New city fire chief named

Columbus Mayor-elect Jim Lienhoop has selected a 28-year Columbus Fire Department veteran to serve as the city’s next fire chief.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Compton will become fire chief Jan. 1, when Lienhoop and his administrative team take office.

“Mike has several years of experience, and we were very pleased that he threw his hat in the ring,” Lienhoop said.

Compton will replace Dave Allmon, who has been the city’s fire chief since 2012 under Mayor Kristen Brown’s administration.

Allmon reapplied for the position, Lienhoop said, but ultimately was not a finalist.

The mayor-elect’s team was looking for leaders who would bring a new approach to certain areas of city administration, including the fire department, Lienhoop said. They chose not to continue with the department under Allmon’s leadership, Lienhoop said, because they believed a new chief could improve the department’s work through new ideas.

“There’s value in turnover,” Lienhoop said.

Compton worked his way up from lieutenant to battalion chief, a role that required him to oversee one of Fire Station No. 1’s three shifts. His leadership gave him insight into areas of the department that could use improvement and, with the support of his fellow firefighters, Compton said he decided to pursue the role of chief.

“I wanted to make my last years in the department make a difference,” Compton said. “The more leadership you take on, the more it piques your interest in being a leader and what it takes to be an effective leader.”

As fire chief, Compton said, one of the first areas he wants to examine is the department’s response times to emergency calls. By compiling accurate data that shows exactly how long it takes responders to arrive on a scene, he said, he can help firefighters meet response time standards, which can help keep residents safer.

Additionally, Compton said he wants to speak with residents to find out how local firefighters can better serve the needs of the community.

“We want to make the fire department the best it can be for the city of Columbus,” he said.

If you go

What: Swearing-in ceremony for Columbus elected officials

When: 11 a.m. Jan. 1

Where: Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St.

Who: Elected officials, including Mayor-elect Jim Lienhoop and various department heads, including Police Chief Jon Rohde and Fire Chief Mike Compton

About Mike Compton
  • 58 years old
  • Joined the Columbus Fire Department in 1988
  • Moved to Columbus in 1990, now lives with his wife, Donita, in Taylorsville
  • Promoted to sergeant in 2000, lieutenant in 2001 and captain in 2012
  • Promoted to battalion chief in 2014
  • Technical certifications: Emergency medical technician, hazardous materials technician, aircraft rescue and firefighting.
Author photo
Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.