Ronald Jon Siarnicki, the Foundation’s Executive Director, began his career as a firefighter with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department in 1978 and, over 24 years, progressed through the ranks to Chief of the Department. In this position, he served as the Chief Executive Officer responsible for the fire, rescue and emergency medical services of Prince George’s County, Maryland. While with the Department, he also served on the Joint Fire and Police Pension Board for four years.
Prior to joining the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, he served as a volunteer firefighter with the Monessen Volunteer Fire Department, Hose House #2, in western Pennsylvania. In doing so, he followed a family tradition-both his father and grandfather were volunteer firefighters.
In July 2001, he retired from the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department to take the position of Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. In this role, he has managed the day to day operations of the Foundation to include the National Memorial Services, construction of the National Memorial Park and the renovation of the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In addition, he created the catalyst for the development of the Everyone Goes Home® Program designed to reduce the number of firefighter line-of-duty deaths that occur each year in the United States.
Chief Siarnicki delivers presentations at fire and emergency conferences and meetings across the country, increasing awareness of the Foundation, the efforts of its prevention work and support for the families of the fallen. In recognition of his outstanding leadership with the Foundation’s and the fire service as a whole, he has been recognized by various groups and organizations to include: The Fire Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award, Alan Brunacini Fire Services Executive Safety Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs’ Presidents Award of Distinction, University of Maryland, University College Distinguished Alumnus, American Burn Association’s Moncrief Award and the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Silver Medal of Valor.
A strong proponent of higher education, he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and served as a UMUC faculty member for the Fire Science Curriculum.