T. John Cunningham, Fire Chief
Chief Cunningham is a strong advocate for continuing education and career development. He regularly teaches leadership, incident management, safety, fire and rescue operations, and is an instructor for a hostile event/active shooter training program.
Chief T. John Cunningham has spent over 20 years in the public safety sector. Prior to coming to Brooklyn Park, he was the Fire Chief for the City of Elk River. He began his public safety career at a young age, joining a fire explorer program at thirteen and becoming a volunteer firefighter in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1998. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Fairfield University and a master’s degree in Homeland Security Leadership from the University of Connecticut. He is married to his partner, Benjamin, and lives in Elk River, with their two dogs, Liberty and Cooper. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, fitness, reading, and self-help home projects.
About our department
The Fire Department is an innovative and diverse organization with 25 full-time and 31 paid-on-call firefighter/EMTs. We currently operate from 4 fire stations, 3 of which are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All of our firefighters are state certified and are also registered emergency medical technicians. The department responds to more than 9,000 calls for service each year.
Our commitment to you
We are committed to providing the residents and visitors of Brooklyn Park with the highest level of professionalism and customer service. Our unique staffing model allows for outstanding response times within a very cost-effective emergency service delivery organization.
In 2018, the Brooklyn Park City Council authorized the Fire Department to launch a strategic planning initiative. Strategic planning is an intentional process by which an agency or organization surveys the industry trends: the customer’s needs and wants; the current and future available resources; and the current and future capabilities of the agency to determine performance gaps.
A team of thirty-two members of the Brooklyn Park Fire Department and external stakeholders from the community met for a two-day planning process in March, 2018. The stakeholders were tasked with providing input and feedback throughout the planning process as advocates from the sub-groups they were asked to represent.
At the conclusion of the process, the stakeholders derived three key themes:
- How do we continue to improve on saving lives during emergency events?
- How do we meet the increasing service demands over the coming years?
- How do we better market our services and demonstrate our value to our community?
From these key themes, members of the agency’s command staff developed a list of nine strategic objectives, 21 outcome measurements and 31 supporting goals to prepare the Brooklyn Park Fire Department to meet the needs and expectations of their community and remain a “value-added” organization into the future.
While the consultant worked to finalize the strategic plan, the Fire Chief and members of the Fire Department’s leadership team began work on an 18-month operational plan based on the strategic objectives, outcome measurements, and supporting goals in the draft strategic plan. The final version of the strategic plan was presented to the City Council on May 28, 2019, as well as the 18-month operational plan.