Meet The Chief


 Chief of Department
David Ward


David Ward was sworn in by Judge David Trimmer as the Chief of the Lancaster Fire Department on January 16, 2012. The Lancaster Fire Department is the largest career department in Fairfield County Ohio. Chief Ward oversees a department with approximately 70 career members and an operating budget of $8 million.


Ward, a lifelong resident of Fairfield County, came to the department after a graduating from Ohio University - Athens with a degree from the College of Business, and working in the private sector for a period of years. He was hired by the Lancaster Fire Department in 1989 as a firefighter and paramedic, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1998 and to the rank of Captain in September of 2001. From September of 2001 until March of 2007 he was the captain of Crew 1, at which time he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Fire Chief. While holding the position of Assistant Chief, his responsibilities encompassed every facet of the operation including: facilities management, apparatus acquisitions and maintenance, fire prevention, arson investigation, community fire safety education, budgetary responsibilities and personnel.

Chief Ward is a graduate of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association - Ohio Fire Executive Program - Class 2. The Ohio Fire Executive Program is 2 ½ year program designed to prepare executive level fire officers in the many facets of the chief’s position. Additionally, Ward is very proud to have written successful Assistance to Firefighters grants in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

As Fire Chief, Ward has endeavored to work collaboratively with labor on many fronts in order to build a sustainable future for the Lancaster Fire Department. The collaborative efforts of all Lancaster Fire Department members has allowed us to look inwardly at our operation and develop “best practices” in many areas. Since 2012, The Lancaster Fire Department has implemented changes or implemented new processes in training, standard operating procedures, codes of conduct, dispatching, information technology, strategic planning and professional development. Most recently, the Lancaster Fire Department completed a “top down” review of all job descriptions and will implement a performance evaluation program in 2015 based on objective measurements.

Chief Ward is active in Lancaster in many areas. He attends Maple Street United Methodist Church and has served on various committees. Additionally, he is an active member in Rotary and served as a board member for one term and assists in scholarship review committee. Ward has also been involved with the Fairfield Medical Center’s Community Advisory Committee.

The City of Lancaster has a long and distinguished history and Chief Ward feels very blessed to lead one of the finest fire departments in Ohio, serving one of Ohio’s finest communities