Director- NH Fire Standards, Training and Emergency Medical Services; Deb Pendergast has been a member of the NH fire service for 25 years and for the last 3 years has been serving as the Fire Chief and Director of the NH Fire and EMS Academy. Other positions she has held include Deputy Chief of Operations and Training for Laconia Fire Department for nearly 10 years, Safety Chief, Lieutenant, and IAFF Local President. In 2007, she graduated from the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program. Chief Pendergast completed the year- long Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI) through IAFC. Deb has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and extensive training in behavioral health, crisis intervention, critical incident stress management and safety and wellness, as well as a Labor/Management background and training. Chief Pendergast is currently completing her master’s degree in Public Administration/Organizational Behavior.
Deb is civic-minded and enjoys giving back to her community. She is currently the President of the Board of Directors of Genesis Behavioral Health, one of the State’s Community Mental Health Centers. She is a long-time volunteer with the Granite State Critical Incident Stress Management Team and the President and co-founder of NH United Fire Service Women. Other professional organizations she is involved in include the IAFC, the NH Association of Fire Chiefs Board of Directors, and the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services, serving as the New England Trustee. Finally, she holds the Vice President position on the Board of Professional Firefighters of NH Pipes and Drums, where she has been a bagpiper for the last twelve years. Each year, Chief Pendergast gets involved in the State CPAT (physical agility) exam where she mentors and encourages young women to succeed. Chief Pendergast has lectured nationally for the past 5 years on leadership topics as well as emergency responder behavioral health.