Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

The Fire Department Safety Officers Association was established in 1989 as a non-profit Association, incorporated in Massachusetts. In 2013, the offices moved to Michigan.  Its mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community. The Association is led by a volunteer Board of Directors and has a small staff to handle the day to day operations. It is the Association dedicated to the issues that affect your critical role as Safety Officer in protecting and promoting the safety and health responsibilities you have to your department, your community and yourself. In fact, so critical is the role of the Safety Officer in every department in the country, that in a very short time in order to be a qualified Safety Officer, certification may be required. FDSOA works to help you achieve proficiency, promote the recognition of your skills and secure your future.

Mission Statement:

Champion and influence safety practices and standards for all emergency responders by providing education, certification, and networking for safety officers.

Vision Statement:

Be the premier provider of professional development for safety officers.


Executive Board

Richard “Rich” Maddox, Chairman
Term: Jan 2016-Jan 2019

Richard Maddox

Rich began his fire service career in 1974 as a member of the Resolute Hose Company #1 of the Sayville Volunteer Fire Department. He served as Company Captain and Deputy Chief and since 1992 has served as the departments Safety Officer. Rich joined the FDSOA in 1993 and served on the Incident Scene Safety Officer Certification Committee and Seminar Committee. Rich served one three year term as Eastern Regional Director and a three year term as Vice Chairman. Rich is employed by the New York State Office of Mental Health as a Clinical Risk Management Specialist. He has an Associated Degree from SUNY Farmingdale in Applied Sciences a Bachelors Degree in Health Care Administration from Saint Josephs College, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from CW Post University Rich is currently attending CW Post University in their Masters Degree in Nursing Education program.

Martin “Marty” Albert, Vice Chairman
Term: Jan 2017-Jan 2019


Marty Albert has been an active member of the Fire Service for 39 yrs. He is an Ex-Captain of the Babylon Fire Department and is currently serving as a Lieutenant in Engine co #1  in the Bay Shore Fire Department. Marty is a Nationally Certified Incident  Safety Officer. He is also a Nationally Certified Health and Safety Officer. Marty is a graduate of Ithaca College where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. Marty has served as the Eastern Regional Director for the FDSOA for 2 years and in September of 2015 became Vice Chairman of the FDSOA. He has served as 1st Vice President  of the Suffolk Co. Fire & Ems Safety Association and is currently serving as the President of the Suffolk Co. Fire & Ems Safety Association. He looks forward to serving the Members of FDSOA and Moving the FDSOA to be  the Most Recognized and Respected  Organization in Todays Fire Service.


Jeffrey Merryman, Eastern Director
Term: Jan 2018-Jan 2021

Jeff Merryman

Jeff Merryman is a 30-year veteran of the Alexandria, Virginia Fire Department, currently serving as the Deputy Chief of Health, Safety and Risk Management.  Deputy Chief Merryman started in the fire service as volunteer with the Uniontown, PA Fire Department in 1981 before joining the Alexandria Fire Department in January of 1986.  Chief Merryman is educated in Occupational Safety and Health through Columbia Southern University.  Chief Merryman holds Pro Board certification via the FDSOA for Incident Safety Officer and Health & Safety Officer.

Mike Richardson, Eastern Director
Term: Jan 2017-Jan 2020

Mike R 1

Mike Richardson has 30 years of experience, with 8 years of military service, and 22 years in public safety, having worked in EMS, Fire, and Law Enforcement. Over those 22 years he worked in both volunteer and career positions for a number of agencies in the states of Florida, Kentucky, and New York. He currently serves as the Division Chief of Training & Safety for the East Louisville Metro Fire Protection Districts in KY.

Chief Richardson’s higher education includes an AS in Fire Science & Technology from Corning Community College New York, a BS in Fire & Safety Engineering, and a MS in Loss Prevention & Safety both from Eastern KY University. He also holds a Pro Board certification via the FDSOA for Incident Safety Officer and Health & Safety Officer.

During the past 15 years he has focused on improving firefighter safety and health at the local, state, and national level to include:

  • – Serving as an Instructor/ Lecturer at FDIC, Firehouse Expo, Fire-Rescue International, and Interschutz. He has had the privilege to instruct students in 38 states and 8 countries.
  • – Authoring numerous articles for publications to include Fire Engineering, Firehouse, Fire Rescue, Fire Chief, and the FDSOA Newsletter.
  • – Developing new training programs to include Thermal Imaging for Haz Mat Response, Thermal Imaging and Modern Fire Behavior, and Improving Firefighter Safety with Thermal Imaging.

Lance Vinson, Western Director
Term: Jan 2018-Jan 2021 (started term Sept. 2018)

Lance entered the Fire Service in 2001. At that time he was working for a large uniform delivery service company and decided to enroll in the local fire academy. During that year he became a member of a rural volunteer fire department. He was a member of the volunteer service for 7 years and served as an assist chief during that time. Following graduation from the fire academy Lance began his first career assignment working as a firefighter at a DOE facility. The work done at this nuclear weapons plant gave him a greater understanding of strong safety culture, and also yielded  a firm understanding of the industrial fire service. He worked there until 2005. In April 2005 Lance lost one of his friends in a LODD from falling out of a moving apparatus while responding to a structure fire. Following that event, Lance left the DOE facility, and began working for the Amarillo Fire Department. He is currently serves as the Captain in charge of the Safety program, with close to 14 years experience in his current city. Lance’s views on safety, tactics, culture and education continue to evolve; he strives to make positive impacts on today’s fire service.

Lance is married to an RN at a local trauma center, and they have two daughters. As a family they enjoy camping, hiking, and hunting. The Vinson family also loves baseball and travels to watch live games several times a year.

Eric Valliere, Western Director
Term: Jan 2017-Jan 2020

Eric Valliere has been an active member of the Fire Service for the past 27 years. He started as a Firefighter with the Mesa Fire Department (AZ) in 1991 and came to the Scottsdale Fire Department (AZ) (SFD) as a Battalion Chief in 2005 – when the department was transitioning to a municipal organization. During his career he has held the ranks of Firefighter, Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, and currently holds the rank of Assistant Fire Chief. He has been serving on the FDSOA Board as a Western Director since 2014 and a Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) Nationally Certified Incident Safety Officer since 2004.

Assistant Fire Chief Valliere has worked in all areas of the Fire Department to include; Fire Operations and Safety, Emergency Medical Services, Training, Professional Standards/Personnel, Resource Management, and Prevention/Fire Plans Review. He has a BS in Business Administration and Finance from Columbia Southern University, an AA in Business Administration and an AAS in Fire Science from Mesa Community College.

He is very active in regional committees and Fire Department Labor-Management Teams. Currently, Chief Valliere is the Chair of the Phoenix Regional Valley Safety Officers (VSO) Committee, and the past East Valley Chair of the Regional Operations Consistency Committee (ROCC) within the Central Arizona Life Safety Council. Additionally, he is an AZ State Advocate for the NFFF.

Chief Valliere has a passion for safety and strives to strengthen the safety culture within his organization, the state of Arizona and the Phoenix Regional Dispatch System through the VSO Committee, and nationally by promoting the FDSOA’s and NFFF’s mission. He feels it is critically important to: promote the 16 FF Safety Initiatives at the local and national levels, promote new and innovative ways to deliver safety education and information, and build a consistent and sustainable safety culture nationally.


Terry Stewart, International Director
Term: Jan 2018 -Jan 2021


Terry Stewart is a 30 veteran in the Fire Services. Terry started with the Cayuga Volunteer Fire Department, Ontario, Canada in 1987, to the rank of Deputy Chief. In 1998 Terry joined Mississauga Fire & Emergency Services in Ontario, Canada. During his tenure with Mississauga Fire, Terry was a Fire Officer I, Instructor II, Pro Board-Certified Incident Safety Officer through FDSOA, Certified in teaching adults from Georgian College. Terry was elected to the FDSOA board in 2015 as the International Director and is currently in his second term. He has a strong understanding of the needs of Volunteers and Professional Fire Fighters. A Respectful Work Place, Fire Fighter Safety and well-maintained Apparatus and Equipment are his priorities. Terry is the PMR for the development of the new FDSOA Emergency Vehicle Technician program to be launched in 2019. However big or small, Volunteer or Professional, Terry commits himself to a Respectful and Safe work place.
Creating a Safety Culture is Priority One, so Everyone Goes Home

Doug Kelly  –  Corporate Director
Term: Appointed by FAMA and Board

Michael “Mike” Petroff, Past – Chairman

Petroff photo

Mike retired as a Battalion Chief after 32 years with Ferguson MO Fire Department. He started his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Warrensburg, MO and the Pattonville Bridgeton Terrace F.P.D. in St. Louis County, MO simultaneously in 1970.  He is certified Instructor III, Incident Safety Officer, Fire Officer II, was a member of the St. Louis County Overhead Response Team. Mike also served as Region VII Regional Advocate for the National Fallen Firefighters Everyone Goes Home program from 2006-2015. He served as Western Director 2005-2008. Mike served as Chairman 2011-2015 and has been an active member of the FDSOA since 2002.

Rich Marinucci  –  FDSOA Executive Director

Rich Marinucci –  Fire Chief, Retired
Chief Richard Marinucci has over 39 years of experience in the fire service. He served nearly 25 years as the Fire Chief of Farmington Hills. He was also Chief of Northville Township for 7.5 years. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Fire Department Safety Officers Association. Chief Marinucci is a Past President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and served as Acting Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Fire Administration. He was the national program manager for the Everyone Goes Home program of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation from 2008 – 2011


Linda Stone

Kathy Whitehead