Chief Tommy Sullivan had served the residents of Howard County for many years as being part of the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department. He served as Chief for the Volunteer Fire Department for over 25 years and held his position until he could no longer physically do the task.
When asked what he wanted people to remember about his brother, Pepper Sullivan, Assistant Chief 702, stated, "His spirit. No matter what, even if it they said it couldn't be done, [his attitude] was 'Hold my helmet and watch this.'" Pepper stated that he never had a defeatist attitude. "It was always we're going to do it, and we're going to make a difference, and we're going to do the best we can to protect all of the citizens and all of our firefighters."
"Even when he was in pain, and knowing that he was dying, he never complained and never got down. He'd always say that there's always something to be positive about and always something to laugh about. [He would] always try to make others feel better," said Pepper.
Mitchell Hooper, recently named 2017 Officer of the Year by the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department, will be the Appointed Chief for the rest of Sullivan’s term. Hooper has served with the department for 13 years and has served as Battalion Chief.
When asked if Chief Sullivan had any advice for him in filling this position, Hooper stated, "He said, 'Where my footsteps end, yours start.' and not to try to fill his boots because those are pretty big boots to fill." Hooper went on to say that he knows it'll take a while before he's able to fill the role like Chief Sullivan had because of all he's done for the community, but he'll try his best.