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RELEASE – Reno-Tahoe International Airport adds new leadership to firefighting team

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RENO, Nev. – The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) is adding a highly respected and experienced member of the firefighting community to help lead the Reno-Tahoe International Airport Fire Department.

Mike Brown is stepping in as the Administrative Fire Chief of the RTAA while a nationwide search begins for a permanent replacement. Mike brings 37 years of experience including Battalion Chief for the Nevada Division of Forestry and Fire Chief from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.  Mike, who is retired, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Advanced Fire Administration and holds many certifications including National Registered Paramedic, Nevada EMS Instructor, and State of Nevada Fire Instructor II.

Current RTAA Fire Chief Tom Nelson will be moving to the position of Deputy Chief with responsibility for Incident Command.  Tom has over 30 years of experience that includes the United States Air Force, Nevada Air National Guard, and the RTAA.  Tom’s knowledge of RNO and depth of experience in aircraft firefighting make him a valuable member of the management team.

The leadership team of Administrative Chief Brown and Deputy Chief Nelson has the experience to lead the highly trained and well equipped airport firefighting team. Brown will be actively engaged in the review and updating of processes and procedures as the RTAA continues to provide high quality service to tenants and its 4.2 million passengers.


The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority receives no state or local funding. All operating revenues are derived from tenant and concession fees. The Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) is the 63rd busiest commercial airport in the United States, with more than 4.2 million passengers per year. For more details, visit