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
Events / Driving
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 Chief Bowerson joined Aetna in 1996 and has served in many capacities including EMT, EMS Lieutenant, Fire Captain, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief, and previously served 5 years as the Fire Chief. Chief Bowerson has training in all aspects of the fire service including technical rescue, hazmat, and Fire Officer II. Deputy Chief Bowerson has served as an NREMT since 1997. While not at Aetna, Chief Bowerson serves as a Lieutenant with the City of Wilmington Fire Department.
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
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 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
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).
ENGINE / SQUAD CAPTAIN
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
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
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.