Former Dearborn fire chief reflects on career, prepares for future

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Future State Fire Marshal Richard Miller has seen many fires in his day.

The lifelong Dearbornite, who first began battling flames more than 30 years ago, will take on a new post in mid-March as the state fire marshal, a position appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, according to a Lansing-based press release.

“(Firefighting) is something I have always wanted to do as a career,” Miller said.

Miller recently stepped down as Dearborn fire chief, a position he had held since being appointed by Mayor John
O’Reilly Jr. in June 2010.

Miller said he looks back fondly on his years with the department.

“I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said. “It is something I have always wanted to do as a career.”

Miller has professional certifications for driver’s training; tactical and pump operations; hazardous materials; fire officer I, II and III; and others from Michigan’s Fire Fighters Training Council, according to the release.

The state fire marshal leads the Michigan Bureau of Fire Services and also serves as a member, or ex-officio member, of the State Fire Safety Board, Fire Fighters Training Council and State Board of Mechanical Rules, according to the release.

He received an associate’s degree in fire science from Henry Ford Community College, a bachelor’s degree in fire science and occupational safety and health from Madonna University and attended Eastern Michigan University’s School of Fire Staff and Command.

Miller is replacing former Fire Marshal Ron Farr, who resigned in 2011.

For Miller’s new position, he will continue to live in Dearborn while commuting to Lansing.

“A good portion of my job includes traveling to different offices thorughout the state,” Miller said. “I will be like a liason between all state agencies and government agencies … any kind of public safety related agency.”

Another aspect of Miller’s job responsibilities is to represent all aspects of fire in the state of Michigan, leading the Michigan Bureau of Fire Services, and serves on the state Fire Safety Board.

Miller added that he is lucky to be representing all of the firefighters in Michigan — 30,000 in total — including full-time, part-time and volunteer positions.

“I am happy to take on the challenge and opportunity,” he said.