The Iowa Association of Professional Fire Chiefs proudly serves
Iowa's fire service.
A membership organization, IAPFC strives to provide leadership
and valued services to support fire chiefs and administrative
officers throughout the state.
is to improve emergency
services in the state of Iowa through leadership, collaboration,
education, safety, information, and representation.
is to provide
and enhance leadership to emergency services in Iowa.
Fire chiefs in the State of Iowa have met for many years to
discuss issues in the fire service. Although it is not known when
they began meeting, some documentation does exist. The first
documented information relates to some of the professional chiefs
serving on the Fire Service Education Committee during 1928. Their
goals were aimed at improving the proficiency of fire service
personnel. Throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s it is assumed that the
professional chiefs met to exchange ideas and information, however
there is little documentation.
In 1951 Mr. Keith Royer, a young educator at Iowa State
University, began to provide valuable information to the
professional chiefs in Ames, Iowa. Keith stressed the need for the
chiefs to meet and consider various goals directed at improving
Iowa’s fire service. Some of their concerns at this time related to
the organization of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the pension
system changes from 410 to 411, and implementation of the Fire
Service Building in Ames. The professional fire Chiefs that
actively participated during the 1950’s included: Harold Nelson of
Clinton, Les Schick of Davenport, Tom Hickson of Dubuque, Charles
Slade of Des Moines, Waldo Merrill of Council Bluffs, Boyd Arnold of
Mason City, Harold Stanton of Storm Lake, and Emil Kohout of Cedar
Rapids. The meetings during the 1950’s were held only when it was
necessary to discuss important issues.
In the early to middle 1960’s the professional chiefs met
quarterly. Chief Bob Dunphy (Dubuque) was active at this time and
provided much of the leadership to the meetings. Keith Royer and
his staff generally determined the agenda for each meeting. Keith
and his instructors conducted various sessions at the meetings.
During the early 1960’s a committee of professional chiefs met with
the governor to offer support for the Fire Marshal’s Office. During
the later years in the 1960’s attendance and interest in the
meetings seemed to decline and meetings were reduced to two per
year. At each conference thereafter one fire chief was assigned to
formulate the meeting and serve as moderator. During 1967 an
advisory committee of profession fire chiefs worked for and
supported the construction of the Fire Service Extension Building in
During the early 1970’s the fire chiefs began to discuss
formal organization of their group to better take actions, make
decisions and to effect positive changes for the fire service. It
was believed that a more formal organization would have a stronger
impact. It was originally suggested that the professional fire
chiefs become a special section of the Iowa Fire Chiefs Association
and that did occur in a fashion. The professional chiefs still
thought their organization should be independent of other chief
entities, but they functioned this way for a time. They continued
to use the “moderator” system through the 1970’s.
On October 3, 1980 at their fall conference the Iowa
Association of Professional Fire Chiefs was formally organized. The
primary purpose of the organization was to provide this segment of
the fire service appropriate representation in statewide fire
service policy matters and legislative actions. Officers of the
newly organized I.A.P.F.C. included: President Bob Dunphy, Vice
President Bill Ell, Sec/Treas. Bob Keating, Director Norm Elgin and
Director Ron Van Horn. At the spring conference in 1981 the
moderator system was discontinued and the President of the
association then conducted formal business meetings. Minutes and
actions of the meetings were formally recorded. Business of the
association has continued in this manner to this date.