Mayor Mike Moore today announced he has appointed Shawn Grant as the City of Jeffersonville’s new Fire Chief, effective March 16, 2020. Grant will replace Chief Eric Hedrick who is retiring from the department after 19 years of service.

“We’re putting in a new quarterback,” Moore said. “You hate to see your veteran go, but at the same time it’s good to know you have someone who has been on the sidelines, knows all the plays and is eager to jump in.”

Grant, 49, has served on the Jeffersonville Fire Department for almost 24 years — most recently in the role of Deputy Chief, a position he has held for the last six years. He is a native of Jeffersonville and is a single father of a son, Shawn, and a daughter, Mackenzie.

“I’m confident Deputy Chief Grant has both the dedication and leadership skills to keep JFD moving in the same direction Chief Hedrick has taken it over the last eight years,” Moore said. “Our fire department has evolved into a highly-respected, highly-qualified and accredited department. That’s the path I expect us to continue on.”

Grant said he’s up to the challenge.

“I’m excited about this job — it’s a dream come true if you’re in the fire service. I’m honored the mayor picked me out of all those he could of chosen. I’m a proud firefighter. I love the job,” Grant said. “I’ve been part of a very successful administration. We’ve accomplished a lot under Chief Hedrick and I’m going to continue that progress.”

Hedrick, 50, has served as Fire Chief since 2012. He is a former two-term president of the Local #558 Union, a U.S. Army veteran and former Jeffersonville Police Department officer. He said in his tenure as Chief he has tried to take steps toward better training, improved equipment and more engagement with the community. Hedrick expects the department will continue on that path with great success.

“I am leaving the JFD in good hands,” Hedrick said. “Chief Grant has 20-plus years of fire service and nearly 10 of those working in an administrative position. The two Deputy Chiefs are a great mix of experience and skill sets … This is a strong team.”

Hedrick said he and his wife, Toni, will continue to live in Jeffersonville following his retirement from JFD. He said he plans to stay active in the community.

Bruce DeArk and Bryan Emerson will serve as Grant’s two Deputy Chiefs.

DeArk, 51, is a 19-year JFD veteran. He has served as Deputy Chief to Hedrick for the last eight years alongside Grant. DeArk is a Jeffersonville native and still lives in Jeff with his wife, Janet. He has two daughters, Kayla and Tori.

Emerson, 36, is an eight-year JFD veteran who currently holds the rank of Sergeant and has held a leadership role within IAFF Jeffersonville Firefighters Local 558 for the last five years. He and his wife Carrie have a five year-old-daughter Alaina and are in the process of relocating from Georgetown to their new home in Jeffersonville.

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