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Idaho Falls Fire Chief Duane Nelson is a 29-year fire service veteran who began his fire service career in 1991 as a firefighter in the Idaho Army National Guard. Nelson was hired at the Idaho Falls Fire Department (IFFD) in November of 1997.
Nelson has been deployed twice with the Idaho Army National Guard and is anticipated to retire from the military in July of 2019 as a Sergeant First Class after 22 years of service. His military experience and education, coupled with his experience as a civilian firefighter resulted in Nelson’s advancement through the IFFD ranks, first as a Firefighter, then on to a Driver, and finally as the Deputy Chief of Administration prior to his appointment by Mayor Casper to Fire Chief in April 2019.
Nelson completed his Associate of Applied Science in Fire Service Technology from the College of Eastern Idaho (formerly EITC) in 2009. In 2012, he received his Bachelor of Science in Fire Service Administration from Idaho State University, becoming the first graduate of the ISU program. In May of 2019 he completed a Master’s Degree of Professional Studies in the Psychology of Leadership from Pennsylvania State University.
Nelson is an active member in several fire and military service organizations, such as the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Idaho Fire Chief Association. He is a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators, the National Fire Academy Alumni Association, Firefighters Behavioral Health Alliance and the American Legion.