Skip to main content


Joseph Guarnera

Joseph Guarnera

Chief/Emergency Manager, Athol (MA) Fire Department
United States
Joseph Guarnera is the Chief of Department & Emergency Management Director in the Town of Athol, Massachusetts. He has more than 40 years of experience in public safety as an Emergency Medical Technician, Police Detective, Emergency Management Director, Firefighter, Assistant Fire Chief, and Fire Chief. He Served 18 years with the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services as the Coordinator of Fire Service Instructional Methodology. He is the Ad Hoc Executive Director of the National Fire Administration's Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) Committee, member of the IAFC Professional Development Committee, the FCAM Professional Development Committee, and the NFPA 1041 Standards for Fire Service Instructor Professional Development Qualifications Committee. Guarnera has multiple college degrees including a master's degree in education and has taught for colleges and universities across the United States and the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Massachusetts State Hazardous Materials Response Team, and a Hazardous Materials Specialist and a Hazmat Group Manager with FEMA USAR MATF-1. In 2014 he was awarded the National Fire Administration, FESHE (Fire & Emergency Services Higher Education) Emeritus Award for outstanding dedication to education in the fire service. Guarnera has been a contributing author, content validator, and had been publishes in industry magazines such as Fire House.