Firefighting

Names in the News: July 3, 2020

Names in the News
Photo courtesy IFD

This bi-weekly series is dedicated to the latest promotions within the fire service.



COREY DEON THORNTON was announced as the new chief of the East Point (GA) Fire Department (EPFD). He has served as the EPFD’s interim chief since May 2019. Thornton is a 25-year EPFD veteran who began his career there in September 1995. He was promoted to Fire Administration in 2004. In 2005, he was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the Fire Prevention Division as a Fire/Arson Investigator. In 2011, he was promoted to Deputy Chief of Technical Services, overseeing five divisions of the EPFD.  



JOE ZATYLNY took over as the new chief of Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) Fire Rescue Services. He replaces outgoing chief Ken Block, who announced his resignation in December 2020 after 10 years in the position to become the first fire commissioner for Fire Rescue Victoria (Australia). Zatylny was previously the deputy chief of the Calgary Fire Department (CFD). He began his fire service career in Saskatchewan, then joined the CFD, where he’s spent the past 25 years, 10 of which were in leadership roles.



LEO BROWN was sworn in as the new chief of the Laurel (MS) Fire Department (LFD) on July 1. Brown has been a member of the LFD for the past 27 years, most recently serving as battalion chief. He replaces former LFD chief Mark Nichols, who retired. Brown started his career as a firefighter in 1993. Before joining the fire department, the Laurel native served in the United States Army.



WILLIAM MICHAEL HALL JR. took over as the new chief of the Marianna (FL) Fire Department (MFR). He replaces former chief Nakeya Lovett, who had served as MFD chief since 2012. Hall was previously a fire protection specialist with the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office. He began his fire service career in 2011 as a MFD firefighter. At Chipola College, he earned an associate degree as well as Firefighter I and II, EMT, and law enforcement certifications. Hall also has state and national certifications as a firefighter, EMT, and fire inspector.



MATTHEW TOBIA took over as the new chief of the Harrisonburg (VA) Fire Department (HFD) on June 28. Tobia was previously the HFD’s deputy chief of support services. He is a 30-year fire service veteran and a HFD member since early 2019. Before coming to Harrisonburg, Tobia served as the assistant chief of support services and volunteer administration for Loudoun County (VA) Fire and Rescue. He also served with the Anne Arundel County (MA) Fire Department from 1992 to 2014.



To feature yourself or a fellow member in “Names in the News,” please send an e-mail with the information (60-100 words) and a high-resolution photo of the member with the subject line “NITN” to [email protected].