Fire Department Announces Promotions

CATEGORY: Fire Department, News

Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. and the Hammond Fire Department announced the retirement of its long-time chief as well as the promotions of two firefighters to Chief and Deputy Chief, the two top positions in the Department.

Fire Chief Jeff Smith announced his retirement earlier this year after 32 years of service, with 12 ½ of those as Fire Chief. “Chief Smith has served the city, its residents, and the Fire Department for decades and although we will miss Jeff, we wish him the best in his retirement, which is well deserved,” said Mayor McDermott.

In his place, Mayor McDermott is promoting current Deputy Fire Chief Bernard Grisolia to Fire Chief. Chief Grisolia has been Deputy Chief for three years. He joined the Fire Department in 2008 and has served many ranks within the Department. Chief Grisolia holds the degree of Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration and holds multiple nationally recognized fire certifications. Mayor McDermott stated, “Bernie’s knowledge, ability, teamwork, and dedication to the Hammond Fire Department are exemplary and the decision to name him Chief was clear.”

The selection for Deputy Chief was made after interviewing multiple qualified candidates from within the Hammond Fire Department and discussing the decision with Chief Grisolia. Mayor McDermott is pleased to announce that Assistant Chief Drillmaster David Weisz has been selected as the new Deputy Fire Chief. Chief Weisz joined the Hammond Fire Department in 2006 and was promoted to Assistant Chief Drillmaster in 2021. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and holds multiple national fire certifications as well. Mayor McDermott stated, “Chief Weisz is an outstanding firefighter, community member, and an example that hard work and dedication are recognized within the Department.” Both Chief Grisolia and Chief Weisz are Hammond residents. “Dave’s education, experience, and professionalism will make him a welcome addition to the leadership of the Hammond Fire Department,” said Mayor McDermott

The Hammond Fire Department serves the city’s nearly 80,000 residents as well as being responsible for any emergency needs on the Indiana Toll Road and Interstate 80/94 and is a full time department employing 150 firefighters at six fire houses. The Department has 3 aerial trucks, 6 engines, 4 ambulances, and one rescue vehicle to serve the needs of the City of Hammond.