28-year fire veteran Ernest Malone named IFD chief

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Ernest Malone has been named the 42nd Chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department.

He is a 28-year fire veteran and succeeds Chief Brian Sanford, who announced in April he planned to retire from IFD, on Aug. 11, 2014. He will be chief of staff for the Department of Public Safety. 

"The Indianapolis Fire Department is one of the most respected fire services in the nation," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "Chief Malone's nearly three decades of service makes him the right man to protect the people of this great city and lead the 1,200 men and women of IFD."

Malone began his career at IFD in 1986 as a firefighter.

During his service he has held every merit rank in the department including Battalion Chief.

"I do not have the words to adequately express how honored I am to be named Chief of Fire for the Indianapolis Fire Department," Malone said. "I have seen many changes and positive initiatives implemented during my 28-year career with IFD. Indeed, much has been accomplished, but there is still much to do. This appointment will be the greatest professional challenge of my career. But, I am supremely confident of our organization's continued success because of the courage, commitment, professionalism and dedication of the over 1,200 men and women, both sworn and civilian, who make up this great department." 

He said his appointment is a humbling experience.

"I want to make sure that I don't let these folks down," Malone said. "Certainly our community, but our 1200 men and women put it on the line every day for you. I mean what I said, I want to serve them honorably."

Since 2010, Malone has served as IFD's Assistant Chief of Fire, assisting Chief Sanford with the overall direction of IFD and in the development of IFD policy relating to suppression operations, health and safety, training, special operations and emergency medical services.

"Ernie is an outstanding leader, and is deeply committed to serving the Indianapolis community and the Indianapolis Fire Department," said Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs. "His vision for the department is clear and will ensure IFD continues to hold its position as one of the elite fire departments in America."

Malone holds an associate's degree in fire science, a bachelor's degree in business management, and a master's degree in management. He also completed a 12-month program offered by Indiana University's Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Development and was awarded the designation as a Hoosier Fellow in 2011.

He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy and is currently completing his final research papers for certification as an Executive Fire Officer through the United States Fire Administration.

Earlier this year, Malone achieved the highly-regarded and prestigious designation of Chief Fire Officer (CFO) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, becoming the first Indianapolis firefighter ever to hold that distinction.