Mayor Miro Weinberger Appoints Steven Locke as Burlington's New Fire Chief


December 10, 2015
Contact:  Jennifer Kaulius

Mayor Miro Weinberger Appoints Steven Locke as Burlington’s New Fire Chief

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced the appointment of Fire Chief Steven Locke as the City’s next Chief Engineer of the Burlington Fire Department. Chief Locke comes to the City of Burlington following more than 20 years of service with the Hartford, Vermont Fire Department, including seven years as Fire Chief, three years as the President of the Vermont Career Fire Chiefs Association, and currently five months of experience serving as Interim Town Manager of Hartford. Mayor Weinberger will request the City Council’s approval of this appointment at its December 21, 2015 meeting. If approved, Chief Locke will start his service for Burlington on February 1, 2016. Deputy Chief Peter Brown is currently serving as the Interim Fire Chief following former Chief Seth Lasker’s retirement on October 31, 2015, and will continue until February 1. 

“The Burlington Fire Department has played a central role in the safety and quality of life of this wonderful city and has earned the deep respect and appreciation of the public,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Steve Locke will bring deep fire and emergency experience, a history of leadership success in a variety of roles, and fresh perspective to a Department with a mission that is expanding and shifting in response to changing technologies and demographics.”

“The Burlington Fire Department has a widely-recognized tradition of excellence, and I am honored to have the opportunity to join this group of dedicated individuals,” said Chief Locke. “I look forward to working alongside the men and women of the Burlington Fire Department in serving this great City, from our neighbors in the New American community to those who have lived here for generations.” 

Chief Locke leads the only nationally accredited Fire Department in New England and was an instrumental player on the team of leaders that earned and maintained that accreditation. He also served as the Emergency Management Director during the Hurricane Irene response and recovery effort in Hartford, and has demonstrated exemplary managerial experience during his time there, including excellent grant writing expertise, creating and continually updating the Hartford Fire Department’s strategic plan with the assistance of command staff and external stakeholder input, and installing a new computer aided dispatch software system. Hartford is the only fire agency in the state to use this technology.

Chief Locke grew up in North Hyde Park in Lamoille County, spending many nights in Burlington as a child and coming to love the City and Lake Champlain. He began as a volunteer firefighter in North Hyde Park at the age of 16 and worked four years at a North Hartland tool and die shop before joining the Hartford Fire Department full-time in 1992. Chief Locke served for 16 years as a firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician and proactively sought out additional education, completing his Associates degree in 1997, his Bachelor of Science degree in 2002, and his Master of Science degree in 2008. In 2002, he received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at Empire State College. Chief Locke also is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. Chief Locke has served as the President of the Professional Firefighters of Vermont for 10 years, in addition to serving as the President of the Vermont Career Fire Chiefs Association for three years. He also currently serves as a peer team leader on national accreditation site visits and is committed to communities’ successes through the accreditation process.

As the head of the Burlington Fire Department, Chief Locke will be responsible for directing the day-to-day operations of the 79 firefighters and civilian employees providing competent, timely, and equitable fire service throughout the City. 

Chief Locke’s appointment follows a national search that resulted in 19 applicants who met the minimum application requirements from Vermont and around the country. The details of the search process are outlined in the attached memorandum to the City Council, as well as the members of the search committee.


Please see attached documents, including:

  • Memorandum from Mayor Miro Weinberger to City Councilors dated December 10, 2015 requesting approval of appointment of Steven Locke as Chief of the Burlington Fire Department; and
  • Cover letter and curriculum vitae of Steven Locke.

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Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office