Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

New FDSOA Chairman and Board members

The Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) announced Jeffrey Merryman, deputy chief, Alexandria, VA, Fire Department, was sworn in as the new Chairman of the FDSOA Board of Directors during its annual meeting in Orlando, January 23rd, 2019.

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. Merryman has served as Eastern Regional Director for the past four years.

As the new Chairman, Merryman addressed the membership and said he was both honored and humbled that the membership placed their trust in him to lead the organization.

“My goal as Chair, and the goal of the entire FDSOA Board of Directors, is to continue to move this organization forward,” said Merryman. “Any organization, including the FDSOA, that is in the business of supporting and advocating for the safety of firefighters, emergency responders and all related support personnel such as emergency vehicle technicians must realize the need for positive growth and change.

“All safety is dynamic, and positive growth and change cannot occur within or outside of any organization without partnerships and relationships.” Merryman added, “As the Chair of the FDSOA, positive working partnerships and relationships will be very important to me.”

Merryman also emphasized the current board’s respect and reverence for those who have served in the past, whether as chairman or other positions within the board of directors and the history of the organization.

“It will be our goal to uphold that respect and maintain the honor of the FDSOA,” said Merryman. “I speak not only for myself, but for my fellow board members, when I say we all believe in the FDSOA, its mission, the work that it has done and we are all ready for the work ahead. We especially believe in our greatest asset–our members! Without the dedicated members of this fantastic organization nothing happens. Together, let us all get to work.”

Left to Right: Vice Chair Valliere and Chairman Merryman



The FDSOA’s new Vice Chairman is Eric Valliere, Assistant Fire Chief, Scottsdale, AZ, Fire Department. Valliere has served on the FDSOA Board as a Western Director since 2014 and an FDSOA Nationally Certified Incident Safety Officer since 2004.

Other new FDSOA Board members include, Eastern Director Mike Johnson, Loudoun, VA;  Western Director Scott Yurczyk, Seattle, WA and Corporate Director Doug Kelley, KME Fire. Former Chairman Richard Maddox moved to the position of Past Chairman. Brian Brown was named the Subject Matter Expert.



Newly Installed 2019 FDSOA Board of Directors



The complete list of the current FDSOA Board can be found at
The 2020 FDSOA Safety Forum will be held January 12-16, in Scottsdale, AZ.