Chief Scarpa is a newly appointed Fire-EMS Chief for Columbus, Georgia serving since August of 2020. In addition to serving as the Fire-EMS Chief, he is the Emergency Management Agency Director for Columbus and Muscogee County.
Prior to moving to Columbus, he spent twenty-five years in the Kansas City metropolitan area. From 2013-2020, Sal served as the Deputy Fire Chief and Accreditation Manager in Shawnee, Kansas. Prior to that, he spent seventeen years at the North Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department where he rose through the ranks from Firefighter /EMT to Battalion Chief. Sal started his fire service career thirty years ago as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Sal has a strong background in training and education having served as instructor and educator for over twenty years. He was a fire service instructor for over a decade at the Blue River Community College Fire Academy. He has authored numerous articles on leadership and professionalism that have been published in fire service publications such as Fire Engineering, FireRescue Magazine, and the International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management. In addition, he is a frequent presenter on emerging issues in leadership having presented at numerous local, regional, and national conferences such as Fire Department Instructors Conference, Fire Rescue International, and the Excellence Conference.
Chief Scarpa is passionate about leadership, engagement and professionalism in the fire service. In 2009, he completed the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy. He has been recognized as a Chief Fire Officer by the Center for Public Safety Excellence since 2010. He has been actively involved in numerous local, regional and national fire service endeavors including work on several International Association of Fire Chiefs projects and committees.
Currently, Sal is a member of the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs as well as the Metro Chiefs section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He serves as a peer assessor for the Center for Fire Accreditation International. Additionally, he is on the Advisory Committee for the Muscogee County School District – Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education; and the Chattahoochee Valley Community College Public Safety – Career Technical Advisory Committee.
Education & Personal Background
Chief Scarpa is a strong believer in lifelong learning. In 2001, he achieved his Associate’s degree in Fire Science from The Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City. He went on to complete his Bachelor of Public Administration in Fire Service Management (with Distinction) degree at Park University in 2003. He achieved his Master of Science degree in Leadership with an emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Service Leadership in 2014 from Grand Canyon University.
Sal is proud to call Columbus, Georgia his home where he currently lives with his dog Zorro. His older son Justin is a welder in Kansas City. His younger son John is attending college at Baker University. During his free time, he is becoming acquainted with his new community and state, and spends time traveling with the love of his life.
“Leadership is not about directing people to a certain destination or level of achievement; but rather about equipping them with the tools, resources and capacity to get there on their own.”