Chief John Brant
Chief Brant has been with LaGrange Fire Department for nearly 24 years. He began looking for additional responsibility early in his career and was promoted to Lieutenant into the training division. From that point on, he began helping to mold and shape the department. Chief Brant quickly emerged as a leader and rose through the ranks. In 2005, the Fire Department was restructured and was placed organizationally under the Public Safety Director who was also the Police Chief. Brant was assigned as a Captain/Shift Commander and later reassigned as a Deputy Chief. In early 2018, officials decided that the fire department would again be its own entity, which brought several applicants, but for the department, it was unanimous who they thought deserved the Chief’s job. “He was our leader and has been the true leader of our department for at least a decade. He already held the respect of the position, was already doing the job and had been for years. He had more influence than anyone else here.”
September of 2018 proved to be a very trying month for the LaGrange Fire Department for in the wee hours of Labor Day, firefighters responded to a structure fire call. Two crews were operating inside when the conditions deteriorated rapidly and burned the primary attack line causing two crews to be trapped inside with no protection. Two Maydays were called by interior crews and the RIT team was activated. Four firefighters bailed out of the window that night and all received serious and/or critical burn injuries. Three were flown by helicopter and one was taken by ground. Chief Brant was contacted at 0315 and was on the scene before the first helicopter touched down. Firefighter stays in the burn unit(s) ranged from weeks to months. Chief Brant served as the liaison between city hall, the affected firefighters and their families. He arranged for fire department 24/7 support to the firefighters or their families. He worked hand in hand with the city and spent countless hours visiting and commuting. It was during this time that it became evident to everyone involved how much love he had for our department. John Brant was named Chief in November 2018. Under his direction and leadership, the department is thriving because he always chose to lead, regardless of his title.
Under his supervision, the department is more unified, now more than ever. He has created committees and buy-in from all employees. We are hosting our own EMT program and will have a paramedic program next year. He is committed to this community and leads by example. The department has grown and will open the 5th station in August and is underway in building a new training center. He was a key driver in the department’s accreditation process, successfully obtaining the ISO rating of 2. Chief Brant is a true leader, literally grew up in this department and has earned the respect and admiration from everyone here, as well as the city and especially the community. Chief Brant is the epitome of leadership.