Dan Hoff: A teacher of firefighters

The York Area United Fire and Rescue fire chief learned from a high school teacher what it means to be a leader. Now, he’s passing that knowledge on to young firefighters.

Presented by: Our York Media
Dan Hoff (Our York Media)

It was his high school history teacher who taught Dan Hoff what it means to be a leader.

That first day of school, Dr. Michael McGough laid out his expectations for the class.

He told them what was OK and what was not OK. He set the bar for his students, and it was high.

Then, he did everything in his power to make sure each and every one of his students could meet that mark.

It resonated with Dan so strongly that, now, more than 30 years later, it still sticks in his mind as an example of great leadership.

It’s part of what made Dan want to become a teacher himself, why he went to college and got a degree in secondary education.

But Dan is not a teacher.

He’s a fire chief.

We have some of the best people on the face of this earth.

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Dan Hoff YAUFR Fire Chief

Dan’s job with Springettsbury Township EMS was supposed to be temporary, just something to get him by until he landed a teaching gig.

Instead, it launched his career in fire services.

He’s been a professional firefighter ever since, the last two years as chief at York Area United Fire & Rescue.

He loves his job. Late nights, weekends, it doesn’t matter. He loves coming to work every single day.

“It’s because of the people I get to do this with,” he says. “We have some of the best people on the face of this earth.”

And although he’s not a teacher, he hasn’t forgotten the lessons he learned from Dr. McGough, past chiefs, and coaches who taught him what it means to be a leader.

He lays out expectations for his firefighters.

He takes care of them and gives them the tools they need to be successful.

And then he does everything in his power to make sure each and every one of his firefighters can meet the high bar for success.

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