The City of Hazelwood has appointed David R. Herman as the new Fire Chief for the Hazelwood Fire Department. He is replacing Hazelwood’s current Fire Chief Dave Radel who recently announced his retirement and chose January 31st as his last day. Herman will be taking the helm of a department with 31 full-time firefighter/paramedics and a budget of more than $4.6 million dollars.
Herman’s 37-year career in the fire and EMS profession began in December 1979. He started with Glendale Fire Department for approximately four years and then moved his way up to West County EMS and Fire for 20 years. In addition, he’s been a firefighter/paramedics with the Maryland Heights Fire District for 13 years.
His inspiration to become a firefighter/paramedic came from a family tradition of public service. “I was inspired by my father and great uncle who both served as firefighters. After growing up in a family that honored and respected the Fire/EMS service, it just seemed like the natural thing to do. I’ve never considered doing anything else,” David Herman said.
Herman’s impressive credentials include a B.A. degree in Applied Behavorial Science/Human Resource Management with 53 credits earned towards an Associate’s degree in Fire Service at St. Louis Community College, including the completion of all fire courses. He became a Haz-Mat Technician in 1993 and is a former member of the St. Louis County Haz-Mat Team. In addition, Herman is a certified instructor/trainer for PHTLS, EMT, ACLS, PALS, CPR and EOA/PCPD. He also acquired advanced high-angle and confined-space rescue training through the St. Louis Fire Academy.
“You could say that I’ve worked my way up from the bottom. I was a Battalion Chief, EMS Chief and Assistant Chief with the West County EMS and Fire Protection District. And, I later served as the Fire Chief for the Maryland Heights Fire Protection District,” he added.
Some of his commendations include the following:
In 2016, he received a team award from the St. Louis County Training Coordinates for commanding a 2-alarm fire in which five people were rescued from a burning apartment building;
In 1998, Town and Country Police Department awarded him the Public Service Award;
In February 1994, the Manchester Fire District commended him for saving four lives in a second-floor apartment building fire;
In 1994, West County Jaycees presented him with the Firefighter of the Year award;
He was the Employee of the Month for the Manchester Fire Protection District in January 1991 and April 1992;
In 1988, he received Mercy Hospital of St. Louis’ (formerly St. John’s Medical Center) EMS Provider of the Year award.
Herman’s professional accomplishments are more noteworthy:
Saved the Maryland Heights Fire District over $800,000 annually by evaluating costs, reducing spending and reducing workers’ compensation insurance costs;
Spearheaded and passed an increase in the ambulance fund tax, generating $1.4 million in additional revenue for the Maryland Heights Fire District;
Started a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program for the Maryland Heights Fire District;
Authored EMS legislation that won approval in the state of Missouri;
Produced two Working Fire training videos on programs he initiated which have been distributed to other fire departments nationwide;
Computerized entire EMS system, including the Continuing Education Program.
When asked what he liked about being a Fire Chief, here is Herman’s response: ” I am passionate about sharing my experience with other firefighters and paramedics. I enjoy implementing changes that positively impact the fire service and safety of the community.”
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