Firefighting veteran Joel Thacker is the new Indiana state fire marshal.
Thacker is fire chief for the Town of Plainfield, southwest of Indianapolis.
“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. Eric Holcomb said in appointing Thacker to the post. “In his new role, he will continue to grow relationships with our state’s first responders and increase public safety for all Hoosiers.”
Thacker replaces Stephen Cox, former South Bend Fire Chief who in January was named director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security after serving less than three months as state fire marshal. Thacker takes over as state fire marshal April 6.
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 was assistant chief in Brownsburg 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 earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in criminal justice and public safety from IUPUI.
The state fire marshal leads 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.