Metro Chiefs announce Chief of the Year and Lifetime Achievement honorees

Female chief earns top award for first time in Metro’s 56-year history

March 15, 2021The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), announced their award honorees, and for the first time in its 56-year history, fire chiefs from the largest jurisdictions throughout the world have selected a female officer as Fire Chief of the Year.

Mary Cameli, chief of the Mesa Fire and Medical Department in Arizona has earned the Metropolitan Fire Chief of the Year honor, while Chief Mike Duyck (ret.) of the Tualatin (Ore.) Valley Fire & Rescue earned the Russell E. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of service.

Cameli has been a member of the Mesa (Ariz.) Fire and Medical Department (MFMD) since 1983, serving in every rank within the department before assuming her current role in 2016. Recognized by her community as the Mesa Woman of the Year in 2020, Cameli has earned accolades locally, throughout Arizona, and on a national level for spearheading the MFMD program which is regarded as a ‘Gold Standard” example of Integrated Community Health Care. MFMD service delivery elements, and the research and data generated as part of a significant federal Health and Human Services grant, have been shared widely throughout the fire service and medical community to impart important lessons learned. MFMD provides its own separate 9-1-1 communications and dispatch center for their community, as well as their automatic aid partners. Cameli credits her Labor/Management team for the development and success of a critical public safety tax initiative for both police and fire.

Cameli is a past president of the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA), and currently serves as vice chair of the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) Executive Board. She is vice president of the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) Board and co-chairs the IAFC Women Chiefs Council. Cameli holds an Associate Degree in Fire Science, a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education, and a Master’s in Organizational Management.

The Metro Chiefs Lifetime Achievement award, which was renamed to honor longtime NFPA employee and Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders who will retire later this year, has been issued to Mike Duyck, fire chief/chief executive officer (ret.) of Tualatin Valley (Ore.) Fire & Rescue (TVF&R). Duyck led Oregon’s largest fire district, with a service area covering eleven cities and portions of four counties, in over 390 square miles. He was responsible for over 630 firefighters and support staff, who provide progressive fire, emergency medical, and specialty rescue services to approximately 535,000 citizens.

Duyck has more than 33 years of experience in the fire service. He joined TVF&R in 1989 and became fire chief in September 2010, after serving in all ranks of emergency services as well as fleet services, human resources, logistics, emergency management, and government affairs.

In addition to being past president of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, he is a past president of the Western Fire Chiefs Association and served on the IAFC Board of Directors. He serves as chair of Oregon’s State Interoperability Executive Council and is a member of the Department of Homeland Security Executive Committee for the Public Safety Advisory Committee for FirstNet. Duyck is also involved in local, state, and national initiatives addressing firefighter safety and survival, emergency communications dispatch, interoperability, mobile healthcare, fire and EMS service innovation and technology, intergovernmental affairs, government efficiency, and economic development.

Duyck has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Business Administration and an Associate degree in Fire Science. He holds numerous certifications in emergency operations and is an Oregon-certified Paramedic. He completed the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program and is designated as a Center for Public Safety Excellence Chief Fire Officer (CFO).

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research, and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career firefighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary Russ Sanders.  

About the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)

Founded in 1896, NFPA® is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at

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