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Bobby Halton honored with posthumous Lifetime Achievement award at FDIC 2023

The late chief began his career in 1984 with the Albuquerque Fire Department and was later tapped to take the reins of Fire Engineering magazine



By FireRescue1 Staff

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — During today’s opening ceremony at FDIC 2023, the late Bobby Halton, longtime editor-in-chief of Fire Engineering magazine and education director of FDIC, was honored with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on behalf of firefighters and the industry.

Halton began his firefighting career in 1984 with the Albuquerque (N.M.) Fire Department, where he earned his paramedic license and later served as chief of training before taking over as chief of operations prior to retiring from the department in 2004. Halton later served as chief of the Coppell (Texas) Fire Department before beginning his tenure both in the fire service publishing world and FDIC in 2005.

After Halton’s passing on Dec. 22, 2022, tributes for the late chief poured in from fire service leaders around the country. Chief Tim Sendelbach of the Loveland (Colo.) Fire Department lamented the loss of his friend, who he saw as a “a tireless advocate with a voice that has inspired firefighters of all ranks to better themselves and those they serve.” Just one example of this commitment came during the 2012 FDIC conference where Halton recited the “Firefighter’s Creed,” which he adapted from the U.S. Coast Guard in a powerful presentation:

Lexipol co-founder and risk management expert Gordon Graham said of Halton:

To most people, he was highly respected in the fire service, but as we met and dined together, I learned his ‘fire side’ was just the tip of the iceberg. Bobby was an ‘eclectic and voracious’ reader, and conversations with him would include Plato, Eisenhower, Musk, Brunacini and Zelensky – sometimes all in the same topic being discussed. Most important to me was the love he had for his family – particularly his wife, Marsha, and how proud he was of his children. The fire service has lost a treasured icon and I will miss him and his contributions dearly.”

Halton was a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), and served on technical committees for the NFPA. He was also a proponent of firefighter health and safety, and worked with the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, as well as the Courage and Valor Foundation, which honors the life of fallen FDNY Deputy Chief Ray Downey.

For those attending FDIC, Halton’s Lifetime Achievement honor and memorial tribute will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26, at the Indiana Convention Center.