Chief Burdick Retires




Changing of the Command at Glendale Fire
By Bette and Ed Sharpe Glendale Daily Planet

The passing of the Glendale Fire Department unit flag officially changed the department’s command form one person to another. The Glendale Fire Department Change of Command Ceremony was held on May 14, 2015.

Glendale Fire has many firsts in its history and Thursday was no exception. To honor and recognized the professional services of Fire Chief Mark Burdick, with the unprecedented and unique Change of Command ceremony.

Historically, this kind of military ceremony is one that is formal and is rich in tradition, involving an entire military base and its members. A military Change of Command involves the passing of that flag. It is a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding office to another. The passing of the color from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and the military personnel are never without leadership.

The American Fire Service (Glendale Fire) is a para-military organization. Chief Burdick stated,  "We have a rank structure, we use words "combat", "offensive attack" and our enemy is fire and smoke. We work in "Platoons" or "companies"."

So it seemed appropriate for the Glendale Fire Department to base Thursday’s ceremony on what the military does. A first-ever, Change of Command ceremony for the Glendale Fire Department; an historical event.

Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick passed the Glendale Fire Department unit flag to Interim Fire Chief Chris De Chant, signifying the transfer of command and authority as conferred by Acting City Manager, Dick Bowers.

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daly Planet no. 3576.


 Ed Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no. DSCO5680.

Accepting the Glendale Fire Department’s flag and command, Interim Fire Chief Chris De Chant accepts the flag and therefore accepts the command. From Ron Heart, "Glendale Fire, Fire Chief Mark Burdick you have served us well, please pass the unit colors to Chief Chris DeChant. Chief Chris DeChant, by order of the Acting City Manager, you are hereby appointed as Interim Fire Chief of the Glendale Fire Department."

Ed Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no. DSCOxxxx

Retiring Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick transferred the command of the department to Interim Fire Chief Chris De Chant on Thursday afternoon, May 14, 2015

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daly Planet no. 3590.

The Glendale Fire Department unit colors was folded a total of 13 times by members of the Honor Guard and was presented to Retired Fire Chief Mark Burdick.

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daly Planet no. 3595.

Retired Fire Chief Mark Burdick accepts the Glendale Fire Department unit flag.

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no. 3609.

Photo of a photo that said it all at the Chief Burdick Reception held Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa. Chief Burdick is retiring after thirty plus years with the City of Glendale.

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no. 3698.

From Luke Air Force Base, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Assistance Chief Marty Yates, Deputy Chief Tony Rabonza, Chief Chris Horsman, Lt. Col. Chris Herndon, and Assistant Chief Steve Kinkade attending the Changing of the Command Ceremony for retiring Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa in west Glendale on May 14, 2015.

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no. 3653

Pictured: Chief Master Sgt. Chris Horsman, 56th CES fire chief; Glendale Chief Mark Burdick and Tony Rabonza, 56th CES deputy fire chief.


Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no. 3658.

Pictured: Chief Master Sgt. Chris Horsman, 56th CES fire chief; Glendale Chief Mark Burdick and Tony Rabonza, 56th CES deputy fire chief, and Lt. Col. Chris Herndon. Chief Burdick received a model of an F-35.

The message on the plaque reads.

Fire Chief Mark Burdick

The firefighters at Luke Air Force Base wish to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for your tremendous support, dedication, and commitment to our partnership. Your friendship and contributions to Luke Fire Emergency Services have left an indelible mark on the base and our entire community.

Good Luck and God Speed!


Ed Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet



Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no.3675.

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no.3674.

L to R - Lis Cortes  and Patty Adams    Danny Senese and Mark Burdick  on the right of the quilt look on.


Patty Adams , Office of the Fire Chief Management Aide (in white top) said:

"Chief Burdick, on behalf of the ladies in Admin, we would like to present you with this t-shirt memory quilt and pillow. It covers your 32-year career from red shirt to fire chief. Our goal was to use 20 shirts, but everyone knows that the fire department makes a t-shirt for everything, so we ended up with 31. Some of these are from your personal collection – thanks to Colleen. We did have the red shirt made, because Tony said you wore togas back then. Then I was connected with Gay Lee who took our shirts and spent many hours creating this work of art for you. The quilt represents the different divisions, events, stations, and programs that started under your leadership. I’m sure this will bring back lots of memories. I figure there should be at least 30 stories you can tell…not that you need a quilt to tell a story. We hope you enjoy this for many years! We want to thank you for your support and generosity and hope you enjoy your retirement."

Some Chief Mark Burdick’s history with the Glendale Fire Department

Hire date 1/14/83

FF Medic 1/84

Promoted to Engineer 5/91

Promoted to Captain 2/7/92

Promoted to BC 7/1/00

Interim Fire Chief 9/01

Promoted to Fire Chief 7/31/02

Retire date 5/28/15



"But, the last time I checked, people are not trash."

Before he stepped down, one of the first thinks retiring Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick said to the men and women of the Glendale Fire Department, "I want to thank you."

Fire Chief Burdick was asked recently why fire trucks need four people and could that number be reduced. The person asking this made a comparison to the recent changes in trash collection. Trash collection trucks started out with three people on a truck – the driver and two people on the back of the truck to collect and empty the trash. Now through automation, the sanitation trucks have just one person, the driver.

"But, the last time I checked, people are not garbage."

The comparison to fire trucks does not work. Research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology supports GFD staffing models are efficient. It came as a shock to Glendale Fire; however, when they learned that a 4 person EMS crew could shave a minute-and-a-half off their on-site time.

An ongoing problem for firefighters and EMS personnel is a better method of screening emergency calls to allow for maximum efficiently of both resources - staff and equipment.

On a recent ride-along Chief Burdick went out on a call regarding a car and motorcycle wreck. As it turned out, the patient just needed help with a scraped knee. The system is designed that when a person calls 911, "we respond." Burdick said. "We did not design the system." There needs to be a better way of screening the 911 calls.

The idea for the Change of Command ceremony is due in part to the partnership between the Glendale Fire Department and Luke Air Force Base.





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