Served as the Fire Chief of the Mesa, Arizona Fire Department for more than five years
(May 1997 – October 2002). Mesa was a 500 member fire department and became fully accredited in 2001 during my tenure as Fire Chief. In addition to my role as Fire Chief, I was responsible for City-wide Emergency Management.
Member of the Phoenix, Arizona Fire Department for almost twenty-seven years (1971-1997). I promoted through the ranks to Assistant Fire Chief, where I managed major Divisions of the department for fifteen years. Phoenix was a 1,450 member fire department.
Served in command of the Phoenix FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team that was deployed to incidents attracting worldwide attention, including the Northridge earthquake in California and the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. I also worked at the Pentagon and World Trade Center scenes in the days and weeks immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Co-owner (with my spouse) of Dennis Compton & Associates and S&D Products and Services.
Invited speaker at many national and international conferences, the National Fire Academy, as well as accredited management and leadership courses at many universities and symposia.
Past Program Chair of Fire Science at Phoenix College and instructor in the program for 20 years.
Served with many national, state, and local organizations as an executive advisor, strategist, facilitator, instructor, speaker, consultant, and industry leader in the public and non-profit sectors. Worked with the City of New Orleans Fire Department on a small FEMA sponsored panel in 2005 that assisted with the development of a strategic plan to rebuild the fire department and fire protection systems in the city following Hurricane Katrina. Led a 2006 City of Phoenix task force consisting of approximately twenty-six city departments to develop city-wide operational plans for specific areas of disaster response.