Command Staff

Jeremey Criner

Fire Chief Jeremey Criner joined the Siloam Springs Fire Department in August 2016. Prior to moving to Siloam Springs, he worked as the Assistant Fire Chief in Sunrise Beach, Missouri. Before holding that position, he spent several years working for the Rogers (AR) Fire Department.

His primary responsibilities include executive management and oversight of the entire Fire Department; including the EMS, Training, Operations, and Fire Prevention divisions.

Chief Criner is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program through the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He holds a Bachelor of Fire Science degree from Columbia Southern University and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Science Administration and Technology from Northwest Arkansas Community College. Chief Criner has been credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and Chief Training Officer (CTO) from the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Commission on Professional Credentialing. He also has been awarded Member status with the Institute of Fire Engineers.

Chief Criner also currently serves as President of the Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Fire Chiefs' Association. In January 2023, he was appointed to serve on the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Chief Criner was also named Fire Chief of the Year at the Arkansas Fire Convention in 2022. 

John Vanatta

Deputy Fire Chief John Vanatta joined the Siloam Springs Fire Department in January 2017. Prior to moving to Siloam Springs, Chief Vanatta worked as a Battalion Chief in Clinton Township, Michigan, where he was selected as Firefighter of the Year in 2015. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve as an Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Chief, attaining the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant. In 2008-2009, he deployed to Iraq as the military civil affairs liaison to the Iraqi Fire Service. Chief Vanatta retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 2013.

His primary responsibilities include oversight and management of the Fire Department's Training Division. This includes curriculum development, instruction, and coordination with outside entities. Chief Vanatta also serves as the Department's Health and Safety Officer.

In 2016, Chief Vanatta was one of 20 fire chiefs from across North America selected by the International Association of Fire Chiefs to participate in the Fire Service Executive Development Institute. He has attended several courses at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and is a graduate of the Eastern Michigan University School of Fire Staff & Command. Chief Vanatta’s academic achievements include an Associate of Fire Science degree from Macomb County Community College, a Bachelor of Leadership from Baker College, and a Masters of Science in Technology Studies from Eastern Michigan University. Chief Vanatta is also a credentialed Chief Fire Officer (CFO)

Brent Ford

Deputy Chief Brent Ford joined the Siloam Springs Fire Department in January 2002. Deputy Chief Ford was promoted to lieutenant in 2007 and served as the paramedic supervisor for the department until promoted to EMS Director in 2011. In 2019 he was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief. He started his career in the fire service in 1992 and earned his paramedic certification in 2000.

His primary responsibilities include the day-to-day operations of the fire department, overseeing the maintenance and readiness of the entire apparatus fleet for the fire department, overseeing special projects, and overseeing personnel and special operations of the fire department.
Deputy Chief Ford is licensed as a Paramedic in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and certified as an instructor for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and the American Heart Association in several disciplines.


Division Chief of EMS Shawn Hansen joined the Siloam Springs Fire Department in July of 2012 as a Fire Fighter/EMT. Division Chief Hansen Obtained his Paramedic license in 2016 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2020, then to Division Chief of EMS in 2022.

Division Chief Hansen's primary responsibilities include oversight of the department's EMS division; including EMS training, EMS supplies, EMS licensure, managing records, and maintaining working relationships with surrounding medical facilities.

Division Chief Hansen started his career as a volunteer firefighter in 2008 and is a licensed Paramedic in Arkansas and Preceptor for the Siloam Springs Fire Department.  

Dustin Kindell
Division Chief - Fire Marshal Dustin Kindell joined the Siloam Springs Fire Department in March 2005. He worked his way through the ranks, serving as Lieutenant, Captain, Fire Prevention Specialist, and was promoted to Fire Marshal in October 2016. Fire Marshal Kindell is a licensed paramedic and holds numerous fire service certifications. He has completed Law Enforcement training and holds an associate's degree in Fire Science Administration and Technology.

His primary responsibilities include oversight and management of the Department's Fire Prevention Division; including fire investigations, fire code review/enforcement, and life safety inspections.

Fire Marshal Kindell serves on the executive board of the Arkansas Fire Marshal's Association alongside fellow fire marshals statewide to improve fire codes and safety standards for all residents. He started his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter in Oklahoma before moving to Arkansas.
Charlie Embich

Battalion Chief Charlie Embich was hired as a Battalion Chief in February 2018. Prior to moving to Siloam Springs, Chief Embich worked as a Fire Captain in Sunrise Beach, Missouri where he worked for fifteen years.

Chief Embich has an associate degree of Applied Science in Fire Science and a Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University. Chief Embich has also completed the managing officers’ program through the National Fire Academy.

Chief Embich currently serves as Battalion Chief for "A" Platoon. 

Jordan Jackson

Battalion Chief Jordan Jackson joined the Siloam Springs Fire Department in June 2006. Battalion Chief Jackson obtained his paramedic licensure in 2009 while being active in other special operations with the department as a swift water rescue technician and, both high and low-angle rescue. He worked his way up the ranks promoted to the position of lieutenant in 2012 and then to the position of captain in 2015. In 2019 Captain Jackson was promoted to Battalion Chief and currently serves as the Battalion Chief of “B” Platoon.

Battalion Chief Jackson received commendations as Officer of the year in 2016 and 2019 for the Siloam Springs Fire Department. He also serves his local community as a volunteer for the Cincinnati station of the Lincoln Fire Department.

Adam Rusk

Battalion Chief Adam Rusk joined the Siloam Springs Fire Department in January 1998. He has risen through the ranks; being promoted to Captain in 2013 and Battalion Chief in 2017. Prior to joining the Siloam Springs Fire Department, Battalion Chief Rusk spent time as a volunteer for West Siloam Springs Fire Department, eventually working up to the rank of Fire Chief.

Battalion Chief Rusk serves as the Battalion Chief of "C" Platoon and is responsible for the daily operations of that shift. This includes training, scheduling, fire and EMS response, Haz-Mat incidents, fire prevention presentations, and other special operations such as auto extrication, swift water, confined space, and high-angle rescue among other things.