Assistant fire chief prepares to retire

Fort Leavenworth Lamp – May 28, 2015

Assistant Fire Chief Bruce E. Davis will be retiring after 33 years of federal civil service working for the Directorate of Emergency Services. His work in fire service includes three years with the United States Navy, and 30 years at the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department. It is befitting and a great honor to recognize him for his accomplishments and distinguished fire service career.

Bruce graduated from Leavenworth High School in May of 1982. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from 1982 to 1985 as a shipboard firefighter. On Dec. 15, 1986, he was hired as a firefighter trainee with the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department.

He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in February 1996. He continued to take a wide variety of fire science courses and certifications to enhance his knowledge of the fire service through the University of Kansas, Oklahoma State University and the Department of Defense Fire Certification Program. He was selected to attend training classes in Baton Rouge, La.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Rantoul, Ill.; San Angelo, Texas; and Orlando, Fla.

As a lieutenant, Bruce began performing the duties and responsibilities expected and required of a captain’s position. He was certified to the level of a chief officer, two positions higher than the position he was occupying. There were setbacks and disappointments of being passed over for promotions; however, Bruce continued to work hard, stayed in faith and fought the urges of becoming disappointed and complacent.

He was promoted to captain by Fire Chief John T. Adair in June 2007, making him the first African-American to hold this position at the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department. In December 2008, Bruce was promoted to the assistant fire chief of operations, blazing the trail and becoming the first African-American to hold the position as a chief officer in the history of the department. Subsequent to the last permanent promotion, Bruce is the first and highest ranking African-American in the fire service in Leavenworth County and the surrounding area, to date. Keeping education as his core, Bruce received his associate’s degree in fire science technology from Barton County Community College in 2009.

In 2012, at the age of 48, Bruce graduated cum laude from Upper Iowa University with a bachelor’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in fire science.

In June 2013, upon the retirement of Chief Adair, Bruce was appointed as interim fire chief becoming the first African-American to hold the position as a fire chief at Fort Leavenworth and in Leavenworth County and the surrounding area. Bruce maintained this position until a new chief was hired later that same year. Bruce resumed his former position as assistant fire chief of operations and will retire at this rank, effective June 30.

Currently, there is a display dedicated to Bruce hanging in the Richard Allen Culture Center in Leavenworth. His shirt and a picture of him are on display in the tutoring area at the RACC. The children who come to the RACC for help with school work can realize they too can be anything they want to be, just like this role model who was born and raised in Leavenworth.

Bruce’s 33 years of dedicated service includes being recognized with more than 30 awards from directorates outside of the Fort Leavenworth Directorate of Emergency Services, for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Bruce has received numerous positive Interactive Customer Evaluation comments through the web-based customer feedback system used by Department of Defense organizations. ICE is a powerful tool used to enhance feedback between soldiers, family members, civilian employees, retirees and the Garrison support agencies. Customer feedback results in better understanding of customer wants and needs. He has received a lot of kudos from other departments, agencies and customers for his outstanding customer service. Bruce is a real role model.

Congratulations to Bruce for his 30 years of dedicated service at the Fort Leavenworth Directorate of Emergency Services and his dedicated service to the U.S. military members, retirees, civil service employees, and contractors, assigned to, working at and living at Fort Leavenworth. Bruce has worked constantly for the betterment of the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department, which contributes to the health, safety and comfort of this community.

On a personal note, his family extends a sincere thank you to their very own hometown hero and trailblazer for his selfless service, sacrifices, professionalism and career achievements. His integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, reliability and accountability traits that he has demonstrated within the department, to the profession, and with friends, helped to make this chapter in his life noteworthy.

Through all the years of his fire service career; Bruce has been an outstanding example of a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, a husband, a friend and an outstanding chief. It is time for Bruce to ring the bell, to hang up the boots, to put away all of his fire suits and to check out the shine of all the trucks.

Glenda Davis


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