Fire Officers

Fire line officers are elected to position by the membership of the company. Requirements of time in the company, training, and run status must be met to be eligible for the different positions. The fire service reflects a para-military hierarchical structure and the officers of the company are no exception.

Officers are assigned call-signs, like apparatus, to use in radio transmissions. The first number represents the station they are assigned to (with the exception of the Chief, Station 9 is simply where the offices are located). The second number, 8, is reference to a chief officer, and the letter is representative of their level.

Chief of the Department


A.J. Schall

A.J. Schall Jr. has been a member of Aetna since 1999 and is currently the Chief of the Department. Schall is certified as an EMT, NFPA Firefighter I/II, NFPA Fire Instructor I/II, Swift Water Tech, Blue Card Command, NFPA Fire Officer I/II along with several ICS and Incident Management Courses.

Chief Schall got his start in public safety in 1994 as a volunteer with the Kane County (Illinois) Office of Emergency Management. While studying at St. Ambrose University, Chief Schall was employed by the Department of Public Safety. Chief Schall graduate in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.

Upon graduation, Schall began his professional career with Bank of America, where he entered in to a rigorous management development program. He has held positions in customer service and sales, management, facilities management, event coordination, and group relationship management. He has worked with large corporate budgets, negotiated key contracts, and has nearly two decades of experience in upper level management.

Chief Schall became the Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) in 2015. Schall brings a background in public safety to the agency, complementing it with emergency management and corporate experience and currently serves as the Director and Homeland Security Advisor.

Schall continues his professional development completing the US Army War College Commandant’s National Security Program in 2016, and most recently the Naval Post Graduate School Executive Leaders Program. In the winter of 2020, Schall began as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware.

A.J. Schall moved to Delaware in 1998 and currently lives in Newark with his two sons.




Deputy 7

David Bailey


Events / Driving

Deputy 8

Jeff Sands

Deputy Chief Sands has been a member of the Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder Company since 2011 previously holding the positions of Captain and Assistant Chief. He has completed a wide variety of training in fire suppression and rescue including Firefighter I & II, Fire Instructor I, Swiftwater Rescue Technician I, Blue Card Incident Command, National Fire Academy Incident Safety Officer, Fire Officer I, and HAZMAT Incident Commander. Jeff is a past coordinator of the University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit (UDECU), has been an EMT since 2008, and is a Field Training Officer. Jeff previously worked as a Sergeant for St. Francis EMS in Wilmington and as a career firefighter/EMT for several departments in New Castle County. He currently works in emergency management. Deputy Sands also serves as the Public Information Officer for the department.



Deputy 10

Steven Gallaher

Deputy Chief Gallaher has been a member of Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Co since 1999. He has numerous training hours through the Delaware State Fire School up to and including Fire Officer I. He has previously served as Assistant Engineer, Ladder Captain, and Assistant Chief. Steven is also an 11-year U.S. Army Veteran where he served with the 160th SOAR(A) out of Ft. Campbell, KY as a MH-60 Crew Chief and T.I. He currently works for an aerospace company as a Quality Manager.

Station 7 Officers



Sola Johnson

Assistant Chief Johnson has been a member of the Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder Company since 2014 and previously served as a Captain. She holds Pro-Board Certification as Firefighter I and II, Fire Instructor I and II, Fire Officer I, II, and III, Hazardous Materials Technician, Hazardous Materials Branch Safety Officer, and Incident Safety Officer. She also holds certifications as a Nationally Registered EMT and Swift Water Technician.


Captain 7

Jeffrey Demicco

Captain Demicco has been with Aetna since 2009. He has completed a variety of training including Firefighter 1 and HAZMAT Operations. He previously served as a Captain.

Station 9 Officers



Andrew Happer

Assistant Chief Happer joined the fire service in 2008 and has been a member of Aetna since 2012. He previously held the rank of Captain from 2015-2019 and served as a Director in 2019. He helped develop the live-in program and was a live-in member for the inaugural year of the program (2017-2018).


Captain 9

Olivia Alexander

Captain Alexander joined Aetna in 2016 while attending the University of Delaware studying Neuroscience. She has a variety of training including Firefighter I & II and has been a live-in member for the past 3 years.


9 Captain 1

Adam Reynolds

Captain Reynolds joined Aetna in 2018 while attending the University of Delaware. He graduated from the New Castle County Fire Academy in 2019 and has completed training for Firefighter I & II, Fire Officer I, and Hazardous Materials Technician. Captain Reynolds previously served as a Live-In member from 2019-2021.

Station 10 Officers



Tyler Bailey


Captain 10

Matt Creek

Additional OFFICERS


Support Services


Patricia Fox



Captain 8

Dominic Santos

Captain Santos has been with Aetna since 2014. He has completed a variety of firefighter training including Firefighter I & II, Blue Card Incident Command, and is an EMT. He previously served as Ladder Captain.




Scott Westbrook

Safety OFficers