TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Terre Haute Fire Chief Jeff Fisher will retire on April 12.
Fisher first joined the department in 1989 as an EMT.
“I really enjoyed that line of work. Helping people, being some of the first people on the scene,” he said.
He later became the department’s public information officer. It was his job to work closely with the media, relaying information about fires and other incidents.
When Mayor Duke Bennett took office, the opportunity to become chief came his way. According to Fisher, he never thought about leading the department as chief. He added that if it weren’t for a pep talk from his son, he likely would not have put in his resume.
“He said ‘dad, you never know when an opportunity like this is ever going to come up again. You should go for it,” said Chief Fisher.
On February 11, 2008, Fisher was appointed as chief.
Fisher said the job had many highs. But the toughest low was saying goodbye to Firefighter John Schoffstall who died from COVID-19 last year.
“It’s devastating. You don’t want to lose a member of your crew. A member of your department. That’s the last thing a chief wants,” he said.
He was also on the department when Captain Ralph Stott died in the line of duty in 2002.
Also in 2020, Chief Fisher threw his hat in the ring for Vigo County Commissioner, but, it didn’t go the way he’d hoped.
“My crystal ball was a little cloudy back then, so I couldn’t see the outcome. But who knows, I may not be done yet,” he said.
Now that the sound of sirens will be in the rearview, Chief Fisher is looking ahead.
“I love being the chief of this department and serving the people of this community. But I’m really excited about this next chapter,” he said.”
According to Fisher, he will remain in the Terre Haute area and has taken up a part-time job.
His replacement is expected to be announced in the coming days.