Gina Y. Sweat
Fire Chief Gina Sweat Gina Y. Sweat began her career as a firefighter with the Memphis Fire Department on May 26, 1992. She was promoted through the ranks of the department as a Driver, Lieutenant, Battalion Chief, and Division Chief. Beginning in 2014, she assumed the duties of the Deputy Chief of Logistics and Deputy Director on an interim basis. Finally, on January 1, 2016, Gina was appointed by Mayor Jim Strickland as the Fire Chief for the Memphis Fire Department.
She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Freed-Hardeman University in 1988 and played collegiate basketball. After joining the Memphis Fire Department, she continued her education by obtaining a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Fire Administration in 2000 and a Master of Professional Studies in Strategic Leadership in 2013, both from the University of Memphis.
During her tenure as Chief, the Memphis Fire Department has focused on initiatives to improve operations which helped raise their Insurance Services Office Public Protection Classification from a Class 2 to a Class 1. The department has developed the Healthcare Navigator Program to reduce non-emergent responses’ impact. The department focused on recruiting through youth programs such as HERo day, Shelby County Schools Grow Our Own, Fire Explorers, Fire Cadet, and lateral hiring. She developed a facilities master plan that has resulted in multi-million-dollar renovations to the 911 Communications Center, the Office of Emergency Management building, 3 new state-of-the-art fire stations, and a new fire administrative building. Chief Sweat has focused on many health and safety issues, including purchasing SCBA with built-in thermal imaging cameras, on-duty health physicals, multiple carcinogen reduction initiatives, a therapy dog program, and an online therapy program. The Memphis Fire Department became the lead agency for COVID-19 vaccinations in Shelby County in 2021, facilitating the delivery of over 1 million doses. Chief Sweat contributes these successes and more to the dedicated members of the department who make a difference in the City of Memphis every day.
Assistant Fire Chief
Chief Burress works daily with Memphis Fire personnel and key stakeholders in the City of Memphis and surrounding areas advocating preparedness and resiliency. He began his career with the Memphis Division of Fire Services on September 14, 1998.
He was promoted to Fire Driver in 2001, promoted to Fire Lieutenant in 2004, promoted to Fire Battalion Chief in 2014, Division Chief in 2017, and Assistant Fire Chief of Operations in 2020. The work that embodies Chief Burress’s career has been in the Fire Suppression, Special Operations, Urban Search and Rescue (TNTF-1), and the Office of Emergency Management.
Chief Burress is a Task Force Leader for Tennessee Task Force One (TNTF-1), a member of FEMA’s Blue Incident Support Team, an Executive Board member of the Fire Museum of Memphis, a member of the International and Tennessee Fire Chief’s Associations, and a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Urban Search and Rescue Committee.
Chief Burress has headed or been involved in various initiatives, including the Operation Feed Campaign (Memphis Food Bank), the State Fire Marshal’s Office Smoke Detector Program, The American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and the Vitalant Community Leadership Council.
Chief Burress is a Christian Brothers High School graduate, has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from LeMoyne-Owen College, Master of Science degree in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas, and a Master of Arts degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Chief Burress is also graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and the Fire Service Executive Development Institute. Chief Burress also holds the Chief Fire Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety and Excellence. In his free time, Chief Burress enjoys traveling, attending sporting events, mentoring youth and spending quality time with family and friends.
Assistant Fire Chief
As an Administrative Division Chief, she collaborates with the Memphis Fire Department’s (MFD) Command Staff, as well as other city divisions, regarding operational issues, staffing, disciplinary actions, recruitment and hiring, promotion processes and strategic planning.
Deputy Director Llyod has headed several special projects including, Fill the Boot (MDA), HERo Day, and the Fire Management Services Program of Study.
HERo Day is a partnership between MFD and Girl Scouts Heart of the South. This partnership gives young women and opportunity to learn about fire and emergency service careers and to interact with firefighters, paramedics and dispatchers. The goal of the Fire Management Services Program of Study is to provide interested high school students the early training and insight necessary for a career in Fire Services. Upon completion of this program, participants will possess the necessary skills and certifications to make them marketable for entrance into the highly competitive field of Fire Services.
Deputy Director Llyod has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Bethel University and an Associate’s degree in Fire Science from Southwest Technical College. She is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and the City or Memphis’ Emerging Leaders Program. Deputy Director Llyod enjoys spending time with her family, beings physically active and the outdoors.
Markus D. Smith
Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations
Chief Markus D. Smith holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management. He is a member of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association, a graduate of The First Municipal Technical Advisory Services (MTAS) Management and Leadership program, through the University of Tennessee, in 2017, and the first Drucker Institute for the Public Sector. On May 25, 2020, Chief Smith was promoted Deputy Chief of Operations. In this capacity, Chief Smith is responsible for oversight and leadership of the Suppression Bureau, Air Rescue Fire Fighting (Airport), Fire Training, and the Special Operations bureau. Chief Smith is happily married and enjoys spending time with his wife, children, family and friends.
Deputy Chief of Technology & IS
As a Firefighter, he was assigned to Engine 38 and later Truck 24 until his promotion to Fire Driver in 1997.
In 199, Chris was promoted to Fire Lieutenant and received his first assignment on Truck 3.
In 2001, Chris accepted the opportunity to serve in the Special Operations program, where he helped manage the daily operations of both Special Operations and FEMA TNTF-1 Urban Search and Rescue programs. During his time in the Special Operations, Chris helped prepare the FEMA TNTF-1 Urban Search and Rescue team for multiple disaster deployments, including the 9/11 response to the Pentagon, and several responses to major hurricanes.
Chris was promoted to Battalion Chief in 2013 and assigned to Battalion 7.
Promoted to Division Chief in 2018 where he served as the A-shift 1st Division Chief for almost 2 years.
In 2019, Chris was temporarily assigned to Fire Headquarters to manage the administration of several multi-million dollar FEMA grants.
Chief Wilson has a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration from Waldorf University. Chris enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.
Deputy Chief of Emergency Medical Services
Chief Sullivan was promoted to Lieutenant in December 1998 and assigned to Engine 25, where she stayed until her promotion to Battalion Chief in June 2002. She rode as a Battalion Chief in Battalions 7, 9 and finally Battalion 4. While in Battalion 9 she achieved her SORT certification after completing rope operations and confined space certifications. In October 27, Chief Sullivan was detailed to eight hours to assist with EMS Operations.
She had recently completed her Associates Degree of Nursing and was working as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at St. Francis Hospital. While on eight hours, Chief Sullivan was promoted to Fire Division Chief in March 2018 and later to EMS Division Chief in September 2018. In January 2019, Chief Sullivan began riding out of rank as the Deputy Chief of EMS.
During this time, a ten year strategic plan was developed, the securing and deployment of the Stryker contract, and a detail to the Governor’s Inauguration for medical support occured. Success has continued thanks to the support of the Directors, comrades and personnel.
Chief Sullivan holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and an Associate’s degree in Nursing and Education. She is a member of the Tennessee Fire Chief’s Association and holds several firefighting certifications. Chief Sullivan also received certifications in Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) and Emergency Communications Nurse System (ECNS).
Robert D. Franks Jr.
Deputy Chief of Logistics
Robert D. Franks Jr. joined the Memphis Fire Department on March 2, 1998 in Fire Recruit Class #79.
He was assigned as a firefighter to Engine 14-A. On November 9, 2001, Chief Franks was promoted to Fire Driver and assigned to Engine-43-A. While a Driver, Franks was also later assigned to Engine 14 and Engine 27 both on the A shift. Chief Franks was promoted to Fire Lieutenant on January 16, 2009 and had several assignments including Fire Training, Engine 14-A, Truck 3-A, Truck 19-A and Engine 44-A.
On October 3, 2015, Chief Franks was promoted to the rank of Fire Battalion Chief. He was assigned to Battalion 11 on the B shift which included Fire Stations 27, 31, 46, 47 and 49. On August 15, 2016, Chief Franks was selected to serve as the Battalion Chief of Safety. Franks was promoted to Fire Division Chief on January 18, 2020 and assigned to administration as the Division Chief of Administration and Safety.
On March 22, 2021, Franks was promoted to Deputy Chief of Logistics, with oversight of Logistical Services, Planning, Professional Standards, Apparatus Maintenance and Safety and Wellness.
Chief Franks holds a Master’s of Public Administration Degree in Management and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History both from the University of Memphis. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy ‘s Executive Fire Officer Program. He is a Safety Officer for Tennessee Task Force One (TN-TF1), a member of Tennessee Fire Chief’s Association and a member of the International Fire Chief’s Association.
Chief Franks is married with one son and one daughter and is a third generation Memphis Fire Fighter. He enjoys spending time with his family and traveling. Robert is an avid University of Memphis, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Braves and Memphis Grizzles fan.
LaPacus D. Faulkner
Deputy Chief Fire Marshal
LaPacus Faulkner a U.S. Army veteran began his career with Memphis Division of Fire Services on April 23, 2001, in Fire Recruit Class #81.
He was originally assigned to Engine 20 and then assigned to Truck 24 until being promoted to Inspector in December of 2006. He was promoted to Fire Investigator in August of 2016. He was promoted to Fire Prevention Battalion Chief in March of 2021. He was promoted to Chief Fire Investigator in February of 2022 and promoted to Chief Fire Marshal in February of 2023.
Chief Faulkner has participated in several department projects and committees. He is currently the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. He is on the board of directors for the Fire Museum of Memphis; he has been a member of the Awards Committee and assisted with the Metro Chiefs Conference.
Chief Faulkner has an Associates in Fire Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Masters in Operations Management. He is a graduate of the city of Memphis Management 101 program and completed the University of Tennessee Municipal Management Academy.
Chief Faulkner is a state of Tennessee certified Law Enforcement Officer, Inspector, Investigator, Instructor, and Fire Officer. He is certified by the National Association of Fire Investigators as a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, Vehicle Fire Investigator, and Fire Investigation Instructor. He is credentialed and designated by the Center for Public Safety Excellence as a Chief Fire Officer.
He is a member of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association, National Association of Fire Investigators, and Fraternal Order of Police.
He enjoys traveling, watching sports, and spending time with his family.