Lakeland hires national expert as fire chief

Dennis Wolf

LAKELAND, Tenn. – Just last year the City of Lakeland decided to bring fire services under the community’s service umbrella. Until then, fire services for the suburb of Memphis had been provided under a contract with Shelby County. Now Lakeland has attracted Dennis Wolf, former fire chief for Germantown, Tenn., to be the city’s first fire chief.

Wolf began his 40-year fire career as a volunteer firefighter, serving 15 of those years as fire chief in Germantown. He is a fire management consultant to cities across the country through the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service Municipal Technical Advisory Service. He will begin work as Lakeland’s fire chief on Jan. 1, 2019.

“Safety is vital to our community, and we are proud to bring a national leader like Chief Dennis Wolf to Lakeland,” said Lakeland Mayor Wyatt Bunker. “We committed to the people of Lakeland to control the quality, expense and growth of fire services for our community, and hiring such a high-caliber individual as our fire chief is the first major step to making that a reality for our residents.”

Wolf is a charter graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, and he is past president of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association and the Mid-South Fire Chiefs Association. He is accredited as a Chief Fire Officer and Chief EMS Officer by the Commission on Professional Credentialing through the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

He is also accredited as a Member by the Institution of Fire Engineers. He earned a bachelor of professional studies degree in fire administration from the University of Memphis and a master’s in fire service leadership from Grand Canyon University.

Lakeland’s work to bring fire services under its community service umbrella is part of the community’s Lakeland 2020 Vision strategic plan that also focuses on economic development, education, residential growth and infrastructure and parks and recreation.