Skip Navigation
A | A | A
Bookmark this page
Print This Page


The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide, a powerful network of nearly 12,000 fire chiefs, chief officers, company officers and aspiring fire and emergency service leaders. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public-safety policy.

IAFC History and Services

The IAFC is one of the oldest professional associations in the United States, providing a forum for fire and emergency service leaders to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders since 1873.

Founded by fire chiefs wishing to find common solutions to common challenges in the wake of great conflagrations in Chicago and Boston, the association continues to carry on their spirit in our strategic goals: lead, educate and serve. 

Today, the IAFC provides the leaders of the fire and emergency service with:

  • Representation on Capitol Hill
  • Premier conferences and elearning opportunities
  • Resources and programs to help implement model practices
  • Online and face-to-face networking and collaboration
  • Regional resources through IAFC divisions
  • Subject-matter discussion and expertise development through our special interest sections, including EMS, fire and life safety, hazardous materials, health and safety, federal/military service and emergency vehicle management

For more details on IAFC's history, check out the IAFC historical timeline.

About the Fire Service

The fire and emergency service reaches every community, covering urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods. The fire service is the only entity that is locally situated, staffed, trained and equipped to respond to all types of emergencies. The fire department responds to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as to man-made catastrophes, such as hazmat spills, arson and terrorism. As such, the fire and emergency service is a dynamic all-hazard, all-risk response entity.

Download an overview of the American fire and emergency service (pdf, 1.3 mb).

How Can We Help You?

The IAFC has a number of subject-matter experts available to discuss a wide variety of issues facing the fire and emergency service, such as:

  • Emergency/disaster preparedness and management 
  • Federal grant programs for the fire and emergency service 
  • Fire department-based EMS
  • Fire safety and prevention 
  • Fire service legislation 
  • Firefighter health and safety
  • Hazardous materials 
  • Interoperability and communications 
  • Terrorism
  • Wildland fire and the wildland-urban interface

To set up an interview, request to be added to the IAFC news distribution list or request a media pass to an IAFC conference, contact:

Jim Philipps