Chief Holton's bio
On June 4, 2007, Douglas A. Holton was sworn in as the first African American fire chief in the city of Milwaukee. Chief Holton has more than 30 years of experience in fire services and his innovative and progressive leadership has been recognized both locally and nationally. As fire chief of the City of Milwaukee, Chief Holton is directly responsible for supervising a staff of 1082 firefighters, EMS, and civilian employees and overseeing a $96 million operating budget.
Prior to serving as chief of the Milwaukee Fire Department, Chief Holton served as the first African American chief of the St. Paul Fire Department, where he was directly responsible for supervising a staff of 474 firefighters, EMS, and civilian employees and overseeing a $50.3 million operating budget.
During Chief Holton's tenure with the St. Paul Fire Department, he recruited and hired the most racially diverse class of firefighters in the department's history; established full staffing on all first response fire vehicles per National Fire Protection Standards (NFPA); created a comprehensive fire vehicle replacement plan that ensured standardized and safe vehicles for firefighters; and purchased 800 MHz radios that complied with the recommendations of the 911 Commission Report on inoperable communications between local agencies.
Before joining the St. Paul Fire Department, Chief Holton had a long and distinguished career with the Milwaukee Fire Department (January 1978 - September 2003), where he served as Deputy Chief of Fire Operations, Deputy Chief of Instruction & Training, Deputy Chief of Construction and Maintenance, Battalion Chief, Captain, Lieutenant, and Firefighter.