Names in the News: June 19, 2020

Names in the News
Photo courtesy IFD

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

JIMMY O’DONNELL retired from the Chicago (IL) Fire Department (CFD) after 41 years of service. Upon his retirement, he was the longest-tenured CFD member. Ending his career as a battalion chief, O’Donnell began his career in 1979. He has witnessed some of the CFD’s most significant events, including the 1995 heat wave that killed hundreds as well as being one of the CFD members who traveled to New York City to aid first responders in the aftermath of 9/11.

JOHN CHRISTIAN was announced as the new chief of the Barrington (IL) Fire Department (BFD). He will officially take over the job in July. Christian replaces Jim Arie, who retired in March after leading the BFD since 2003. Christian began his career in 1987 at the Grayslake (IL) Fire Protection District.

CLARK TAYLOR was named the new chief of the Morristown (TN) Fire Department (MFD). He succeeds previous MFD chief Bill Honeycutt, who will retire at the end of June. Taylor is a 37-year fire service veteran and has held every operations position in the MFD. He chairs the Hamblen County Emergency Medical Service Board and is in charge of all MFD fire and emergency operations. On taking the job, Taylor says he will focus on firefighters’ physical fitness and technology.

JEFFREY HILLIGOSS was named the new chief of the Mattoon (IL) Fire Department (MFD). Hilligoss has served 19 years with the MFD and moves into the position from his current rank of Captain. He replaces previous chief Tony Nichols, who retired in February 2019. Since that time, the position has been filled by interim chiefs Kris Phipps and Kevin Schott. Hilligoss has also been a volunteer chief with the Lincoln Fire Protection District in Charleston, Illinois.

ANDY WEATHERMAN was named the new chief of the Statesville (NC) Fire Department (SFD). He has been the SFD’s deputy chief since 2018 and was serving as interim chief following the resignation of former chief Spencer Lee in December 2019. Weatherman began his career in 1988 as a volunteer at the Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Department, where he served for the past 10 years as chief. He began his career service in 1993 with the SFD as a rookie firefighter.

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

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