Names In The News

JASON HOEVELMANN was selected as the new chief of the Florissant Valley (MO) Fire District (FVFD). He replaces Scott Seppelt, who will retire in March 2019. Hoevelmann has been with the FVFD since 2000, rising through the ranks from firefighter/paramedic to captain and then to battalion chief. He has been published in Fire Engineering and is a speaker at conferences such as the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference International. Hoevelmann has served as second vice president for the International Society of Fire Service Instructors and a board of director for the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Fire Life Safety Section.

JON STRATTON was appointed as the new chief of the Plainfield (IL) Fire Protection District (PFPD). He takes over the PFPD from former chief David Riddle, who retired. Stratton began with the district as a volunteer firefighter in 1994 before being promoted up through the ranks, becoming deputy chief in 2005. Stratton indicated that the department is above compliance with training requirements.

MICHAEL HANNIGAN was named the new chief of the Franklin Township (OH) Fire Department. Hannigan replaces former chief Tom Snively, who resigned in November 2018. A fourth-generation firefighter, Hannigan begin his public safety career with the city of Oakwood, Ohio, serving as both public safety officer and public safety sergeant. In 1984, Hannigan became the first full-time fire chief for the Lebanon (OH) Fire Division (LFD), where he was responsible for guiding the LFD in its evolution from a volunteer into a combination part- and full-time department. His sons, Matthew and Kyle, are firefighters with the Deerfield Township and Union Township/South Lebanon Fire Departments.

Names In The News


JOHN BRANT took over as the new chief of the LaGrange (GA) Fire Department (LFD). Brant, previously a deputy chief, replaces Lou Dekmar, who served as both the LaGrange Police Department (LPD) and the LFD’s chief for more than a decade. Dekmar will now focus solely on the LPD. Brant has served with the LFD for 23 years. He said his main goals are keeping up the LFD’s accreditation score (the LFD received accreditation in August from the Commission of Fire Accreditation International) and reaching out to local leaders and business owners. Brant said he also wants to increase fire safety in public education at the middle and high school levels.

JOEL BAKER was selected as the new chief of the Austin (TX) Fire Department (AFD). Baker becomes the first African-American chief to lead the department’s 1,100 employees in 45 fire stations. He replaces former chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, who stepped down from the AFD in July after nine years to become the fire chief for Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Baker was most recently the chief for the Atlanta (GA) Fire Rescue Department (AFRD). He began his fire career with the East Point (GA) Fire Department in 1986 and joined the AFRD two years later, eventually rising through the ranks to become that department’s chief.

BRIAN CRIMMINS was sworn in as the new chief of the Hoboken (NJ) Fire Department. Mayor Ravi Bhalla appointed Crimmins to the position. In November 2017, Crimmins, then a battalion chief, was sworn in as provisional chief, replacing Anton Peskens. Crimmins comes from a long line of Hoboken public safety officials. His grandfather, George W. Crimmins, was chief of police, and his father, George W. Crimmins II, served as business administrator and public safety director.