Ken Akerley Fire Service Leadership Award


Assistant Chief Ken Akerleys dedication and passion for the fire service, safety, instruction and rural Alaska communities exemplified fire service leadership. He worked through out his life to promote teamwork among the fire service in Alaska in order to improve firefighter and community safety. Ken instilled an enthusiasm for fire service leadership in everyone with whom he worked or taught.

The Ken Akerley Leadership Award was initially awarded as the Fire Officer of the Year award and was first presented in 2006.


The candidate must exhibit an extraordinary commitment to leading their Fire Department and has earned the trust and respect of their subordinates and peers. This can be evidenced by outstanding actions on the fireground or at other functions within their community during the year. A few examples are:

  1. Implementing, supporting and enforcing safety policies to improve firefighter safety for their department.
  2. Mentoring new and current personnel to improve their education and skills preparing them for a long career in the fire service.
  3. Dramatically improve the operational effectiveness of their department by increasing communication between department members.

Leadership can occur at any level, candidates may be any member of the fire service from firefighter to Chief.

List of Recipients:

Year Name Fire Department/Agency
2006 Geoff Coon North Pole Fire Department
2007 Archie Ferguson Kotzebue Fire Department
2008 Mitch Flynn Steese Area Fire Department
2008 David Squires Seward Fire Department
2009 Doug Schrage Anchorage Fire Department
2010 Pete Brown Aniak Fire Department
2011 Steve Manchester Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department
2012 David Tyler AK Division of Fire and Life Safety
2013 Buddy Lane North Pole Fire Department
2014 Michael Holzmueller Steese Volunteer Fire Department
2015 Travis Meads Capital City Fire/Rescue
2016 Eddie Athey Seward Fire Department