Michael “Mick” Mayers retired in 2017 as an executive-level chief officer from a well-known all-hazard response organization and as a command officer on several federal incident management teams. His experience as a leader in emergency services led him to create and write the award-nominated blog FirehouseZen.com, a well-known website reflecting on leadership and change management.
Chief Mayers was 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 completed his degree in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University and holds a degree in Fire Science Technology from Savannah Technical College. 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.
In 2015, Mick was appointed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to the South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Committee and served until 2019. He served the International Association of Fire Chiefs as a member of the Editorial Board for IAFC’s On Scene magazine; 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 Chief Mayers also served on the faculties of the South Carolina Fire Academy, The Technical College of the Lowcountry, and still teaches for the University of North Carolina – Charlotte’s Fire Rescue Management Institute and their EMS Management Institute.
Among many commendations, Mick received his department’s Meritorious Service Medal in 1984 and again in 2009. In 2005, Chief Mayers was recognized by the South Carolina State Senate for his work developing 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. Chief Mayers served many years as a special operations program manager and has held command positions during response to many national disasters, national security events, and in protective details for several Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the United States.
Now after his 40th year in the fire service, Mick serves as a civilian firefighter and EMT on a military installation, staying in touch with the job he loves. On his “off” days, Mick is a professional kayak guide and is a USCG licensed Master Captain. He has also served many 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 only on a very limited basis for speaking engagements or other consultation as his busy schedule permits; for more information, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org