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Corporate Leadership Team

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) is comprised of the following members:


Darren KlemmCommissioner Darren Klemm AFSM
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner

Commissioner Darren Klemm has more than 27 years of experience in fire and emergency services, having served three years with the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service before joining the WA Fire Brigades Board in 1993.

Originally posted to Perth Fire Station, he served at various metropolitan fire stations. This was followed by time in Country Operations in the Goldfields Midlands, based in Northam, which gave him the opportunity to gain considerable experience in regional firefighting operations, as well as the chance to work closely with volunteers.

Commissioner Klemm also spent time at the then FESA Training Centre before being promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2012. Commissioner Klemm was appointed as the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner in September 2017.

Over the last six years he has successfully delivered and implemented a number of high level strategic reforms, including delivering key aspects of the DFES response to the Report of the Perth Hills Bushfire. This facilitated significant changes across DFES and the emergency management sector in Western Australia.

Commissioner Klemm has also been responsible for significant structural and cultural reform in the training and professional development of DFES personnel and volunteers, including management of the WA Fire and Emergency Services Academy and the introduction of the Professional Pathways competency based framework.

Commissioner Klemm is the DFES ‘Male Champion of Change’, a role he has held since the inception of the Fire and Emergency Services Male Champions of Change group in April 2017. The group includes Chief Executives and Commissioners who lead 30+ agencies responsible for fire, emergency and land management services across Australia and New Zealand. Their objective is to advance gender equity, inclusive cultures and achieve significant and sustainable improvements in the representation of women at all organisational levels throughout their workplaces and volunteer organisations.

He has been involved in strategic operations at State and Incident Controller level during significant emergencies such as the Waroona, O’Sullivan and Toodyay bushfires and Tropical Cyclone Olwyn.

Commissioner Klemm is a member of a number of national committees concerned with emergency management in Australia, and holds a Graduate Certificate in Management from the Australian Institute of Management.


Lloyd BaileyDeputy Commissioner Lloyd Bailey AFSM
Operations Command

Deputy Commissioner Bailey has more than 39 years experience in fire and emergency services, having commenced as a volunteer firefighter before joining the WA Fire Brigades Board in 1980 as a recruit.

He held a number of roles within FESA in both the metropolitan and country regions before it became the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, and was promoted to his current position in March 2012.

Deputy Commissioner Bailey holds a Diploma of Fire Engineering Management, Graduate Certificate in Applied Management from the Australian Institute of Police Management and a Graduate Business qualification from Curtin University.


Mal CronstedtDeputy Commissioner Mal Cronstedt AFSM
Strategy and Emergency Management Command

Deputy Commissioner Cronstedt has more than 41 years of experience in fire and emergency services, having commenced as a volunteer in 1976 before joining the WA Bush Fires Board full-time in 1982. 

He progressed through the ranks in in a variety of operational and support roles both in WA and NSW, gaining considerable experience in both rural and urban environments, before becoming Chief Superintendent Country South when DFES was created in 2012.

Appointed as the inaugural Director of the Office of Bushfire Risk Management in August 2012, he went on to become the Executive Director of the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) Secretariat, which later became the Office of Emergency Management.

Deputy Commissioner Cronstedt holds a Master of Business Administration from Curtin University, a Graduate Diploma in Disaster Management from Swinburne University and a Bachelor of Arts from Edith Cowan University. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government's Executive Fellows Program.


Richard BurnellMr Richard Burnell, MBA, BBus
A/Executive Director, Corporate Services Command

Mr Burnell commenced at DFES in September 2015 as Director Information and Communications Technology (ICT), before taking on the role of A/Executive Director. 

He has over 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, commercial management, business re-organisation and change management, business process re-engineering, cost management and project delivery of enterprise-wide programs, from a range of private sector industries in Australia and overseas.

During his tenure in the fire and emergency services environment, Mr Burnell has managed complex and wide ranging ICT reform to ensure DFES’ information and communications systems and services meet business needs, leveraging off the Government’s Digital Transformation strategy and services.

In 2017, through Mr Burnell’s leadership, the Computer Aided Dispatch project team won a prestigious ‘OpenGov Recognition of Excellence Award’ which recognised the innovative inter-Agency collaborative approach to project delivery.

Mr Burnell holds an MBA qualification from the University of New England (NSW) and a Bachelor of Business from WA Institute of Technology (now Curtin University).


Murray CarterMr Murray Carter
Executive Director, Rural Fire Division

Murray Carter has dedicated much of his life to combatting bushfire risk in Western Australia. Starting out as a 17 year old cadet with the then Forests Department, he spent thirteen years with CALM conducting prescribed burns and fighting large scale bushfires in country WA.

Mr Carter then took on the role of CEO for Lord Howe Island, leading marine and land management, before returning to WA and working in policy positions with the State Government. He dedicated five years to the role of Fire Manager for the then Department of Parks and Wildlife, and more than three years as Director of the Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) leading key reforms in rural fire management at the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

The current Chair of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC) Rural and Land Management Group, Mr Carter is also a member of the National Forest Fire Management Group, is on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF), and is the current (inaugural) Chair of the WA State Bushfire Coordinating Committee.


Gary GiffordAssistant Commissioner Gary Gifford ESM
Operations Capability

Assistant Commissioner Gifford has 37 years experience in the defence and emergency services industry.

He has been involved in emergency management at a national level for more than 11 years and in 2010 was awarded the Australian Emergency Services Medal.


Brad StringerAssistant Commissioner Brad Stringer
Metropolitan Operations

Assistant Commissioner Stringer has 24 years experience working in the fire and emergency services, having initially joined the WA Fire Brigades Board in 1989 as a recruit firefighter. He has served throughout the metropolitan region as a Firefighter, Station Officer, District Officer, Superintendent and Rural Operations Coordinator – North and South.


Graham SwiftAssistant Commissioner Graham Swift BBA
Country Operations

Assistant Commissioner Swift has 34 years experience in the field of fire and emergency services, having commenced as a volunteer firefighter in 1980, before moving to the Bush Fires Board of WA as a Regional Training Officer in 1994.

Assistant Commissioner Swift holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Curtin University.​


Paul RyanAssistant Commissioner Paul Ryan
Learning and Development

Assistant Commissioner Ryan has more than 29 years' experience in fire and emergency services, having initially joined as a volunteer firefighter. He began his career with the WA Fire Brigades Board in 1989 and has held senior operational and capability development roles across DFES commands.

Assistant Commissioner Ryan holds a Graduate Certificate in Applied Management and an Advanced Diploma of Management. ​


Rick CurtisA/Assistant Commissioner Rick Curtis
Resilience & Recovery

A/Assistant Commissioner Rick Curtis has more than 20 years of experience in fire and emergency services, becoming a firefighter in 1997 after four and a half years serving in the Western Australian Police Force in both metropolitan and regional areas.

Working initially in the metropolitan region, A/Assistant Commissioner Curtis became a Station Officer in 2007 and a District Officer in 2011, before being promoted to Regional Superintendent South West in 2013. During this time A/Assistant Commissioner Curtis was involved in the incident management of several major bushfires including the Waroona and O’Sullivan (Northcliffe) bushfires in January 2015, and the Waroona (Yarloop) bushfire in January 2016. He progressed into the role of Chief Superintendent State Operations from February 2016.

A/Assistant Commissioner Curtis has experience in all aspects of urban and rural firefighting and incident management including specialist skills in urban search and rescue, fire investigation, technical rescue, aviation, and recruit and officer instruction.

Having achieved various industry related tertiary and other qualifications he is in the final stages of a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) through Edith Cowan University. ​​​​