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Joseph Kitchen
  • Male
  • Lima, OH
  • United States
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Welcome, Joseph Kitchen!

Latest Activity

Paul Combs and Joseph Kitchen are now friends
Jun 26
Joseph Kitchen updated their profile
Jun 22
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

Weekend with Bruno

“Weekend with Bruno”           Rock ‘n’ roll has Elvis Presley, baseball has Babe Ruth, and firefighters have Chief Alan Brunacini.I first met…See More
Mar 14
Joseph Kitchen shared their blog post on Facebook
Jan 4
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

You Can Make a Dent

You Can Make a DentJoseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)            Have you ever felt as if your department was so broken that its problems could not be fixed? Or, have you ever felt like there were so many issues with the fire service in general, that nothing you could do would ever make a difference? If so, you are wrong. You can make a difference. You can motivate people. You can inspire others. You can improve your department's operations. No, I'm not saying that you can…See More
Jan 3
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

Can’t We All Just Get Along? Conflict Resolution in the Fire House

 Can’t We All Just Get Along? Conflict Resolution in the Fire HouseJoseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)                       Some call it drama. Many believe that it’s just a normal part of working with people. No matter how you classify it, there always seems to be some level of conflict whenever people are working together in a stressful environment. I believe that it’s even tougher for firefighters as we are living, working, eating, and sleeping together. Firefighters…See More
Jul 12, 2016
Joseph Kitchen and Nathan Burtscher are now friends
May 12, 2016
Joseph Kitchen and Ian Schulte are now friends
May 3, 2016
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

Pushing the Firefighter “Reset” Button

Pushing the Firefighter “Reset” ButtonJoseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)            Do you ever get to the point where you just feel exhausted? Your work schedule has been busier than usual; your home life is hectic. Family, friends, kids, school, coaching sports, church activities, volunteer work…it all just adds up and you feel like you are at your breaking point. If so, I believe for many of us, its normal. We live crazy lives, jam packed with more activities than there…See More
Apr 27, 2016
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

“The Ten Percenters; An Exclusive Club but its Doors are Open”

 “The Ten Percenters; An Exclusive Club but its Doors are Open”                        The best of the best. The hall of famers. The top performers. The ones you can always count on. The elite. Call them whatever you want, they are our best firefighters. Not only skilled and proficient; they are ethical, they don’t complain, and they unfortunately are often overlooked. Sometimes these guys do such a good job that we don’t even notice. We just expect them…See More
Apr 7, 2016
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

Think Before You Type

Think Before You Type            I love technology. I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and I post photos to Instagram. I enjoy reading fire service articles, exchanging tweets with firefighters from across the nation, and like many of you, I look at tons of fire scene photos and video clips. Sometimes I see things that make me cringe, sometimes I see things that make me proud to be a firefighter. Our department has used these photos and videos for training purposes, and have often…See More
Mar 25, 2016
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

The Value of Networking

The Value of NetworkingJoseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)            Spending time with our fellow firefighters is one of the best parts of this amazing career that we all are honored to be a part of. The relationships that we have within our own firehouse are paramount to our success and our growth not only as firefighters, but as human beings. We learn from each other on a daily basis. We train together, drill together, and experience the daily challenges of this…See More
Feb 24, 2016
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

Are You a Coachable Firefighter?

Are You a Coachable Firefighter?Joseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)            A few years ago I responded to the scene of an MVA on a busy interstate in our jurisdiction. I arrived in my chief’s vehicle and our fire and EMS units were already on scene. As I exited my car and was walking up to the crash area one of our firefighters (who was on probation with less than a year on the department) said, “Hey Chief, don’t forget to put on your traffic vest.” I loved it. He was…See More
Dec 22, 2015
Joseph Kitchen and Stephen Raclaw are now friends
Nov 11, 2015
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

Career vs. Job

Career vs. JobJoseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)            Many firefighters often use the phrase “career in the fire service” when referring to their employment or their volunteer work. Regularly I attend career fairs where high school and college students express their desire to pursue a “career in the fire service.” But, is there a difference between a “career in the fire service,” or just a “job” on a fire department? This also applies to our volunteer brethren.…See More
Nov 9, 2015
Joseph Kitchen posted a blog post

Promoting Your Fire Department on a Zero Budget

Promoting Your Fire Department on a Zero BudgetJoseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)            If your fire department is like mine, the budget is most likely tight. For the last decade or so, we are all trying to do far more with less funding.  Money for “extra” projects and new programs is often limited. However, we still have a huge need to market our departments and gain the support of our residents. Luckily, we are not facing the challenges that our brothers in law…See More
Oct 14, 2015

Profile Information

Lives in:
Lima, Ohio
Bath Township Fire Department
Fire Chief
Years of public service:
Agency structure:
Paid fire department
Top issues in your department:
We have struggled recently with budget issues due to major changes in how businesses and industries are taxed in Ohio. This has led to serious belt tightening. We are also experiencing some difficulty recruiting & retaining firefighters, often seeing them move to other departments with higher salaries. We are working hard to train and develop three new platoon chiefs and are constantly focusing on firefighter health and safety.
Professional Qualifications:
Level II FF, Paramedic, EMS Instructor, Fire Instructor, Investigator, Certified Fire Safety Inspector, Hazmat/WMD Technician, AAS Fire Science, & AAS Emergency Medical Services. Ohio Fire Chief Officer designation. Fire Officer I, II, & III. ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, GEMS, and PEARS.
Topics you provide training for:
Human resources, conflict resolution, dealing with difficult employees, and communication issues. Transitioning volunteer departments to career & part time. Managing combination (part time) fire & EMS personnel. Use of social media in the fire service. Partnering with major industries to improve fire response. Managing millennials. Professional development fore firefighters. Managing morale in departments with 50 employees or less. Branding/Marketing.
Areas of expertise:
Officer development & leadership issues. With a background in industrial firefighting, planning, and emergency response, Chief Kitchen works closely with major corporations including, Ford Motor Company, Procter & Gamble, Dana Corporation, Meto-Kote Corp., Nickles Bakery, United States Plastics, and others. I also enjoy helping departments tackle morale issues and interdepartmental conflict.
Joseph L. Kitchen, OFC, is Fire Chief of the Bath Township Fire Department. He joined in 1990, as a volunteer. He served six years as lieutenant, and was appointed to the position of Fire Chief in April of 2002.
Chief Kitchen is a graduate of Bath High School, Apollo Career Center Public Safety Program, and Rhodes State College where he graduated with honors and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. He completed training courses at Bowling Green State University, Franklin University, and the Ohio Fire Academy. He has completed Fire Officer I, II and III, and holds degrees in Emergency Medical Services and Technical Studies / Fire Science.
He is a Level II firefighter, paramedic, fire investigator and a certified fire safety inspector. Chief Kitchen has over 27 years of service in EMS and holds ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, & PEARS certifications. Additionally, he is a hazmat / weapons of mass destruction technician, an assistant fire service instructor, and an EMS continuing education instructor. Chief Kitchen is a graduate of the Advanced Exterior Firefighter II program at Texas A&M University. In 2015 he obtained credentialing from the Ohio Fire Chiefs' Assn. as an "Ohio Fire Chief Officer."
He regularly attends Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association training sessions and participates in various seminars, workshops, and conferences related to fire service leadership, management, fire-ground tactics and operations, as well as emergency medical services. In 2013, he was named a Fellow of the Ohio Fire and Emergency Services Foundation and in 2014, was elected as its Northwest District Trustee. In 2016 he was appointed to the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Assn. Board of Directors as “Director At Large.” He is a member of the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society/Central Ohio FOOLS.
Chief Kitchen currently serves as chairman of the EMS Program Advisory Board at Rhodes State College. He is a member of the Allen County Safe Community Coalition, the Allen County Local Emergency Planning Committee, the Allen County Health Department Emergency Preparedness Committee, the Allen County Regional Planning Fatal Crash Review Committee, and various other organizations. He also serves as Allen County coordinator for the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Emergency Response Plan.
Chief Kitchen is a member of the International Association of Fire Chief’s, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, National Fire Protection Agency, Ohio Fire Chief’s Association, Vice-President of the Northwest Ohio Fire Chief’s Association, and served as President of the Allen County Fire Chief’s Association, Inc. for many years. He is a regular contributor to Fire Engineering Magazine's Online Blog Community.
In 2012, he was awarded “Fire Officer of the Year” by the Ohio Department of Public Safety at the Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame and Fire Awards Ceremony in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Chief Kitchen has also been the recipient of the Apollo Career Center "Citizen of the Year Award," Rhodes State College "Outstanding Alumni Award," Lima Allen County Safe Community Coalition "Fire Safety Award," American Heart Association "Heartsaver Hero Award," and the St. Rita's Medical Center "Greg King Star of Life Award."
Chief Kitchen regularly makes public presentations including the 2014, NFPA Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Locally he has served as the keynote speaker for the Lima Rotary Club, West Central Ohio Safety Council, and the AFL-CIO Worker's Memorial Day ceremony.

Chief Kitchen resides in Bath Township and has a daughter who is a student at Bath Local Schools. He enjoys spending time with family, speaking about fire service to local organizations, teaching, and training new firefighters and fire officers. He is a member of the Lima Rotary Club. He is a fan of the Cincinnati Reds and enjoys visiting Great American Ballpark. He is also a fan and follower of Bath High School athletics.
You can follow Chief Kitchen on Twitter @bathtwpchief
Web site:

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Joseph Kitchen's Blog

Weekend with Bruno

“Weekend with…


Posted on March 14, 2017 at 1:00pm

“I Shall Not Tell a Lie” – Honesty in the Fire Service

I Shall Not Tell a Lie Honesty in the Fire Service

Every year around the annual Presidents' Day holiday we are inundated with images of former presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. These men serve as beacons of early American history and shining examples of our country’s best leaders. However, I always get mixed up on which one of them…


Posted on February 2, 2017 at 12:00pm

You Can Make a Dent

You Can Make a Dent

Joseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)

            Have you ever felt as if your department was so broken that its problems could not be fixed? Or, have you ever felt like there were so many issues with the fire service in general, that nothing you…


Posted on January 3, 2017 at 12:31pm

Can’t We All Just Get Along? Conflict Resolution in the Fire House


Cant We All Just Get Along? Conflict Resolution in the Fire House

Joseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)


            Some call it drama. Many…


Posted on July 12, 2016 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

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