Names in the News: March 7, 2021

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

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ALEX HAMILTON was sworn in as the new chief of the Oxnard (CA) Fire Department (OFD). Hamilton began his career with the OFD as a firefighter in 2005. He was promoted to fire engineer in 2010, then to captain in 2012, battalion chief in 2016, and finally to assistant chief in 2017. He previously worked as a volunteer firefighter in Australia, where he grew up. Hamilton is a recipient of the Kiwanis Firefighter of the Year and the City of Oxnard Employee of the Year awards and has earned numerous educational and training certificates.



TRAVIS GRIFFITH was named the new chief of Roanoke County (VA) Fire & Rescue (RCFR). He has been RCFR’s deputy chief of operations since 2015. He began his service with the department in 2002 as a firefighter/emergency medical technician and was promoted up through the ranks, becoming a lieutenant in 2005, captain in 2008, and battalion chief in 2012. Griffith takes over the position from previous RCFR Chief Steve Simon, who retired last month after serving 27 years with the department. During his tenure, Griffith has implemented more than $4.9 million in federal funding for the department for equipment and staffing and led the department’s COVID response to ensure the safety of personnel.



CHRIS MARTIN will take over as the new chief of the Cuyahoga Falls (OH) Fire Department (CFFD) on July 1. He will replace current CFFD Chief Fred Jackson, who will retire on June 30 after serving 34 years with the department. Martin is a 20-year CFFD member who has worked in every capacity at emergency scenes, including frontline tasks and command roles. His administrative duties include personnel management to budget preparation. He is a 2018 graduate of the Ohio Fire Executive program through the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association.



KRISTOPHER BLUME took over as the ninth-ever chief of the Meridian (ID) Fire Department on February 24. An Idaho native, Blume comes to Meridian from the Tucson (AZ) Fire Department, where he worked for 21 years and was that department’s battalion chief of the Special Operations Division. He is also an instructor for the National Fire Academy and an expert in fireground and emergency management.



MICHAEL LANNING began his tenure as the new chief of the Spencer (NC) Fire Department (SFD) on March 1. Lanning is the first-ever full-time chief in the department’s history. He joined the SFD in 2012 as a part-time engineer, later serving as captain. He was then promoted to SFD assistant chief in the summer of 2020, becoming interim chief at the end of last year. He has received multiple awards and accolades while serving in his previous roles, from Rookie of the Year to Officer of the Year.



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 derek.rosenfeld@clarionevents.com.

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