Steven Locke to Serve as Fire Chief for the City of South Burlington

Burlington and South Burlington, VT – After more than six years of service to the City of Burlington, Chief Steven Locke has accepted the position of Fire Chief for the City of South Burlington.  South Burlington Fire Chief Terry Francis, after giving 48 years of service to the fire profession, will move to the position of Fire Marshal overseeing construction permitting, inspections and fire prevention.  

Chief Locke started at the City of Burlington in 2016 after 23 years of service in the Hartford Vermont Fire Department. Chief Locke also served as Interim Chief Administrative Officer in Burlington during a transition period in 2019 and 2020. He has served as a board member since 2016 and as treasurer since 2019 of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, representing more than 10,000 members.

“We are thrilled to welcome such an accomplished leader to the South Burlington community,” said Jessie Baker, City Manager of South Burlington.  “Chief Locke’s expertise in public safety, systems thinking, and team management will be an asset to the Fire Department and the residents of South Burlington, as we celebrate the many decades of service of Chief Francis and look forward to our future leadership.”

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the City of Burlington as part of Mayor Weinberger’s Administration and work with the dedicated men and women of the Burlington Fire Department. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside an outstanding team of City leaders, and I look forward to the new opportunities we will face in my new role in South Burlington,” Locke said.

“I am grateful for Chief Locke’s service to Burlington for more than six years, including the last two pandemic years which has been one of the most challenging periods in the department’s history,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Chief Locke came to Burlington as the first fire chief appointed from outside the department in more than three decades, and has been more than simply a fire chief during his time here, serving in multiple roles throughout his tenure. His accomplishments at the Fire Department will have lasting value to the City for years to come.  I am proud to have served with Chief Locke and will greatly miss his steadiness, wise counsel, and supportive, ‘can do’ character.”

Highlights of Chief Locke’s accomplishments during his time with the Burlington Fire Department include:

-Leading capital investments, including significant renovation and improvements to all five fire stations and replacing eight fire trucks with voters’ support of the 2016 and 2022 capital bonds.
-Playing a leadership role in the City’s COVID response, generating daily briefing reports in the early days of the pandemic to coordinate the City’s departments and prioritize critical actions.
-Adding a third ambulance at the New North End fire station.
-Increasing the gender diversity of the Fire Department and making renovations to fire stations in order to accommodate women firefighters so that the department can continue to improve in this area.
-Implementing a computer-aided dispatch software system to reduce unit movements and send the closest available apparatus.
-Making progress to form a regional dispatch model in Chittenden County to provide emergency dispatch services.



Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office