Chief Richard W. Patrick (Rick) is director of the National Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). Chief Patrick joined the USFA in spring 2018. The National Fire and EMS Division Division leads the USFA's prevention, EMS, public education, strategic communications and response assistance missions.
Chief Patrick began his service with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in June 2008 as chief of the Medical First Responder Coordination Division in the DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA), where he led outreach to the first responder community and the development of the department's EMS system. He then served as the deputy director and director of the Workforce Health and Medical Support Division within the OHA. In 2015, Chief Patrick was selected by DHS and served a 1-year Brookings Congressional Legislative Fellowship in the U.S. Senate. Chief Patrick was senior advisor for first responder policy to the assistant secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of the DHS prior to joining the U.S. Fire Administration.
Over his extensive career, Chief Patrick has served in many capacities, including firefighter, fire lieutenant, fire captain, emergency medical technician, paramedic, flight medic, administrator, chief executive officer, EMS chief and chief fire officer. He served as a division fire chief and deputy fire chief for the Estero (Florida) Fire Rescue District prior to joining DHS. He is the former director of EMS Programs and Emergency Service Initiatives for VFIS, and a former chief of EMS for Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He also served on one of the first Quick Response Medical Units in Pennsylvania in the late 1970's.
Chief Patrick was presented with a Life Membership Award in 2008 from the Union Hose Company (Annville, Pennsylvania) Fire Department for 20-plus years of service. In 2010, the International Association of Fire Chiefs EMS Section bestowed a Meritorious Service Award to Chief Patrick for his dedication, service and work toward the betterment of the EMS industry. Chief Patrick has received several DHS Special Awards during his homeland security tenure and was recognized in 2020 as an Honorary Life Member of the Wheaton (Maryland) Volunteer Rescue Squad for his years of service on their board of directors.
At the national level, Chief Patrick has been actively involved with emergency services organizations, taking on key leadership positions, and is a seasoned public speaker. He served as chair of the Congressional Fire Services Institute National Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C.; was a former chair of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians Health and Safety Task Group; and serves as a member on several National Fire Protection Association technical committees, including EMS, Community Paramedicine, Ambulance Design and Personal Protective. He is a member in the College of Fellows of the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch. Chief Patrick serves as a reviewer for the International Journal of Paramedicine and is a member of the EMS World Advisory Board. Chief Patrick is a lead representative on the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS and represents the USFA on several federal and national committees. He maintains a close working relationship with national non-government first responder, first receiver and special interest organizations.
Chief Patrick has a master's degree in public safety management from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. He is a certified paramedic, firefighter and executive fire officer. Chief Patrick is a graduate of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (Cohort IX), Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security's Executive Leaders Program.