National Fire Heritage Center Inducts Hall Members at FDIC International 2019

National Fire Heritage Center

On Thursday, April 11, 2019, at Opening Ceremony Day 2 of FDIC International 2019, the National Fire Heritage Center (NFHC), which serves as a research facility for fire departments, collectors, fire service professionals, and others who need detailed specifications, base information, and general history relative to the fire service, inducted six members to its Hall of Legends, Legacies, and Leaders (HLLL). The NFHCF includes the National Fire Heritage Archives, the National Fire Museum System, and the National Fire Heritage Foundation.

Established in 2010, the HLLL includes prominent fire service leaders who have made significant contributions to fire protection who have been a member of the fire service or fire protection disciplines for at least 25 years and who are known/recognized in the national/international fire service arena.

This year’s inductees are the following:

Chief Luther Fincher was hired by Charlotte, North Carolina, in January 1966 and rose through the ranks to the position of chief in 1987. He was the city’s first hazardous materials coordinator and directed the implementation of the 17 recommendations established by the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Chemical Safety. He was president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) in 1999-2000 and the only chief to serve on the IAFC and National Fire Protection Association boards of directors at the same time. He represented  the U.S. fire service with CTIF (International Association of Fire and Rescue Service).

Chief Theodore Jarboe, a 50-year veteran of the fire and rescue service, retired as deputy chief in 2003 from the Takoma Park (MD) Volunteer Fire Department. Known nationally as an author, an inventor, an instructor, and a safety advocate, Jarboe was instrumental in bringing advances to many fire and rescue topics. In 1995, he was among a team of first responders called to help search for survivors at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City following a bombing that killed 168 people.

Greg Noll began his career in hazardous materials in an environment where limited training materials and no national-level regulations and standards existed. He collaborated with other catalysts in the field, such as John Eversole and Mike Hildebrand, to collectively develop the foundation on which today’s hazmat response and training community is based. His contributions to the national hazmat response community have been substantial. He was a leader in the development of hazmat preparedness policies, doctrine, training, and standards that are the “standard of care” in today’s hazmat response community. Noll also represented the emergency response community on numerous national-level hazmat response initiatives involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fire Administration, U.S. DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, U.S. Chemical Safety Board, and National Academies of Science.

Robert Quinn was Chicago fire commissioner in 1957-78. In 1934, he climbed eight stories to rescue three civilians from a fire in a downtown loop building. That same year, he put a 200-pound woman over his shoulder and, with her clothing on fire, leaped across a four-foot space to an adjoining building. While serving in the Navy during World War II, Quinn was decorated for heroism during a three-day battle against a fire on the tanker USS Montana, which was loaded with aviation fuel.

Julian H. Taliaferro began his fire service career with the Harrisonburg (VA) Fire Department on October 1,1960. Taliaferro was then appointed to the Charlottesville (VA) Fire Department. His fire service career was interrupted in the Fall of 1966 when he entered the United States Army. He served in Vietnam in 1967-68 and was a TET Offensive survivor; he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. In 1968, he returned to the Charlottesville Fire Department and was assigned to training. On February 1, 1970, he was promoted to deputy chief and then was appointed chief of department on September 1, 1971, at the age of 30, making him the youngest chief in the city’s history. During his 34-year tenure as chief, he made many improvements that raised the level of service to the community.

David White is widely respected for his influence on municipal and industrial fire protection education, training, and standards and for bringing industrial fire and emergency response into the forefront with the municipal and volunteer fire service. He has impacted the knowledge and leadership development of thousands of emergency responders worldwide and the professional development of many members of the fire service, particularly in the industrial world. He provided consultation and customized training for industrial and national fire service facilities in 53 countries. 

About the Center

The NFHC, a nonprofit organization, works to preserve the history of “fire in America.” Its preservation efforts, in addition to firefighting, extend to fire prevention, fire protection engineering, fire equipment manufacturing, and any discipline associated with fire protection. The need for a facility “to collect, preserve, and provide access to the historical records of the fire service/fire protection disciplines in the United States” was cited in a  were sowed when the U.S. Fire Administration cited in a study “U.S. Fire Administration report. However, the federal government did not provide funding for this function. The fire protection community then stepped up. Chief Ronny Coleman of California and several other fire protection experts established the independent nonprofit National Fire Heritage Center. The NFHC is supported by private donations and grants. Its contents have been growing so rapidly that it is outgrowing its facility in Emmitsburg, Maryland, adjacent to the National Fire Academy. A search is underway for a new facility that could accommodate its inventory of 15,000 items (expected to double in size by 2020). The new facility will also  include the headquarters for the National Fire Museum System and the National Fire Heritage Foundation. One of the proposed new sites for NFHC is the Armory Building in Elkton, Maryland.The NFHC is working to digitize its files to make accessible through the Internet. Subject matter ranges from fire protection engineering to wildland urban interface to fire aviation. Its Outreach program encompasses U.S. and Canada fire departments, the public, small community and regional fire museums, individual collections, and the Smithsonian and covers topics including firefighting, fire prevention, fire equipment manufacturing, fire apparatus, fire engineering, firesafe designs in building and communities, and fire science, to name a few.

Its executive officers are William D. Killen, president/CEO; Willie G. Shelton, vice president-operations; Stuart M. Nathan, secretary; Rodney A. Slaughter, vice president-finance; Paul D. Brooks, treasurer; and Randy Parr, bookkeeper. For additional information, contact