October 4, 2023

Arizona fire chief writes winning essay

Student Receiving Scholarship

CSU Learning Partnership Development representative Herb Williams presents Danny Johnson of the Daisy Mountain Fire Department in Phoenix with the CSU/Arizona Fire Chiefs Association scholarship.

Danny Johnson of Daisy Mountain Fire Department in Phoenix, Ariz. was recently presented the CSU/Arizona Fire Chiefs Association scholarship at the Arizona Fire Service Leadership Conference at the Glendale Renaissance Hotel, in Glendale, Ariz.

The presentation, held during the 8 a.m. opening ceremony, was conducted by CSU Learning Partnership Development representative Herb Williams.

Johnson, who is division chief of logistics, won the scholarship based on his entry in an essay contest sponsored by CSU and the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA), an organization that provides professional opportunities for fire chiefs. Johnson has been a member of the group for the past three years.

“I am extremely grateful to AFCA for the opportunity to complete my bachelor’s degree. I feel a sense of pride in the opportunity to represent the AFCA and Daisy Mountain Fire Department at Columbia Southern,” said Johnson. He said he was inspired to compete for the scholarship by two factors.

“One motivator was my two children. I want to set a good example for them about the importance of a college education. Since this was the second time I applied to this contest, it also set a good example of never giving up on your goals,” he explained. “The other was the importance of having a bachelor’s degree to continue advancing up in the ranks of the fire service.”

Johnson said he wants to complete a bachelor’s degree in fire science administration with CSU. The online school features many degree programs including business administration, occupational safety and health, fire science and human resource management.

“I want to use the degree to gather knowledge about my profession. I want to use this knowledge to be a good steward of my position by bettering my department and mentoring the future leaders of the fire service,” Johnson added.

Daisy Mountain Fire District Fire Chief Mark Nichols said the department is proud of Johnson’s achievement.

“We are ecstatic that he won because he’s very deserving of this award. He’s an outstanding employee who thinks outside the box. He is really innovative,” Nichols said. He points out that Johnson has created a sound capital replacement plan for the department, presented ways to improve the budget, and helped the firefighters save energy and think green.

CSU and the AFCA are learning partners, which allows association members and their spouses and children to attend CSU with a 10 percent tuition discount and application fee waiver.