Names in the News: October 3, 2021

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



DANIELLE MORSE will become the first firefighter to compete for the title of Miss America in the 100-year history of the competition. Morse, who won the title of Miss Vermont 2021 on May 30, has been a volunteer firefighter in her hometown of Whiting for the past eight years after joining its cadet program when she turned 15. Morse is a recent graduate of Castleton University, where she obtained a degree in nursing. The competition will be held on December 16 at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. For the talent portion of the competition, she will be speed painting. 



JOSHUA FLORENCE, a volunteer member with Melrose (FL) Fire Rescue (MFR), was named Florida Volunteer Firefighter of the Year. He began his career in 2013 as a ride-along member with the Tallahassee Fire Department while attending Florida A&M University. He then relocated to Windsor Fire Rescue, then moved on to MFR in 2014. Since then, Florence has become a certified public information officer, vehicle machinery rescue tech, and hazmat tech and is now employed by Putnam County Fire Rescue. He was recognized by the state for his help with founding the Melrose Explorer Post 242; the outdoor warning siren system; and the marine team, which responds to local waterways. 



GREG BENSON was named the new chief of the Port Arthur (TX) Fire Department (PAFD). Benson started his career as a volunteer firefighter after graduating high school. He was previously the chief/emergency management director of the Victorville (CA) Fire Department. Benson has a certificate of achievement in organizational behavior and consulting from Benedictine University, a master’s of public administration from Northern Illinois University, and a bachelor of science in fire science management from Southern Illinois University. He replaces former PAFD Chief Larry Richard, who retired in January after nearly 40 years with the department.



EUGENE DEEM was named the new chief of the Morgantown (WV) Fire Department (MFD). Deem joined the MFD in 1993 as a probationary firefighter and has moved up through the ranks to the positions of first-class firefighter, lieutenant, and operations captain. Prior to arriving at the MFD, he worked in public service in Gilmer County. Deem has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Glenville State College. He replaces previous MFD Chief Mark Caravasos, who announced his retirement in May after 34 years of service.



KEITH JACOBS took over as the new chief of the Roseville (MI) Fire Department (RFD). He succeeds previous RFD Chief Brian Kanigowski, who retired in September after spending the past 14 months in the position. Jacobs is a 29-year fire service veteran who was the RFD’s battalion chief before accepting the top job. A Roseville native, he earned an associate degree from Macomb Community College in fire suppression and is a licensed paramedic who worked for two years as a volunteer firefighter with the Fraser (MI) Department of Public Safety.



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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