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Joseph Kitchen
  • Male
  • Lima, OH
  • United States
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Joseph Kitchen updated their profile
Mar 16, 2023

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.
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. I am excited to be presenting at FDIC 2018 in Indianapolis.
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 @chiefjoekitchen
Web site:

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Joseph Kitchen's Blog

Community Collaboration: How Local Fire Departments, First Responders, and Business/Industry Can Form Partnerships

Community Collaboration: How Local Fire Departments, First Responders, and Business/Industry Can Form Partnerships

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



Posted on May 1, 2018 at 5:00pm

An Open Letter to My 19 -Year-Old Rookie Firefighter Self, Written 28 Years Later

An Open Letter to My 19 -Year-Old Rookie Firefighter Self, Written 28 Years Later


Dear Joe,


You are about to experience something very special. You have been chosen to be part of…


Posted on March 5, 2018 at 10:30am

True Firefighter Courage

True Firefighter Courage

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


Posted on February 6, 2018 at 11:30am

Weekend with Bruno

“Weekend with Bruno”


Rock ‘n’ roll has Elvis…


Posted on March 14, 2017 at 1:00pm

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