Grissom fire chief named best in the state | New


BUNKER HILL – Grissom Fire Chief John Ireland was named Fire Chief of the Year by the Indiana Emergency Responders Conference for his outstanding achievement and leadership.

The award recognizes members of Indiana’s public safety organizations whose accomplishments exceed daily excellence in training, education and safety, according to a statement.

Ireland, who served 34 years in the department, said he couldn’t believe he had won the honor when he heard the news.

“I know some of the qualities of the other fire chiefs in the state, and to see that I won such a great award is truly a lesson in humility,” he said in a statement.

The award comes after the department won the 2020 Master Sergeant Ralph E. Sandborn Award for being the best mid-size fire department in Air Force Reserve Command.

Ireland said the Grissom Fire Department maintains a rigorous training cycle, including monthly aircraft firefighting training, emergency medical service and confined space rescue training.

“We have hundreds of hours of training that we do every year,” he said. “Each month we have 15 to 20 different classes that we put on each shift. It’s a very specialized training program that we have in the department.

The fire department regularly provides free training to local self-help partners, saving local volunteers and local fire departments thousands of dollars while increasing their level of response capabilities, said Ireland.

“These are just great relationships that we have built over the years with our mutual aid partners,” he said. “We are going to run with other departments in the region and we know each other by first name. Everything gets mixed up.

Timothy McMahon, deputy chief of operations at the base, said Ireland has always made members of its department a top priority, and it shows in its leadership.

“His passion is with his people and this is evident in the time he devotes to creating a great work environment,” said McMahon.

Ireland said today’s fire brigade is the best it has had in its 34 years of service with the department.

“They are professional and dedicated,” said Ireland. “In my opinion, we are one of the best fire departments in the United States. For us, being a group smaller than Chicago or New York, this team can pick up, go to any big city and do their job well, ”he said.

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