Joseph L. Kitchen, OFC, is Fire Chief of the Bath Township Fire Department in Lima Ohio. He joined the department in 1990, as a volunteer. He served six years as lieutenant, and was appointed to the position of Fire Chief in April of 2002. He is also the President and Owner of Command Leadership Concepts LLC.
Chief Kitchen is a graduate of Bath High School, Apollo Career Center Public Safety Program, and Rhodes State College where he graduated with honors and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. He also completed training courses at Bowling Green State University, Franklin University, and the Ohio Fire Academy. He has completed Fire Officer I, II and III, and holds degrees in Emergency Medical Services and Technical Studies / Fire Science.
He is a Level II firefighter, paramedic, fire investigator and a certified fire safety inspector. Chief Kitchen has over 28 years of service in EMS and holds ACLS, PALS, GEMS, PHTLS & PEARS certifications. Additionally, he is a hazmat / weapons of mass destruction technician, a fire service instructor, and an EMS continuing education instructor. Chief Kitchen is a graduate of the Advanced Exterior Firefighter II program at Texas A&M University. In 2015 he obtained credentialing from the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Assn. as an “Ohio Fire Chief Officer.” In 2016 he completed the John Maxwell Leadership Laws course.
With a background in industrial firefighting, planning, and emergency response, Chief Kitchen works closely with major corporations including, Ford Motor Company and Procter & Gamble. In 2017 Chief Kitchen was appointed to the advisory board of FM Global, a Rhode Island-based mutual insurance company, with offices worldwide, that specializes in loss prevention services primarily to large corporations throughout the world in the Highly Protected Risk (HPR) property insurance market sector.
He regularly attends Ohio Fire Chief Association training sessions and participates in various seminars, workshops, and conferences related to fire service leadership, management, fire-ground tactics and operations, as well as emergency medical services. In 2013, he was named a Fellow of the Ohio Fire and Emergency Services Foundation and in 2014, was elected as its Northwest District Trustee. He also serves on the OFCA “Health & Safety Committee.” Chief Kitchen is a member of the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society/Central Ohio FOOLS. In December 2016, Chief Kitchen was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association as Director at Large.
Chief Kitchen currently serves as chairman of the EMS Program Advisory Board at Rhodes State College. He is a member of the Allen County Safe Community Coalition, the Allen County Local Emergency Planning Committee, the Allen County Health Department Emergency Preparedness Committee, the Allen County Regional Planning Fatal Crash Review Committee, President of the Apollo Career Center Educational Foundation Board, and various other organizations. He also serves as Allen County coordinator for the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Emergency Response Plan.
Chief Kitchen is a member of the International Association of Fire Chief’s, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, National Fire Protection Agency, Ohio Fire Chief’s Association, Vice-President of the Northwest Ohio Fire Chief’s Association, and served as President of the Allen County Fire Chief’s Association, Inc. for many years. He is a regular contributor to Fire Engineering Magazine’s Online Blog Community and an Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) instructor. Chief Kitchen is a member of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors.
In 2012, he was awarded “Fire Officer of the Year” by the Ohio Department of Public Safety at the Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame and Fire Awards Ceremony in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Chief Kitchen has also been the recipient of the Apollo Career Center “Citizen of the Year Award,” Rhodes State College “Outstanding Alumni Award,”Lima Allen County Safe Community Coalition “Fire Safety Award,” American Heart Association “Heartsaver Hero Award,” and the St. Rita’s Medical Center “Greg King Star of Life Award.” In 2017, Chief Kitchen was presented the “Wemmer Vocational Service Award” from the Lima Rotary Club.
Chief Kitchen regularly makes public presentations including the NFPA Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Locally he has served as the keynote speaker for the Lima Rotary Club, West Central Ohio Safety Council, and the AFL-CIO Worker’s Memorial Day ceremony. In October 2016, he became the assistant advisor of the Bath High School Interact Club, a student leadership and community service group.
Chief Kitchen resides in Lima, Ohio and has a daughter who is a student at Bath Local Schools. Chief Kitchen is a member of the Lima Rotary Club. He enjoys spending time with family, speaking about the fire service to local, regional and national organizations, teaching, and training new firefighters and fire officers. He is a fan of the Cincinnati Reds and enjoys visiting Great American Ballpark. He is also a fan and follower of Bath High School athletics.