Shipshewana Fire Chief Update March 2022

From the Desk of Fire Chief

Shawn Ellis, Fire Chief
Shipshewana Fire Department


A Note From the Shipshewana Fire Department

To everything there is a season. With community growth there are demands that cannot be fully accomplished as a volunteer fire department; thus causing a need for a full time Chief to be hired at the Shipshewana Fire Department. So begins a new season; a transition in leadership.

Respectfully introducing Shawn Ellis, the first full time fire chief of Shipshewana Fire Department. He comes to us after finishing his contract while stationed in Bahrain. He was born in Virginia, where his father was stationed in the Navy and raised in New Hampshire. Mr. Ellis has 30 years experience in the fire service in varying capacities, such as volunteer, full time, Federal DOD and on contract in the war zone of Iraq. Shawn’s father was the first full time Chief in the firehouse where Shawn got his start in the service in his hometown.

Shawn married Ameera in 2017, and they are looking forward to establishing a new home here in Shipshewana
as soon as possible. Shawn has five children, ranging from almost 2 to 25 years old.

When asked what peaked his interest in Shipshewana, he replied, “The simple answer, it aligns with the type of people I want to be surrounded by, it aligns with my beliefs and views in life.” Shipshewana reminds him of the area in New Hampshire where he grew up. It has the hometown feel where he and Ameera want to raise their children. He appreciates the fact that Christianity can be expressed and is welcomed openly.

Mr. Ellis is excited to take what exists (as Shipshewana FD) and move forward, commenting that a great foundation has been laid for him to expand on. He is motivated to take his years of experience and knowledge and share with all who are willing to grow within the department as they provide safe and efficient services to the residents and visitors of the Shipshewana area.

Mr. Ellis recognizes the invaluable and unique relationships that have been cultivated between the Shipshewana Fire Department and the Amish in the community. It is his desire to continue this relationship. He plans on continuing the services that the fire department does so well already.

Welcome to Shipshewana Shawn!

With this transition, we give a huge thank you to the former Chief, now Deputy Chief, Chad Miller. He will serve as Deputy Chief and assist Chief Ellis in the intricate workings that makes Shipshewana Fire Department unique.

Mr. Miller has been a member of the fire department since 1994 and has served as Fire Chief since 2007. During this time, he has maintained a full time job, got married, established a business and countless other things. With the ever-growing population in the area, along with numerous industries, changes to the demands as Fire Chief have become more time consuming.

Chad is certified in many certifications: Basic Firefighter, Firefighter I&II, Fire Officer I, Fire Instructor I, Residential Fire Tactics, Hale Pump Training, Basic Auto Extrication, Advanced Auto Extrication, Hazardous Materials Awareness Level, Hazardous Materials Operations Level, Basic Fire Investigation, EMT–Basic, National Incident Management System and more. One of Chad’s highest priorities for the department was education and safety, ensuring that all firefighters would remain safe while on scene and return home to their families, unharmed.

During Chad’s time as chief, he was responsible for creating and maintaining a financial budget for the department. Since 2007, he was responsible for spearheading the improvements of eight new or refurbished
fire apparatus. He volunteered countless hours to educate firefighters, keeping everyone up to date on the department happening, holding business meetings, working with township trustees on needs of the community, fund raisers, community events and school drills/education. All these things were completed selflessly with the well-being of the community in mind. Chad’s goals were never about himself but what was best for the department and the community.

Chad, the community and the department are forever grateful for your sacrifices of time and energy to Shipshewana Fire Department and the entire community.

Thank You Chad!