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Brian Tackett settling into new role as Shelbyville Fire Chief

Forgive Brian Tackett if his new office is not exactly “settled.”

After 11 years serving as a Deputy Chief in the Shelbyville Fire Department, Tackett, a 1986 Shelbyville High School graduate, officially became the department’s Fire Chief Monday, replacing Tony Logan, who retired.

“I am excited,” admitted Tackett Tuesday morning. “I was very comfortable in that (deputy chief) job and I would have been happy staying in that job the rest of my career but as I’m in day two of this, there are some new challenges that gets your blood flowing again.”

Tackett joined the SFD at a time when there was a push to hire more local people to the department. Moving from firefighter to deputy chief was never part of the equation then, according to Tackett.

After more than a decade as a firefighter, Tackett served for eight months as a deputy chief under then fire chief Todd Anderson, a fellow 1986 SHS graduate, then was hired again as deputy chief by Logan.

“There are pros and cons to both sides of (being deputy chief),” explained Tackett. “Obviously, working 24 hour (shifts) you are up all night, you are always tired. The pro to this side is working 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. so you kind of have a normal everyday life again, but there are also a lot more responsibilities. Your phone rings a lot after hours.”

Tackett served as one of two deputy chiefs within the department. Once Logan announced his retirement, Tackett and fellow deputy chief Danny Marcum both applied for the position.

“It was between Danny and I. We were both good with whoever got it,” said Tackett. “We work very well together. I told Mayor (Tom) DeBaun in the interview it was never a goal of mine to be chief but if he asked me to do it, I would be glad to do it. I would figure out how to do a good job at this just like I felt like I did a good job as deputy chief.”

As deputy chief, Tackett was responsible for department operations and maintenance – a role he intends to continue in as fire chief. Marcum oversaw the EMS side of things and will now supervise the fire and EMS crews.

Tackett has interviews set up next week with seven current members of the department that have expressed an interest in becoming deputy chief, with the main responsibility of being a training officer for SFD.

“For the time being, I am still going to be over maintenance but as I’m finding out this week, there are a lot of meetings to attend,” he said with a laugh. “I am still overseeing a lot of different things and correlating those into the deputy chiefs to take care of things.”

Logan left the fire department in good standing which prompted his somewhat unexpected retirement announcement last month. A new ladder truck and ambulances are already in the production stages with arrival dates in 2023. That allows Tackett to focus on areas of interest for him.


For more on Tony Logan's decision to retire, go to


“We used to have a lot of camaraderie around here,” he said. “We’re in the day and age where everyday life is a little bit different for everyone. We’re busier so there is not a lot of down time. We don’t have a lot of that get together time. I would like to figure out some way to bring that camaraderie back a little bit.

“A long term goal, we have the Blue River (Careers) Program for firefighter I and starting EMT but somewhere down the road I want to see a Cadet program from that to funnel some local kids into here. It’s very hard to find firefighters right now. The pool is shrinking. That could be one more pipeline I am hoping to get put into place.”

With a fourth firehouse in the works for the north side of the city, Tackett knows one day he will have serious staffing concerns to address.

“I haven’t been involved in that (discussion) a lot but it is my understanding it will be somewhere up around the casino,” said Tackett of a new firehouse in Shelbyville. “I hope that goes ahead because we certainly need it. It takes us 7-9 minutes to get to the casino. The problem with building a new station though is how to staff it.”

That is a concern for another time. For now, Tackett is getting settled in and putting his stamp on the fire department.

“I am pretty excited to get things going,” he said. “Every chief has some ideas and you have to try them to see if they work or don’t work.”