O’Donnell’s career in the fire service began at the age of nine with the West End Fire and Rescue Company of Shippensburg. He rose through the ranks in several companies over the years, as sergeant, deputy fire chief, fire chief, deputy chief of the borough firefighters and president of the company. He currently volunteers as the Shippensburg Borough Fire Chief, overseeing three businesses and 60 volunteer firefighters at two stations.
Under his leadership, the department standardized responses, operational and administrative policies, maintenance programs, training and funding between the three companies.
Since 1987, O’Donnell has worked with the Naval Support Activity Fire and Emergency Services Department in Mechanicsburg, where he will retire as battalion commander on June 5. O’Donnell holds many professional certifications in emergency services, including Firefighter II, Fire Inspector II, Confined Space Rescue Technician, HAZMAT Technician, EMT and Vehicle Rescue Technician.
In addition to his professional work and certifications, O’Donnell is a member of the Franklin County and Cumberland County Fire Chiefs Associations, working with counties and public safety agencies. He also serves on the board of directors of the Franklin County Public Safety Training Center, the Chambersburg Fire Department Hiring Board and the Cumberland County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
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