Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

Merryman new FDSOA Chairman

 The Fire Department Safety Officer Association (FDSOA) announced Jeffery Merryman, deputy chief, Alexandria (VA) Fire Department, was elected the new Chairman of the FDSOA Board of Directors. Merryman has served as Eastern Regional Director for the past four years.

“I am both humbled and honored that the membership has granted me this opportunity to lead this outstanding organization,” said Merryman. “I look forward to the challenges ahead that further advance firefighter and EMS responder safety as well as providing support for Incident Safety Officers and Health and Safety Officers both nationally and internationally.”

Merryman, deputy chief of Health, Safety & Risk Management, has served with Alexandria for 33 years. He joined the FDSOA in 2008 upon his assignment as one of three newly created shift safety officer positions. In 2017, Merryman was presented the International Association of Fire Chief’s Safety Health & Survival Section’s Alan Brunacini Fire Service Executive Safety Award.


In addition, the new FDSOA Vice Chairman is Eric Valliere, Assistant Fire Chief, Scottsdale Fire Department (AZ). 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 joined Scottsdale Fire Department as a Battalion Chief in 2005, when the department transitioned to a municipal organization. Valliere has been serving on the FDSOA Board as a Western Director since 2014 and an FDSOA Nationally Certified Incident Safety Officer since 2004.

Rich Marinucci, FDSOA executive director, extended his appreciation to Richard Maddox for his service as Chairman for the past three years and to Marty Albert for his service as Vice Chairman.

The new Chairman and Vice Chairman will be sworn in to office at the FDSOA’s annual meeting during the 2019 Safety Forum, held Wednesday, January 23rd and Thursday, January 24th.

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The Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) 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. The association is dedicated to the issues that affect the critical role of the safety officer in protecting and promoting the safety and health responsibilities of fire departments, communities and first responders. FDSOA works to helps fire departments achieve proficiency and promote the recognition of training, skills and a secure future. In May 2016, FDSOA won the Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award for its work over 28 years, “as an organization fully dedicated to the health and safety of the nation’s firefighters.”