Fire Service Programs Spotlight: Chief Keith Brower, Special Projects-Community Risk Reduction

Chief Keith Brower is a Special Projects contractor for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). His primary role for the Foundation is serving as a member of the Steering Committee for Vision 20/20. He is also working to update the Be a Hero, Save a Hero® civilian fire safety program and has contributed information for NFFF Connect.

Vision 20/20 is a project under the Institution of Fire Engineers USA Branch (IFE-USA). In 2008 Vision 20/20 held its first meeting, bringing together many experts from across the nation to discuss the gaps in fire prevention. This landmark meeting resulted in identifying five specific strategies that needed to be addressed to help fill the gaps in fire prevention, which has now expanded to Community Risk Reduction (CRR). Although these strategies were intended to reduce the number of fires and the impact to the public, they are also critical to reducing firefighter deaths and injuries. These strategies closely align with the mission of the Foundation, principally through Life Safety Initiatives #14 and #15 as they promote an overall safety culture which is still needed today. Essentially, if the incident is prevented or mitigated, the less risk there is to the firefighter, and Keith seeks to promote these connections at each opportunity.

Additionally, he has recently become an Advocate for Region IV and is in the process of completing his training for that important role. Keith retired as the Fire Chief in Loudoun County (VA) in April 2018, after 45 years of combined career and volunteer service. Prior to becoming Fire Chief, Keith served as the Loudoun County Fire Marshal where he honed his career-long passion for fire prevention, notably around residential fire sprinklers. Prior to his retirement, Keith was honored with the Governor of Virginia’s “Career Fire Chief of the Year” award for his on-going advocacy and legislative support for strong fire and life safety codes.

Keith lives in Beaufort, SC with his wife Cheryl, (where they recently completed a residential sprinkler retrofit). They are the proud parents of three men, and Keith is “Pops” to their grandson, Reid, who also lives in Beaufort. In addition to work for the Foundation, Keith enjoys teaching classes for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), supporting the sprinkler organizations, and fighting firefighter cancer as a sales representative for Ward Diesel Filter Systems.

When not working, he enjoys cooking, fishing, playing golf, walking and light reading.