Names in the News: September 19, 2021

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

BRAD VENTURA will take over as the new chief of the Maui County (HI) Fire Department (MCFD) on October 1. Ventura is a nearly 20-year MCFD veteran and has been its acting chief since David Thyne retired on July 1. He had been the MCFD’s deputy chief since August 2018. Ventura began his fire career in 2002 with an engine company at the Kahului Fire Station before being promoted to Firefighter II in 2007 and working on a Kahului rescue crew. He was then promoted to captain in 2015 and worked on an engine company at the Napili Fire Station.

SHAUN R. GADSDEN was selected as the new chief of the Awendaw-McClellanville (SC) Fire Department. Gadsden began his fire service career in 1997 as a volunteer with the Sullivan’s Island (SC) Fire Department. He has served as a captain, battalion chief, and division chief of training during his career. Gadsden has also worked for the North Charleston (SC) Fire Department, Dorchester County (SC) Fire-Rescue, as well as several other emergency service agencies. He also has a distinguished Chief Fire Officer Designation by the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

DERICK STALEY was announced as the new chief of the West Point (GA) Fire Department (WPFD) on September 13. Staley has nearly 30 years of experience in both volunteer and career departments and is currently a lieutenant with the WPFD, where he has worked for the past 22 years in the fire and EMS divisions. He will replace former WPFD Chief Milton Smith, who announced his retirement in July after a nearly 40-year fire service career. Staley’s appointment takes effect on October 1.

RICHARD PATTERSON will take over as the new chief of the Dracut (MA) Fire Department (DFD), effective September 30. Patterson has served as the DFD’s deputy chief since 2002. He was appointed as a call firefighter with the department in 1988. After nine years with emergency medical services, he became a full-time DFD firefighter in March 1995 and was then promoted to lieutenant in 2000 and captain in 2002. Patterson also serves as the chair of the Greater Lowell Emergency Planning Committee. He takes over the position from Donald Brouillette.

BOBBY GIPSON began serving as the new chief of the Plainview (TX) Fire Department (PFD) on September 15. Gipson has served as the PFD’s interim chief for seven months. He is a 32-year veteran of the PFD, serving from firefighter to captain. In addition to being a certified firefighter and paramedic, Gipson is now obtaining a Certified Public Manager Accreditation through Texas Tech University’s Public Administration Program.

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


Names in the News: September 5, 2021

Names in the News: August 8, 2021

Names in the News: July 25, 2021

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