Where Are They Now: Rick Mason, LRCC Fire Science

Where Are They Now: Rick Mason, LRCC Fire Science

Richard Mason is the retired Director of the Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Service, under the New Hampshire Department of Safety.

Mr. Mason became the third person to head the Division in the State of New Hampshire when he was appointed to the post in 1996. In 2000 he was among one of the first to be designated as a Chief Fire Officer, with the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

The Division of Fire Standards & Training & Emergency Medical Service’s primary mission is to increase the capability of New Hampshire Fire and Emergency Medical Services through the application of the best practices, education, and practice.  Mr. Mason has always strived for excellence in the Division’s services.  He is known for his dedication, teamwork, and open communication. 

As Director, Mr. Mason oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Division, including the New Hampshire Fire Academy. The Director establishes, maintains, approves, and certifies programs, courses, institutions, and facilities for the study of fire service and emergency medical services personnel along with their recruits.   

Since his retirement in 2011, Rick has served as the Training and Education Coordinator of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  The Foundation is responsible for honoring those firefighters who were killed in the line of duty, take care of their families, and since 2006 has been charged with preventing line of duty deaths from occurring through training and awareness.  The Red Cross and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation are the only two non-profit organizations that were ever established by the United States Congress.

He served on the board of directors of the North American Fire Training Directors (and is immediate past president), an organization which is open to the 50 state fire training directors, as well as the Canadian provincial fire training directors.  Mr. Mason completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and is a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers.  He also served as chairman of the Commission on Professional Credentialing that oversees the designation process for chief fire officers and chief medical officers for the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

Mr. Mason is active in the New Hampshire Boy Scouts and earned the Eagle Scout award as a youth, served as the first president of the Safety & Health Council of Northern New England, and is past president of the Portsmouth Sunrise Rotary Club.

Prior to his career at the state's fire academy, Richard Mason served for more than 20 years in three New Hampshire city fire departments: as a Shift Captain with the City of Lebanon Fire Department, Deputy Fire Chief for Nashua Fire Rescue, and Operations and Training Chief for the City of Portsmouth Fire Department.

Mason earned his Associate's Degree in Fire Protection from the Lakes Region Community College (formerly New Hampshire Community Technical College at Laconia) and his Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety Management from the University System of New Hampshire.  He currently resides in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Of his experience at LRCC, Mason says: “The New Hampshire Technical College as it was known in 1991, now Lakes Region Community College, has always been very customer friendly.  I worked on my Associate Degree in Fire Protection in a long span of time.  While this is not encouraged, the staff and professors at the college were very supportive and understanding of an adult with a family and full-time job trying to complete college.  After 16 years I held my head high walking on the stage to receive my degree!”