SAWYER NAMED SHERWOOD FIRE CHIEF
SHERWOOD, Ark. (Dec. 31, 2020) — The Sherwood Fire District Board of Commissioners has named John Sawyer, 44, its new fire chief. His official appointment will become effective on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, upon the retirement of Chief David Teague.
“It has been my dream to become the fire chief of the Sherwood Fire Department since I was promoted to Captain in 1999,” Sawyer said. “I want to give back to the department that gave me my career. I want to be an example for the men and women under me that with hard work, anything is possible. I believe in a ‘we, not me’ approach to leadership and getting all the firefighters invested in their future and the department’s future because without them there is not a fire department. We have the best city with the best citizens that support us around every corner, and it is our mission to provide them with the most qualified, professional and caring firefighters we can. Our fire department is a team effort and when you can get everyone on board with the same mission, you are unstoppable.”
Sawyer began with the department as a volunteer in 1995. His first paid shift was in March 1999. Since then, he has risen in the ranks to become a captain in 1999 and battalion chief in 2012. Over the years, he has attended many state and national fire academies for training in instruments, instruction and management. He has been recognized numerous times over the years as Firefighter of the Year by the Sherwood Fire Department, Sherwood Rotary Club and the City of Sherwood and has received a Medal of Bravery, Commendations for Outstanding Officer and a Phoenix Award.
Some of Sawyer’s special assignments and projects include fire apparatus design, hazmat technical information specialist, serving on a federal traffic subcommittee for the Arkansas Highway Department to mitigate prevention of traffic-related injuries and deaths, and he has served as a subcontractor for the Drug Enforcement Agency to seize and dismantle hazardous drug labs.
As battalion chief for the last nine years, Sawyer’s duties have included overseeing operations, communications, fire prevention, training, social media, payroll, human resources, building maintenance and air management.
“Out of 19 applicants, we chose him unanimously as our next fire chief. He is one of the longest-serving firemen that we’ve ever had,” said Tom Brooks, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. “He knows the operation. He’s extremely well-liked and efficient. We look forward to his service as our chief.”