Burgess named assistant chief among three GFD promotions

Saturday, March 22, 2014
In a ceremony at City Hall earlier this week Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray swears in John Burgess as the new Greencastle Fire Department assistant chief. Burgess succeeds Jeff Mace, who recently retired after 14 years as assistant to Chief Bill Newgent.

When Jeff Mace retired recently as Greencastle Fire Department assistant chief, it set off a chain reaction of department personnel changes culminating in a swearing-in ceremony earlier this week at City Hall.

With co-workers, friends and family on hand at the outset of the monthly Greencastle Board of Works meeting, Mayor Sue Murray swore in John Burgess as the new assistant chief, succeeding Mace who had held that spot that past 14 years.

Meanwhile, succeeding Burgess as captain on the department's B Shift is Brian Poole, who was promoted from lieutenant when sworn in by Mayor Murray.

Assuming Poole's former position as lieutenant is Kenneth Shepherd, also sworn in by the mayor during the brief ceremony.

In asking the Board of Works to approve the promotions, Chief Bill Newgent said, "As you know, our department's been going through some transition."

Two fire captains and lieutenant were interviewed for the assistant chief role before Burgess was selected as Mace's successor, Newgent told the board.

The departure of Mace also has created a firefighter vacancy at GFD.

Burgess, a 1984 North Putnam High School graduate, started in the fire service in May 1987 with Madison Township Volunteer Fire Department and was hired by GFD in November 1995.

An EMT-B, fire instructor, fire investigator and hazmat technician, Burgess serves as the department's hazmat coordinator. He is also the first aid and CPR Instructor for GFD.

Burgess was previously promoted to lieutenant in February 2007, and captain in September 2009.

Greencastle Fire Chief Bill Newgent (second from left) poses with new Assistant Chief John Burgess (third from left), Brian Poole (left), who was promoted from lieutenant to shift captain, and Kenneth Shepherd, recently promoted to lieutenant.

The new assistant chief and his wife Tammy are the parents of three sons, John, Patrick and Brandon.

Lt. Poole, meanwhile, graduated from North Putnam in 2001, after which he attended IUPUI for two years, and then transitioned to Ivy Tech to earn his associate's degree in fire science.

Poole has obtained several training certifications through the state, including EMT-B, Inspector I/II, Instructor I/II and hazmat technician.

He started his firefighting career in 2003 as a volunteer with the Roachdale Fire Department and with the PMH Ambulance service.

In January 2006 Poole started his tenure with the Greencastle Fire Department as a part-time employee, and in September that year was hired full time.

Poole was promoted to lieutenant in July 2010.

Shepherd, who has been employed with GFD since May 16, 2004, is a Cloverdale High School product and has been a member of the Indiana National Guard since 1997.

He joined the Cloverdale Township Fire Department in June 1995 and was hired on at GFD in May 2004. Shepherd has earned certifications as an EMT-B, fire instructor, fire investigator and hazmat technician through his training.

Shepherd and his wife Sabrina have two children, Abigail and Steven.

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