Hohenwald awarded Excellence in Fire Services

The Hohenwald Fire Department has made considerable efforts to improve its quality of service through encouraging continued professional development, acquiring new facilities for training, and bringing in outside partners to work with the department.

In recognition of the efforts made by the Hohenwald Fire Department to provide service above and beyond expectation for their community, the Tennessee Municipal League is pleased to present Hohenwald with an award for Excellence in Fire Services.

A 30-member almost entirely volunteer all-hazards fire department, the Hohenwald Fire Department is led by Fire Chief Steve Vineyard and Volunteer Assistant Chief Daryl Newport. The department is alerted and responds to every fire, rescue, and hazardous materials emergency incident in the city of Hohenwald as well as all life-threatening emergency medical incidents throughout Lewis County.

Chief Vineyard wanted to ensure Hohenwald firefighters earn international accredited professional credentials and world-class training to serve their community. This initiative began in 2016 when Chiefs Vineyard and Newport began collaborating with the Tennessee State Fire and Codes Academy as well as the Tennessee Commission on Firefighting Standards and Education to outline specific goals they planned to accomplish for the department.

Members participated in many hours of both hands-on and academic training. In addition, the Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy and the Tennessee Commission on Firefighting Standards and Education provided hands-on practical skills and written testing to evaluate their knowledge and skills against national consensus standards. The department also acquired a residential structure in Hohenwald to use for live-fire training.

As a result, the department has seen numerous improvements to its organization and quality of service. Almost every member of the department has an internally-accredited certificate in hazardous materials awareness, hazardous materials operations, and firefighter level I. Several members have also received firefighter level II certifications and many are working toward earning credentials in special operations technical rescue disciplines like rope rescue technician.

These trainings have had a notable impact on the ability of the department to serve both Hohenwald and provide assistance to other surrounding departments. Continued personnel development has become a part of the department’s organizational culture with many Hohenwald firefighters certified to the some of the highest standards possible.