Randy O'Donnell Named New Fire Chief
Carlisle Borough is pleased to announce that Mr. Randy O’Donnell is joining the Borough as its new Fire Chief. The Fire Chief serves as the principal liaison between the two independent fire companies (Carlisle Fire & Rescue Services and Union Fire Company #1) and Borough staff and elected officials. The fire chief assumes command at all major fires and fire-related emergencies; plans, organizes, and conducts Borough-wide fire prevention programming; and serves as the Borough’s Emergency Management Coordinator, participating in local and regional emergency planning. The current Borough Fire Chief Jeffrey Snyder will be retiring at the end of May after more than 45 years in public service and the last seven and a half years serving Carlisle.
Mr. O’Donnell’s career in fire service began at the young age of nine at the West End Fire and Rescue Company of Shippensburg. He moved up the ranks in multiple companies throughout the years, serving as Sergeant, Assistant Fire Chief, Fire Chief, Assistant Borough Fire Chief, and Company President. He currently volunteers as the Shippensburg Borough Fire Chief, supervising three companies and 60 volunteer firefighters out of two stations. Under his leadership, the Department has standardized responses, operational and administrative policies, maintenance programs, training, and funding among the three companies.
Since 1987, Mr. O’Donnell has been working at the Naval Support Activity Fire and Emergency Services Department in Mechanicsburg, where he will retire as Battalion Chief on June 5. Mr. O’Donnell holds many professional certifications in emergency services, including Fire Fighter II, Fire Inspector II, confined space rescue technician, HAZMAT technician, EMT, and vehicle rescue technician.
In addition to his professional work and certifications, Mr. O’Donnell brings a strong commitment to the fire service. He is an active member of the Franklin County and Cumberland County Fire Chiefs’ Associations, working with the counties and public safety agencies to provide the highest quality of service. He also serves on the board of the Franklin County Public Safety Training Center, the Chambersburg Fire Department Hiring Board, and the Cumberland County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
“Accepting this position is the dream of a lifetime,” O’Donnell said. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve the citizens of Carlisle and the members of the Carlisle Fire Department. I hope to create a vision for the department to adapt to an ever-changing fire service. Our ultimate goal is to provide a professional service to the community that they deserve and should expect.”
Carlisle Borough Manager Susan Armstrong noted, “On behalf of Carlisle Borough, we are extremely pleased to welcome Randy to our community. His passion for public service, collaborative spirit, and strong work ethic are highly regarded by his peers and the communities in which he has served. Our organization and the community that we serve will undoubtedly benefit from Randy’s wealth of experience, broad skillset, and future contributions.”
Armstrong ended by extending her personal appreciation to the interview team that she assembled as part of the vetting process. “I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank the individuals who willingly served on the interview panel for this position. Special thanks to Fire Chief Snyder, Deputy Mayor and volunteer firefighter Sean Shultz, Chief Brian Hamilton, Chief Dan Grimes, Retired Chief and borough resident Larry Seagrist, and Human Resources Manager Amy Berrier for their contributions and due diligence throughout the process.”
Mr. O’Donnell officially joins the Borough on June 7.