Assistant Chief / Ops Director
Warner “Ward” Fleger is a 35 year veteran of the EMS and Fire Service. At age 56, he comes from Mesa, Arizona where he served in many capacities for the Mesa Fire and Medical Department for 29 years.
He has an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science and is a graduate of the Arizona State University Fire Institute. Ward is a Nationally Registered Paramedic, Maryland Paramedic, and an Arizona Certified Emergency Paramedic (CEP).
He started his career as an EMT with private ambulance in 1978. At age 20, in 1980 he was hired by the Mesa Fire and Medical Department. He served as a Firefighter/Paramedic on a Paramedic/Engine Company and Paramedic/Rescue Company for 10 years. During this time he served 6 years on the Hazardous Materials Team and was one of the State’s first Toxicology Paramedics.
In 1990, he was promoted to Fire Captain/Paramedic and assigned to a Paramedic/Engine company. In 1996, he was assigned as a Training Officer to the Training Division and in 1997, was promoted to Battalion Chief. In 1999, he was assigned as Deputy Chief to the Planning and Research section. His responsibilities and achievements during the 3-year assignment include Fire Service Accreditation, Strategic Planning, forming the Wildland Special Op’s Response Team, and coordination of the 800 MHz radio replacement project.
Ward completed his fire service career as a Battalion Chief. His responsibilities included the supervision and management of six fire stations, as well as Incident Commander for Fire, EMS, and Special Operations. These stations included 8 paramedic engine companies, 1 paramedic ladder company, and the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) team at Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport. His response area included over 80 square miles in East Mesa.
He is a founding member of the Mesa Fire Wildland Task Force that specializes in structural protection. He was Engine Boss/NWCG certified and was a founding member and Chair Person for the Central Arizona Wildland Response Team (CAWRT). He was part of a Type 1 structure protection group, Arizona Task Force 1, which responded to several incidents, including the California Cedar Fire in 2003, Cave Creek Complex Fire in 2005 and the California Rice Fire in 2007.
In 2009, he retired from the Mesa Fire and Medical Retirement and moved to Smithsburg, MD. In 2010, he served the Washington, DC Fire and EMS Department as an EMS Training Instructor. He served for Community Rescue Service in Hagerstown as a Paramedic/Firefighter from 2011 to 2013. He now proudly serves as Operations Director and is dedicated to the community of Smithsburg where he has lived for the past 4 years.