Michael “Mick” Mayers is currently a Battalion Chief with Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire and Rescue and an Emergency Response Coordinator with the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Coordination Team. His experience as a leader in emergency services led him to create and continue to write the award-nominated blog FirehouseZen.com, a well-known website that reflects on leadership and change management.
Chief Mayers is a founder and the past Director of South Carolina’s urban search and rescue program. A graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program, Chief Mayers has nearly completed his degree in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University and holds a degree in Fire Science Technology from Savannah Technical Institute. These reinforce his national professional certifications as a fire officer, instructor, hazardous materials technician, and SCUBA instructor; Mick was also a National Registry Paramedic and EMT Instructor for 25 years before finally retiring those credentials. Chief Mayers began his emergency services career in Bridgeport, PA in 1980.
Mick serves the International Association of Fire Chiefs as a member of the Editorial Board for IAFC’s On Scene magazine; he serves the National Fire Protection Association as a committee member and Chairman of NFPA 1006, Professional Qualifications for Technical Rescuers, and as a member of the NFPA Professional Qualifications Technical Correlating Committee. Chief Mayers is one of the founders and past Board Vice-Chairman of the State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance, a consortium of US&R teams from over 40 states, which has been an advocate for the rescue industry since 2005. During his career he also served on the faculties of the South Carolina Fire Academy and The Technical College of the Lowcountry.
Among many commendations, Mick received his department’s Meritorious Service Medal once in 1984 and again in 2009. In 2005, Chief Mayers was recognized by the South Carolina State Senate for his work in development of the South Carolina US&R program and then honored later that year by the South Carolina Department of Fire and Life Safety for leading SC-TF1 into service in St. Tammany and St. Bernard Parishes (Louisiana) after Hurricane Katrina, where he was the task force’s Incident Support Team Commander.
Chief Mayers began serving as the coordinator of Hilton Head Island’s Special Operations Group in 1990 and was the Fire and EMS Operations Commander during visits to Hilton Head Island by several Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the United States. In that capacity, he was also the detail commander of many major sports and special events held on the Island during that time. Under his supervision, the Hilton Head Island team was brought in as one of four assets first authorized under the South Carolina US&R program as a Regional US&R Response Team.
Mick continues to author articles and coursework involving technical rescue and emergency service leadership. He has spoken at venues that include several State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance conferences and South Carolina State Fire Chiefs’ Association conferences, as well as the 2008 National Hurricane Conference. Mayers has also serves several local non-profit organizations as a board member and is the co-founder and Vice-President of Caroline & Friends, a non-profit established as an advocate for persons with Down syndrome and their families. Chief Mayers is a native of Montgomery County, PA and lives on Hilton Head Island with his daughters Emma, Caroline, and Honora. He is a fourth generation career firefighter; his father is a retired Fire Chief and Fire Marshal, his brother is a fire investigator and arson task force leader in the Baltimore-Washington region. Chief Mayers is available for speaking engagements or other consultation as his schedule permits; for more information, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org