COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — The Collierville Fire Department will soon have a new fire chief after Buddy Billings retires in July.
The town of Collierville announced Monday the town named John Selberg as the new fire chief for the Collierville Fire Department. Selberg has over 40 years of experience working in a fire department starting as a firefighter and most recently, serving as the fire chief for the city of Germantown.
According to a release, Selberg began his career in Germantown in 1977. Just a few years later, he was hired by the city of Germantown as a firefighter/driver and continued to climb the ranks in the department. He served as a Germantown Fire Department lieutenant, battalion chief, fire marshal, assistant fire chief and most recently as the fire chief.
In his 11 years as the fire chief in Germantown, the town of Collierville said he managed a staff of 92 full-time staff and 20 reserve personnel. He also served as the emergency management director for the city of Germantown. In his emergency management role, he worked with the town of Collierville as the lead for the municipalities' joint COVID-19 vaccination site at Germantown Baptist Church.
Along with his field experience with the Germantown Fire Department, Selberg holds bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from the University of Memphis. He also earned an Executive Fire Officer Certificate from the National Fire Academy. The program provides senior officers with an understanding of the need to transform fire and emergency services organizations from being reactive to proactive.
Selberg has collected an impressive list of awards and accomplishments throughout his firefighting career. He's been named Firefighter of the Year from the Kiwanis and Knights of Columbus organizations in Germantown, received a Governor’s First Responder Award through the state’s office of Homeland Security, and served as a President of the Tennessee Fire Chief’s Association. He has spent time as a task force leader for the Tennessee Urban Search and Rescue Task Force One with deployments ranging from the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, to multiple hurricane responses including Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Throughout his tenure with the city of Germantown, Selberg has made significant contributions to fire protection, prevention and emergency services. Under his leadership, the Germantown Fire Department received an Insurance Services Office (ISO) 1 Classification, which is the top rating representing an exemplary fire suppression program. Selberg also oversaw the implementation of Germantown's ambulance service, which will be a priority for him as Collierville begins managing ambulance service this summer.
After 44 years with the Collierville Fire Department, Billings, Collierville's current fire chief, will be retiring on July 1, 2022. Selberg will step into the role at that time.