Medina names Matthew Jackson as new fire chief

Photos by Tom Rivers: Tom Lupo, the outgoing chief of the Medina Fire Department, pins the chief’s badge on Matthew Jackson after Jackson was sworn into office this evening at the Medina Village Office. Lupo is retiring and Jackson will take over the department’s top leader.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 January 2020 at 10:29 pm

MEDINA – Medina appointed a new fire chief today who is no stranger to the Medina Fire Department.

Matthew Jackson, 42, has been a full-time firefighter in Medina the past 13 ½ years, including the past 2 ½ years as a captain, the department’s second highest leadership post.

Jackson was appointed by the Village Board to succeed Tom Lupo, who is retiring after four years as chief. Lupo has served in the role for 30 hours a week while also working at the Lockport Fire Department.

The board also promoted Lieutenant Michael Young to captain, and firefighter Jacob Crooks lieutenant.

“This place is poised to do great things,” Lupo said after this evening’s Village Board meeting, when the promotions were approved. “These guys are the backbone of a great fire and EMS system here.”

A crowd gathered inside the Medina Village Office to watch Matt Jackson take the oath of office as Medina’s new fire chief. Tom Lupo administers the oath. Lupo has served as the department’s chief the past four years.

Lupo, who officially retires on Jan. 18, said Jackson has pushed himself to be the fire chief for a department that includes 21 full-time firefighters who also respond to EMS calls through the fire department’s ambulance service. There are also callmen who respond to fire calls.

Jackson will be working alongside Lupo during his final week at the Medina Fire Department. Lupo had planned to retire about a year ago but agreed to postpone his retirement. Due to changes in state law regarding qualifications for fire chiefs, Jackson needed a fire officer level 3 training course to be eligible for the position. He completed the class last month.

He also completed a month-long supervisor school with the City of New York Fire Department for first line officers. At the New York State Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls, Jackson completed level 1 and 2 courses for fire officers and instructors.

The three newly promoted leaders in the Medina Fire Department are pictured inside the fire hall after taking their oaths of office. From left include Captain Michael Young, Fire Chief Matt Jackson and Lt. Jacob Crooks.

Lupo said Jackson has the respect of the department and treats everyone fairly.

“He leads by example,” Lupo said. “He leads from the front, and he’s so level headed.”

Jackson, a Lyndonville native, was a volunteer firefighter in Lyndonville for 11 years before he made firefighting his career in Medina. He said he is grateful for the chance to lead a department that responds to about 3,000 calls annually.

“I’ve had an opportunity to move up,” Jackson said. “It’s a chance to serve these guys. I look forward to empowering them. This is a good department where everybody works hard and everyone is continuously training.”

(Click here to see a video of Jackson taking the oath of office.)

Medina Fire Chief Matt Jackson puts the captain’s pin on Michael Young, who was a lieutenant in the department.

Young joins Jonathan Higgins as one of the department’s captains. Young has been a member of the Medina FD for 13 years, including the past year as a lieutenant. Jacob Crooks joined the Medina FD eight years ago as a career firefighter.

The department operates with four platoons of five firefighters, plus the chief.

In addition to the promotions approved this evening, the Village Board hired two probationary firefighters: Tyler Harrington and Matthew Reddy. Harrington will be assigned to the 1st Platoon and Reddy will work with the 3rd Platoon.

One firefighter is filling the vacancy created by Lupo’s retirement and the second firefighter is being hired to fill another vacant spot on the roster.

Fire Chief Matt Jackson administers the oath of office to new Medina FD Lt. Jacob Crooks.

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