Plainfield Fire Chief Joel Thacker named State Fire Marshal

By Lindsay Doty

Joel Thacker (submitted photo)

Plainfield Fire Territory Chief Joel Thacker is taking a new job. He’s been selected as Indiana’s new state fire marshal.  Gov. Eric J. Holcomb made the announcement on Wednesday.

“Chief Thacker has risen through the ranks to bring 28 years of fire and emergency response experience to the position of Indiana fire marshal,” Gov. Holcomb said in a prepared statement. “In his new role, he will continue to grow relationships with our state’s first responders and increase public safety for all Hoosiers.”

The state’s fire marshal is responsible for leading the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Division of Fire and Building Safety. The division investigates suspicious fires, promotes fire prevention and enforces fire and building safety codes in all public buildings, among other duties.

Thacker is a 28-year veteran of public safety and has been with the Plainfield Fire Territory for five years.

“I am humbled by the trust Governor Holcomb has in me to lead in this position as well as provide support and direction to all first responders and their agencies state wide,” Thacker said in a statement posted by the Town of Plainfield. “I am grateful for all of the support, guidance and encouragement from the entire Plainfield Fire Territory and from the leaders of this Town. It settles me knowing I am leaving the department at this time under strong guidance and leadership.”

Town leaders were not surprised about Thacker’s advancement.

“His leadership of the Plainfield Fire Territory and engagement in the community has been exemplary,” Plainfield Town Manager Andrew Klinger said. “While we are sad to lose him, we are excited for him to take on this new role that will benefit the entire state of Indiana.”

Thacker began his career as a first responder in 1992 as an EMT and volunteer firefighter in central Indiana. Five years later, he became a career firefighter serving in Brownsburg and then Johnson County’s White River Township. Thacker served in Brownsburg as assistant chief before moving to Plainfield in 2015 to become division chief of fire prevention and administration. He was sworn in as Plainfield fire chief in 2017.

Thacker starts his new job April 6.