Thursday, November 16, 2023

Veteran firefighter named as first-ever deputy chief

Tom Hughes
Tom Hughes, a 19-year veteran of the Northville Township Fire Department has been named as deputy fire chief, a new position for the department. 

Hughes will work closely with Fire Chief Brent Siegel in planning, directing, supervising and coordinating the department, expanding the depth and breadth of what it currently accomplishes while striving for constant improvement, according to a prepared statement. 

“I have had the privilege of working with Tom for the past 18 years,” Siegel said. “He exemplifies our organizational values of professionalism, public outreach and continuous improvement. He has built our fire prevention bureau up from the ground floor and performs at an outstanding level every day.” 

Hughes' dedication to Northville Township is life-long. He grew up in the community he now serves. He earned his bachelor's degree in public safety studies from Siena Heights University, his master's degree in technology studies from Eastern Michigan and is working on his MBA from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. He joined the Northville Township Fire Department in 2004, was promoted to fire inspector in 2012 and then to fire marshal in 2017. 

As fire marshal, he investigates fires, conducts inspections for commercial, business and residential properties and completes plan reviews, among other responsibilities. 

Hughes has held several formal leadership roles, including Accreditation Manager, union secretary and founder and president of the Northville Township Firefighters' CharityFund. He is responsible for creating policies, reports and communications, and acts as a liaison with community stakeholders and township staff. 

Hughes developed the department fire prevention division, introducing such innovative community risk reduction initiatives as the Kindergarten Fire and Life Safety Program. This year alone, the program reached 368 kindergarten students in 17 classes in six elementary schools. Since 2017, the program reached 114 kindergarten classes and more than 2,500 students who have learned fire prevention skills. 

His new role is effective Jan. 1. Four internal candidates applied for the position. Hughes will remail fire marshal until that time. Fire department officials will begin the selection process to select for the next fire marshal who will also start Jan. 1. 

Hughes and his wife are the parents of two elementary-age children. 

“Tom Hughes is an excellent ambassador for Northville Township,” said Northville Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo. “He is well-known in the fire industry for his innovative ideas, his expertise and his kindness. He has demonstrated that he will thrive in this new role.” 

Hughes said he is humbled to be stepping in as deputy fire chief. “Serving the township with this incredible team has truly been an honor, and I look forward to supporting the men and women of our team in a new role,” he said. “I firmly believe that these such promotions are not earned alone. The unwavering support of my friends, family, mentors-and fundamentally, the exceptional team of professionals within our fire department and the township-is the true foundation of this achievement.” 

The Northville Township Fire Department is an all-hazard fire department that provides fire protection, rescue and Advanced Life Support (ALS) emergency medical treatment and transport to the residents, businesses and visitors.