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Posted on: June 9, 2021

East Lansing Fire Chief Randy Talifarro Retires After 20 Years of Dedicated Service

EAST LANSING, Mich. — East Lansing Fire Chief Randy Talifarro is retiring this month following 20 years of dedicated service to the East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD) and a 35-year career in fire service.

Talifarro was appointed to serve as East Lansing’s fire chief in March 2001 and, beginning in 2012, he served as the chief of both ELFD and the Lansing Fire Department for six years under a shared fire chief agreement between the municipalities. 

Prior to his long career in East Lansing, Talifarro served with the City of Flint Fire Department (FFD), where he was awarded “Firefighter of the Year” and earned the Medal of Merit in 1993. He also received his State of Michigan Professional Emergency Manager designation in 1998 and received several promotions during his years with FFD, moving through the ranks to become assistant fire chief in 2000.

 Talifarro graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in public administration and completed the Master of Arts Homeland Security Program through the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, Calif. Additionally, Talifarro was a U.S. Fire Administration fellow at the Executive Education Harvard Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. 

During his years of service in East Lansing, Talifarro also served as a commissioner on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan for 12 years. Additionally, he served in various other capacities during his 35-year career in fire service, including as a trustee of the Society of Minority Firefighters, board member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, member of the Michigan Infrastructure Coordinating Committee – Emergency Services Sector and member and president of the Flint Community Schools Board of Education.

“Chief Talifarro has proudly served our community with professionalism, efficiency and diligence over the last 20 years,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas. “We are grateful for Chief Talifarro’s leadership in East Lansing, the knowledge and expertise that he brought with him to the role and for his continued support, particularly over the last year as he has led us through the emergency management of a public health crisis.”

Talifarro’s last day of work with the City of East Lansing is June 11, 2021. ELFD Deputy Chief Dawn Carson will serve as interim fire chief until the fire chief position is filled. 

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