Meet the Fire Chief
T. John Cunningham, Fire Chief
With over twenty-one years’ experience in public safety, Chief Cunningham joined the Brooklyn Park team in June 2018.
Chief Cunningham 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 quickly rose through the ranks within the combination department of over 200 career and volunteer firefighters, holding every volunteer leadership position including district chief. He previously served as the Fire Chief in Elk River and is also the President of the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association. Chief Cunningham’s educational background includes 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 also holds a certificate in Collaborate Leadership in Homeland Security from the University of Connecticut and is a certified fire officer, instructor, and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
About our department
Established in 1957, the Brooklyn Park Fire Department is a full-service public safety agency that proudly serves the residents, businesses, and visitors of Brooklyn Park. The department serves a population of over 86,000 residents within its 27 square mile coverage area. Brooklyn Park is the sixth-largest city in Minnesota and the fourth largest in the metropolitan area.
Calls for Service
In 2021, the Brooklyn Park Fire Department handled 8,240 calls for service, 5,973 (72%) of which were emergency medical/rescue calls and 207 were fires. All Brooklyn Park firefighters are certified Emergency Medical Technicians and have advanced medical variances through the Department’s Medical Director. North Memorial Ambulance Services provides Advanced Life Support (ALS) transport in the City.
The Brooklyn Park Fire Department is a full-time staffed organization with 49 sworn and 1 non-sworn positions. A battalion chief is responsible for overseeing day-to-day emergency response operations including three engine companies; a truck/ladder company will be staffed in the fourth quarter of 2022. The Department also has 4 part-time firefighters.
Fire Marshal Division
The Brooklyn Park Fire Marshal Division is responsible for fire/life safety inspections, plan review, fire cause and determination, public education, and community risk reduction initiatives. The division is staffed by a fire marshal, deputy fire marshal, and an inspector.
Please call 911 if you require immediate police, fire, or medical assistance. For non-emergencies, you can call the main Fire Department line at (763) 493-8020. We also welcome you to follow us on social media!
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.