processes, and station construction. He was named Fire Chief in October, 2013. In his capacity as Fire Chief, he directs 190 coworkers in meeting departmental goals and objectives, and manages a 16 million dollar budget.

"We are proud that Chief Allen has been recognized by his peers in this way," said City Manager Brian Hiatt. "Ray has been a leader in our community and organization for over 20 years, and this award speaks to his commitment to his profession and public service beyond his formal responsibilities."

The mission of the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs is to provide a wide range of programs designed to meet the needs and enhance the skills of Fire Service Managers, so they may better protect and educate the fire service and public from the adverse effects of fire, sudden medical emergencies, or exposure of dangerous conditions created by either man or nature. For more information, visit