John Cunningham is the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Firefighters School; a position he has held since 2002.  In this capacity he oversees the training of approximately 6000 emergency responders each year and the daily operation and long range planning of the Provincial fire academy.   

A member of the fire service since 1990, John spent nearly 12 years with the Howie Centre Fire Department, rising through the ranks to become Chief.  He continues to serve his local community as Station Chief with Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Service, Station 65; Tantallon; a composite fire station with 25 volunteer and 4 career personnel.

Chief Cunningham is active in many National and International organizations promoting fire service safety and training.  Included in these are the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress, National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications, North American Fire Training Directors, Canadian Fire Service Training Directors, Fire Service Association of Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Fire Service Professional Qualifications Board.  In 2014 Chief Cunningham was appointed as the Chairman of the NFPA Committee on Firefighter Professional Qualifications (NFPA 1001, 1002, 1003 & 1005)

As a lifelong student and educator, Chief Cunningham has presented at conferences and seminars around the world on topics such as firefighting standards, emergency response operations, leadership, and developing training programs.