Mayor Barlow Announces His Selection of Randy Griffin as Next Oswego Fire Chief

OSWEGO, NY – Mayor Billy Barlow is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Griffin as the next Fire Chief for the City of Oswego Fire Department.

Late last year, Mayor Barlow announced his intention to select the next Fire Chief and indicated the selection would not consist of a current member of the Oswego Fire Department.

“We need to bring a fresh set of eyes and a new approach to the Oswego Fire Department and I am confident Randy Griffin will do just that,” Mayor Barlow said. “Randy is an expert and consummate professional in the fields of fire service, emergency management and public safety, bringing with him a resume that is second to none. Randy’s extensive experience and wealth of knowledge will undoubtedly lift the potential of the Fire Department by transforming and diversifying its capabilities, all in an effort to better serve the citizens of the city of Oswego. We are very fortunate to have recruited a professional of such high caliber and I am honored to have him serve in my administration as we continue to move our community forward. My administration is committed to providing the highest levels of fire protection and service in the State of New York and Mr. Griffin will ensure that such a product is delivered to our community better than ever before.”

“I am incredibly honored and excited to serve Mayor Billy Barlow and the residents of the city of Oswego,” said Griffin.  “Every community wants a capable, trusted fire department that they can be proud to call their own. I am looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the Oswego Fire Department and building a safe, sustainable, valued organization that all Oswegonians can be proud of.”

Chief Griffin comes with nearly thirty years of experience in fire service and emergency management. First appointed as a career firefighter in 1994 with the Fayetteville Fire Department, he has served with distinction, in various capacities in the fire service including as Training Officer, Health and Safety Officer and the Director of Medical Operations.

From 2005 – 2011, Griffin was detailed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate in Washington, DC. At this assignment, he served as the senior liaison for state and local interaction and as the principal division point of contact to FEMA.

To protect America’s first responders, he managed numerous multi-million-dollar research projects for the department.

In addition to work domestically, Griffin also managed two separate bilateral agreements between the United States Government and Sweden, as well as Australia.

In addition to work in the fire service, Griffin has also worked extensively in higher education.

He was the lead content developer and former faculty member for a newly created Emergency and Disaster Management Executive Master’s Degree Program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and since 2007, has served as an adjunct graduate instructor for the Public Administration Department at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Griffin has also served as an adjunct emergency medicine educator at the Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

He has delivered training and education programs around the world in topics related to public safety, including lectures and hands-on programs at international conferences.

His emergency management experience includes work in emergency operation centers for the Northern New York Ice Storm and the Onondaga County Labor Day Storm.

While on detail to the Department of Homeland Security, he was deployed as a member of Arizona Task Force-1, one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue Teams to Hurricane Rita.

Captain Griffin spent a week on the ground conducting search and rescue missions for survivors of the storm.

He also spent a week in California, during the 2007 wildfire siege, working with federal officials at the Joint Field Office, State officials at the State Operations Center and local officials in Orange County.

A native of New York, Griffin earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Oswego State University and an Associate’s degree from the fire protection program at Corning Community College.

Griffin serves on a number of national boards, including the U.S. Attorney General sanctioned, Inter-Agency Board (IAB) for Equipment Interoperability and Standardization.

Additionally, he serves as a member of the ANSI Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative (HDSSC) and also the FEMA Emergency Management Institute, Science and Technology Special Interest Group.

Griffin will take over the Oswego Fire Department on March 31.

Mayor Barlow also announced that Assistant Fire Chief John Chawgo will serve as acting chief in the interim.


  1. Article says that he worked with Sweden and Australia. Is he going to force more immigrants to Our town? Trump said Sweden is full of crime and Australia is trying to force us to take their illegals. Now billy puts this griffin in charge .. why? He worked at FEMA! we deserve better!

  2. I agree an earlier comment, this guy seems over qualified for the job. How did little ‘ol Oswego get him? Good job mayor!!

  3. Will the new Fire Chief have to move to Oswego as part of the job? Does this not matter any more.

  4. Maybe lil old Oswego got him because FEMA has a plan. Think about it – he looks good on paper, doesn’t live here. The clues are here.

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