Chief John Oates was appointed in October 2008 to lead the East Hartford Fire Department. He is responsible for overall strategic leadership to ensure the department is well positioned to provide the best service to the citizens and visitors of the community. To accomplish this the Chief leads 130 members providing a broad range of fire and emergency services to the community. Prior to East Hartford, Chief Oates attained a broad base of experience while working as a Battalion Chief in West Hartford, Connecticut, as the Fire Marshal in Granby, Connecticut, and as an Adjunct Instructor for the Connecticut Fire Academy. He is currently one of two Commanders for the Capital Region Incident Management. Chief Oates has spent a considerable portion of his career focused on improving health, wellness, and safety within the fire service community. Through his work with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and First Responder Center for Excellence (FRCE), he has brought an increased focus on wellness, fitness, behavioral health, and overall safety to the department. His participation in these areas lead to the overhaul of the department’s wellness effort and the creation of a behavioral health program that includes the Peer Support Team. Chief Oates has a BS from Franklin Pierce University, a MS from Oklahoma State University, is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and holds numerous professional certifications.