Dave Engler is the new fire chief
for the city of Lincoln. He’s been in the department for more than 20 years and
still enjoys going to work every day.
“Every rank, or position, has
its rewards,” he explained. “Overall, making a difference has been the biggest
reward. That can be something as simple as showing a child the fire engine to
being part of a team that resuscitates someone’s loved one. This career is
filled with rewarding work.”
Originally from Seward,
Engler graduated from SCC’s Fire Protection Technology program in 2002. He
chose the program for its reputation in the industry.
“When I started the program,
I was a firefighter/paramedic with Lincoln Fire & Rescue, and the program
was highly regarded as being one of the best fire protection programs, and the
classes were structured to accommodate our work shifts,” he said.
He remembered one of the
instructors, Bill Meehan, as being an excellent teacher. He loved the fire
service and it showed through his instruction, he said.
“His passion and teaching
style brought more to the program than just learning the content of the
classes,” Engler recalled.
Following graduation, Engler
continued to work for LFR. In 2006 he was promoted to Fire Captain. He then
earned his bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Doane University and
his master’s in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University.
He also received a graduate certificate in Public Management from the
University of Nebraska Omaha.
As the new fire chief, Engler
said he wants Lincoln Fire & Rescue to continue to be a top-notch
organization that the community can be proud to call its own.
“I want to continue to keep
up with the changes and growth in our city by improving service and recruiting
a diverse workforce and continue to focus on improving outcomes as the key
factor in making organizational decisions,” he added.
He is currently enrolled in
the 2021 Fire Service Executive Development Institute, a one-year program
providing new and aspiring chiefs with the tools they need to be successful. He
also was accepted into the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer
Program, which starts in the fall.
When he’s not working or
studying, he and his wife Ashley, also a firefighter, spend time with their two
teenagers and two golden retrievers.
SCC discontinued the Fire Protection Technology program after the 2019-2020