By Madison West
Alumnus, Glenn E. Johnson, began his firefighting education at Volunteer State Community College. He went from walking the grounds of the campus as a student, to completing his associates degree in Fire Science and now serving as the Fire Chief of the city of Franklin, Tennessee.
Johnson began attending Vol State in 1995, to study Fire Science through the Vol State Fire Science program.
According to the Vol State website, “the Fire Science Program at Volunteer State Community College is designed to prepare current and future firefighters to be leaders and thinkers in the firefighting profession.”
According to Johnson, the program did just that and more as it was also an excellent place to “network.”
“I’ll say the biggest thing that stood out to me was the ability to network while in school,” said Johnson.
Many of Johnson’s instructors in the Fire Science program were also working as firefighters in surrounding cities at the time he was attending the college, he said. This gave Johnson the opportunity to create bonds and form friendships, he said.
According to Johnson, many of the connections he made with other firefighters in Tennessee continues to help him in his job today.
Having a previous relationship with other firefighters “makes it much easier if I have to get someone on the phone or if I need something,” he said.
According to Johnson, many firefighters and chief officers in Middle Tennessee are Vol State alumni and Johnson attributes his time at Vol State to lifelong friendships that he has made.
During his time at Vol State, Johnson not only studied Fire Science, but he also worked full time as a firefighter for the Franklin Fire Department where he now serves as the Fire Chief.
According to the City of Franklin website, Chief Johnson is “a 27-year veteran of the department, and was previously second in command of the organization, serving as Assistant Fire Chief of the Operations Division” and “a Desert Storm veteran who began his firefighting career in 1990 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He worked his way through the ranks, being promoted from firefighter all the way up to Chief.”
According to the City of Franklin website, Johnson has received many awards including: the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s First Responder Award, a Meritorious Service Award from the Franklin Fire Department, a Phoenix Award for saving the life of a patient in cardiac arrest in 2019, an Exemplary Service Award for saving the life of a choking patient in 2019, multiple Fire Chief’s Awards for deployments and he was the Officer of the Year in 2006.
In an article on Williamson Source website, Franklin City Administrator, Eric Stuckey spoke highly of Chief Johnson and expressed his confidence in him.
“I have great confidence in Chief Johnson’s leadership, dedication, and care for the community and the men and women of the Franklin Fire Department,” said Stuckey. “Chief Johnson will lead the department well and serve the community he loves with great distinction.”