MICHIGAN CITY – Mayor-elect Angie Nelson Deuitch has appointed a new administration to lead the Michigan City Fire Department when she takes office in January.

“I’m excited and confident in these veteran firefighters to lead the department, train and develop our young staff, and make sure they’re fully equipped for the challenges that lie ahead,” Nelson Deuitch said.

Barrett Taylor, a 20-year veteran of the MCFD, will be the new fire chief.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to be chief of the Michigan City Fire Department, and to help move our department forward,” Taylor said. “Having been the [Firefighters Local 475] union president has given me the ability to see situations that I’ve been involved with from different angles. This gives me the ability to handle future situations in a positive way, and to better advocate for the department and its personnel.”

Currently a captain, Taylor is also a certified emergency medical technician (EMT) and IAFF Fire Ground Survival and Safety instructor; and has earned multiple other Indiana state fire certifications. Prior to his tenure at MCFD, Taylor served as a firefighter in the U.S. Air Force from 1989-1997.

“Our department is very young in terms of experience, and this trend will continue as our more seasoned firefighters and officers retire,” he said. “So, one of my main focuses will be to work with our training division to help get these younger firefighters trained, and to gain as much as experience as possible to help them become more confident to better fill the roles that will be left open.”

Shannon Borders will become the new deputy chief of operations.

Now a merited lieutenant, Borders came to the MCFD in 2012 after serving 10 years with the Gary Fire Department. He also serves as an industrial firefighter at a nearby steel mill; is a hazmat technician; and is certified in EMT and Fire Officer Strategy and Tactics.

“I’m very excited to be working with the other chiefs,” he said. “There’s a lot of respect between us. It’s all about teamwork and making goals for the betterment of the department.”

Frank Rebac will maintain his position of deputy chief of administrative services.

“I plan to continue doing my best to keep the citizens of Michigan City safe, as well as our firefighters,” he said. “My focus will be to maintain a balanced budget and keep department finances in order, and to keep our equipment in the best possible condition at all times. The citizens and firefighters deserve the best, and I will do my best to make this happen.

“New and properly maintained equipment is essential in the fire service to make sure the people we protect are as safe as possible, along with our firefighters. And it is important to maintain a healthy and safe environment for our firefighters, so they can do their job safely and efficiently.”

Also a merited lieutenant, Rebac joined the department in 2012, and is certified in EMT, technical rescue operations and hazmat operations.

Nelson Deuitch said, “Building a culture of safety is a priority; and it includes building a capital improvement plan for equipment and fire stations. Chiefs Taylor, Borders and Rebac will do an outstanding job.”