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For Immediate Release: 2023 NFHC Hall of Legends, Legacies & Leaders Inductee Robert A. Bur

For Immediate Release: 2023 NFHC Hall of Legends, Legacies & Leaders Inductee Robert A. Burke

For Immediate Release: 2023 NFHC Hall of Legends, Legacies & Leaders Inductee:

For Immediate Release: 2023 NFHC Hall of Legends, Legacies & Leaders Inductee


Robert A. Burke


The National Fire Heritage Center was established


to preserve the history of America's fire service and


is pleased to announce the induction of Robert A.


Burke into the Hall of Legends, Legacies, and


Leaders (HLLL) - Class of 2023.

With over forty years of public safety service, Robert has served in a number of positions within the fire protection and hazardous materials preparedness communities. These have included serving as fire marshal with the University of Maryland – Baltimore Campus, command experience as chief officer and a company officer in both the career and volunteer fire service, as a HazMat Response Technician and HazMat Response Team member, and as an educator and instructor.

A prolific technical writer, Mr. Burke is the author of five textbooks and

related editions on fireprotection and hazardous materials topics. These

writings have included Fire Protection Systems and Response, Counter-

Terrorism for Emergency Responders, Hazardous Materials Chemistry for

Emergency Responders, and the five-volume series Hazmatology: The Science of

Hazardous Materials. In addition, he is the long-time contributor and author

of the hazardous materials column for Firehouse Magazine and



At the national level, Robert served on NFPA 45 - Technical Committee

for Laboratories Using Chemicals for over ten years. In addition, he is a

long-time adjunct instructor to the U.S. Fire Administration - National

Fire Academy in the hazardous materials and terrorism curriculums.


In 2018, in recognition of his demonstrated accomplishments and

contributions to the fire protection community, Robert was inducted

into The Firehouse Hall of Fame.


We are honored to have Robert Burke join the distinguished class of

inductees into the National Fire Heritage Center, Hall of Legends,

Legacies & Leaders for 2023.



Hazardous Materials and Terrorist Agents including Chemical, Biological, Nuclear and Explosive materials are all similiar in the way in which they should be handled.  Those responders who are trained and equipped to respond to hazardous materials releases can also effectively respond to terrorist incidents with some additional training.  My friend Gene Ryan, former hazmat responder and Deputy Commissioner of Operations in the Chicago Fire Department, once said "Terrorist agents are hazardous materials with attitude".

All books and training programs on this site were authored and designed by Robert Burke.  They are intended to provide emergency responders with the training to deal effectively with hazardous materials and provide the additional training needed to respond to terrorist incidents.  


Robert Burke earned an A.A. in Fire Protection Technology from Catonsville Community College Baltimore County, Maryland and a B.S. in Fire Science from the University of Maryland. He has also completed graduate work at the University of Baltimore in Public Administration.  He has attended numerous classes at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland and additional classes on firefighting, hazardous materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction at Oklahoma State University, Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama and others.


Mr. Burke has over 40 years experience in the emergency services as a career and volunteer firefighter, reaching the ranks of Firefighter/EMT,  Lieutenant, assistant fire chief, and deputy state fire marshal and Fire Marshal.   He is currently a member of the Heartland LEPC covering SE Nebraska and has provided and manages a hazardous materials display at the Nebraska Fire Museum in Kearney.


Mr. Burke is a Certified Hazardous Materials Specialist (CFPS),  Fire Instructor III, Fire Inspector, Hazardous Materials Incident Commander, Fire Inspector III and Plans Examiner II.  He served on the NFPA technical committee for NFPA 45 Laboratories Using Chemicals for 10 years.  He has been qualified as an expert witness for arson trials as well.


Served as an adjunct instructor at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland for Hazardous Materials, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Fire Protection curriculums for 30 years and the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville Campus. He has had articles published in various fire service trade magazines for the past 34 years. Mr. Burke is currently a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine, with a bimonthly column titled “Hazmatology” and he has had numerous articles published in Firehouse, Fire Chief, Fire Engineering and Nebraska Smoke Eater magazines.  He was inducted into the Firehouse Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN October 2018. for his contributions to the American Fire Service and Firehouse Magazine.  Mr. Burke has also been recognized as a subject matter specialist for hazardous materials and been interviewed by newspapers, radio and television about incidents that have occurred in local communities including Fox Television in New York City live during a tank farm fire on Staten Island.


Mr. Burke has written 8 books and is working on number 9, which is a five volume set.  The latest is Counter Terrorism for Emergency Responders 3rd Edition, earlier 2nd Edition  and the Original Book.  Hazardous Materials Chemistry for Emergency Responders 3rd Edition, earlier 2nd edition and and Original Book.  Hazmat Teams Across America 1st Edition.


Under development is a five volume set with the Title of Hazmatology: The Science of Hazardous Materials.  Volume 1 is  Chronicles of Incidents and Response.  Volume 2  Standard of Care and Hazmat Planning.  Volume 3 Applied Chemistry and Physics.  Volumn 4 Common Sense Emergency Response.  Volume 5 Hazmat Team Spotlight.  Expected to be published in January 2020.  Information about books can be found in the book section of this website.


Mr. Burke has been a presenter at Firehouse Expo in Baltimore and Nashville, TN  numerous times, presented at the EPA Region III SERC/LEPC Conference in Norfolk Virginia November 1994.  Presentation at the 1996 Environmental and Industrial Fire Safety Seminar, Baltimore, Maryland on NAERG.  He was a Speaker at the 1996 International Hazardous Materials Spills Conference June 26, 1996, New Orleans Louisiana, Speaker 5th Annual -1996 Environmental and Industrial Fire Safety Seminar, Baltimore Maryland, sponsored by Baltimore City Fire Department and LEPC, Instructor for Hazmat Chemistry August 1999 at Hazmat Expo 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Keynote presentation at the Western Canadian Hazardous Materials Symposium Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada 2008.  



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