HomeNewsCity of Jackson swears in Don Friddle as Fire Chief

City of Jackson swears in Don Friddle as Fire Chief

Don Friddle was sworn in as Jackson Fire Chief during a ceremony Wednesday, March 1. He is taking over the department after the retirement of former Chief Darryl Samuels in February. 

“I never aspired to be a fire chief. I just aspired to be a firefighter and to be able to help people. Others recognize leadership qualities maybe that I didn’t recognize in myself, but I always carry myself with honesty, integrity and respect,” Friddle said.

Friddle started his career in public safety more than 30 years ago. He has worked for both the Jackson Fire Department and Madison County Fire Department. He also worked for ten years in the private industry. 

“I came back to the fire department because that’s where the passion is at, and I always felt that if you’re going to be working, you need to be working at something that is really not money-driven,” Friddle said.

Friddle comes from a family of firefighters and remembers watching them as a child, always aspiring to be one.

“My job is simply to take care of our firefighters,” Friddle said about the more than 170 people who work for the department, “And when we have firefighters that are taken care of, they have the equipment, they have the training and all the health related needs met, then they can truly take care of the community in a way that the community deserves. 

“The one thing that I really want to focus on is the health and safety of our firefighters. I am a true believer in mental health and the overall safety of our firefighters. That’s after doing this job for so long. You know we see so many tragic events, and cumulative trauma actually will build up on the person, and it will change that person over a period of time. My goal is to be able to provide resources where they can help to deal with those issues.”

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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