Board of Directors: Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association
Luther L. Fincher, Jr.
Fire Chief, Retired, Charlotte Fire Department (N.C.)
Chief Luther L. Fincher, Jr. retired as fire chief of the Charlotte Fire Department in November 2007. He was hired by the department in January 1966 and rose through the ranks to battalion chief. He was promoted to the department'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 appointed emergency management director in December 1984 and consolidated the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office into the Charlotte Fire Department. He held this position until being promoted to fire chief in 1987. In 2000, the Charlotte Fire Department was one of the first 38 fire departments in the U.S. to be accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.
Chief Fincher holds an associate's degree in applied science in fire technology from Central Piedmont Community College and is a graduate of the North Carolina State Fire College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute of Government's Municipal Administration Program and the North Carolina Executive Fire Officers Program. He graduated from the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program, Hazardous Materials Curriculum, Management and Leadership Program. Chief Fincher also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 1989 on a fellowship from the USFA.
In 2000, Chief Fincher was one of the first 15 fire chiefs in the U.S. to receive the Chief Fire Officer designation. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association selected Chief Fincher as the first recipient of the Metropolitan Fire Chief of the Year in 2001.
Chief Fincher was instrumental in the development of the four-year baccalaureate program on Fire Engineering Technology at U.N.C.C. He currently sits on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Board of Advisors and the President's Council of Central Piedmont Community College.
Chief Fincher has been active on the national scene since he became fire chief. He is a charter member of the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section, served three years on the NFPA nominating committee and was the committee's chair in 1998. Chief Fincher was past president of the Metro Chiefs (formerly the Metro Section) of the IAFC from 1993-1994. He also serves on the IAFC board of directors as the Metro Chiefs representative. Chief Fincher is a past president of the IAFC for the year 1999-2000.
Chief Fincher is a Charlotte native. He graduated from Central High School in 1959 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1960-1964. In Charlotte, he has served on the board of directors for the American Red Cross and was chair for the public sector in the United Way campaign in 1991. He and his wife, Gayle, have one son, Luther Fincher, III, who is a captain with the Charlotte Fire Department.
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