The Fire Prevention Division serves our community by inspecting new commercial construction, existing commercial and public buildings for fire and life safety hazards. Inspectors check structures for compliance with code provisions for building construction, fire protection systems and safe operating practices. The Prevention Division consists of the Fire Marshal/ Deputy Chief of Prevention, two Fire Inspectors, a Public Education Specialist and also directs 4 other personnel who are trained as fire investigators. The Fire Investigation Section is responsible for investigating fires of suspicious origin, fires that involve fatalities and those that result in large dollar loss. The Public Education Division provides fire and life safety programs to our business community, schools, community organizations and citizens. Preventing fires is without a doubt the most cost efficient form of fire protection.
Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention, Joe Bongiorno
Joe began his career with the Meridian Fire Department in 1999 as a volunteer. He earned his EMT Basic and Firefighter I certification within the first year and was hired full-time as a firefighter in 2003. He rose to the rank of Captain and in 2014 became a Captain of Fire Inspection. In 2017, he accepted the position of Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention. Joe has his Bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration, holds certifications as a Fire Investigation Technician (FIT) and an Evidence Collection Technician from the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). He is also one of three fire investigators with the City of Meridian.
Joe is married with two daughters. His oldest daughter is pursuing a medical career in Kirkland, Washington, and his youngest daughter is married and works for the State of Idaho.
Fire Inspector, Kenny Bowers
Kenny Bowers joined the Meridian Fire Department in 1972 as a volunteer firefighter. He worked through the ranks and was appointed to acting Chief in 1984. He served in this capacity part-time until 1992 when he then moved into the position full time. Under Chief Bowers' direction, Meridian Fire built 3 new fire stations and equipped them with the necessary apparatus. He was instrumental in starting the Thermal Imaging Program, the Defibrillator Program and establishing Meridian Fire Department's Fire Safety Center which opened in 2005. In April of 2005, Kenny retired as our Fire Chief and took on the job of Assistant Fire Chief, then in 2006, he moved to the position of Fire Inspector in our Fire Prevention Division. Kenny is passionate about Life Safety in the Meridian Community for all of its citizens. He continues to be the face of the Department and inspects businesses and serves the community as one of our Fire Inspectors today.
Fire Inspector, John Overton
John was born and raised in Idaho and spent four years on the USS Augusta SSN 710 Nuclear powered Submarine, in the US Navy. In 1995 after his military service, John got hired with Meridian Fire Department as a Volunteer Firefighter. John got hired full time in 1998 by Chief Bowers and was one of fourteen to go through Nampa’s academy that year. John rose through the ranks and promoted to Captain in 2007. He was assigned to Station #5 at its opening that same year and remained there until he came into the Prevention Division in 2017. John holds the position of Inspector/Investigator and has his IAAI-FIT certification. John is a proud father of two kids. His son is a Sophomore and plays football for Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. His daughter is a High School Sophomore and is active in competitive cheer.
Public Education Division Manager, Pam Orr
Pam began her career in the fire service as a member of the United States Air Force. After serving 20 years in the military and holding many positions from Firefighter to Fire Chief, Pam retired and moved to Boise. In 2005, Pam joined the Meridian Fire Department as a Public Educator. Pam has developed many public education programs for Meridian Fire and is passionate about families and their safety. She absolutely loves teaching children and their families how to be safe. We thank Pam for her service to her country and are proud to have her on our team!
Fire Education Prevention Assistant, Herb Griffin
Herb was born and raised in Southern California. He started his Fire Service career in 1988 and spent 24 years with his hometown, Escondido Fire Department. During his career, he has worked as a Firefighter, Fire Engineer, Fire Captain, Battalion Chief, and as a Division Chief/Fire Marshal. Herb has a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Studies from California State University, Long Beach. After retiring, Herb and his wife, Stacey, relocated to Meridian. They enjoy outdoor activities, as well as attending all types of sports events.
Herb joined Meridian Fire in 2018. He is looking forward to sharing his passion for Fire Safety with the community.