Fire Prevention Division

The Prevention Services Division is composed of three subdivided areas of fire safety. Those areas are Fire & Life Safety Inspections, Fire Investigations, and Public Education. One Division Chief/Fire Marshal and five Deputy Fire Marshals are currently assigned to the division. Businesses within the jurisdiction are inspected when newly constructed and regularly thereafter according to hazard rating and occupancy type. The Prevention Services Division is also charged with the responsibility of investigating the origin and cause of fires and explosions. In that regard, personnel routinely interview witnesses, collect evidence, and assist with the prosecution of individuals suspected of arson. Finally, the division presents unique and innovative programs to the public to educate them in all areas of fire and life safety. This includes a robust pre-K and elementary school education program as well as an elderly and at-risk older adult education program.

It is our mission to safeguard our community through services designed to protect life and property from the perilous effects of dangerous conditions. Prevention Services supports this through prevention programs, life safety education, fire investigation, and enforcement of fire and building codes.

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Jonathan Kempler

Division Chief of Fire Prevention / Fire Marshal

Chief Kempler has been serving the community for over 20 years in numerous capacities within the fire service. He began his career in Atlanta, Georgia where he assisted with the creation of multiple special operations units where he helped to integrate technology to enhance service delivery and improve performance. With a majority of his family living in Indiana and a strong interest in the specialized area of fire prevention, Chief Kempler made the transition to Indianapolis where he joined the Pike Township Fire Department.

Throughout his career, he has achieved a multitude of academic and professional credentials including an Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Management, a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Safety and Health, a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration. In addition, he holds certifications from the International Association of Arson Investigators as a Certified Fire Investigator and Certified Evidence Collection Technician as well as certifications from the National Association of Fire Investigators as a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and Certified Fire Investigation Instructor. Chief Kempler is a Licensed Indiana and Nationally Registered Paramedic, Indiana Firefighter I &II, Instructor I&II/III, Investigator, Fire Officer I&II, and Fire Inspector I&II. He is a graduate of the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy and currently serves as a Sergeant in the reserve division of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

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Sam Bruner

Deputy Fire Marshal

Sam Bruner is a 40 year fire service veteran who is currently serving as a Deputy Fire Marshal for Pike Township Fire Department. He has an extensive range of experience in Fire Investigations, Juvenile Fire Setter Intervention, Fire inspections, Construction and Plan Reviews, and Public Education. He holds certifications from the National Association of Fire Investigators, International Association of Arson Investigators, National Fire Academy, and the State of Indiana. He holds certifications as an Indiana Fire Inspector I and II, International Accredited Fire Inspector II, National Association of Fire Investigators Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator and International Association of Arson Investigators Certified Evidence Collection Technician. Additionally he holds a National Fire Academy Certified Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist I and II, an Indiana Certified Public Educator I and II, Indiana Certification as a Master Firefighter, Indiana Certified Driver Operator, and Indiana Certified Hazmat Materials Operation Level. Mr. Bruner has investigated hundreds of fires including arson fires, vehicle, residential, and building structure fires. He has been involved as the lead investigator in fatal fires involving residences of Pike Township.

Mr. Bruner has received the 2009 Indiana Emergency Response Conference Pike Township Fire Prevention Award, The 2009 Fire Inspectors association of Indiana Fire Prevention Bureau of the year Award, The 2009 President’s Award for Outstanding Service, the Pike Township Fire Department Certificate of Appreciation for both 2008 and 2010, the Pike Township Fire Department Outstanding Performance Award for 2006, the Indiana Certified Emergency Medical Technician Award in 1999, and the Ladies Auxiliary for Veterans of Foreign Wars Citation of Merit Award, and Certificate of Merit Award in 1994.

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Tanya Pickett

Deputy Fire Marshal

Tanya Pickett is a 6-year veteran of the fire service having previously served as a Deputy Fire Marshal and Public Educator for the Indianapolis Fire Department. She has over 15 years of experience in code compliance. DFM Pickett holds an undergrad in Public Safety and attends graduate school at Purdue. DFM Pickett has numerous state and national fire certifications, including Fire Inspector I/II, Fire Investigator I, Public Educator I/II, Youth Firesetter Prevention Management and Intervention Specialist I/II, Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) and NIMS 100-800.

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Cade Berry

Deputy Fire Marshal

Cade holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Fire, Arson, and Explosion Investigation from Eastern Kentucky University along with a Master’s of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management with a concentration in Homeland Security from Eastern Kentucky University. Cade holds the Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator certification through the National Association of Fire Investigators in which he is a member of and is currently working towards his Fire Investigation Technician and Certified Fire Investigator certifications both from the International Association of Arson Investigators where he is also a member. Cade holds several other certifications including: Intro to Incident Command System (ICS-100), ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incident (ICS-200), National Incident Management System (ICS-700), and National Response Framework Introduction (ICS-800) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency along with Firefighter 1 and Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations through the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.

Aside from Cade’s exceptional educational background and prior to joining Pike Township Fire Department, Cade gained valuable in-field knowledge and experience interning for Lexington Fire Department Fire Investigation Bureau in Lexington, Kentucky and also served on his hometown fire department as a volunteer firefighter at Abingdon Fire Department in Abingdon, Virginia.

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LaRoy Martin

Investigator/Inspector

Investigator/Inspector LaRoy Martin has been in the fire service since June 1997 having previously served as a firefighter in Louisville, Kentucky. It was during his career as a firefighter that Investigator/Inspector Martin developed a passion for fire prevention.

Investigator/Inspector Martin brings his experience in fire investigation and fire prevention to the Pike Township Fire Department from the Kentucky State Fire Marshal’s Office where he served as a Deputy State Fire Marshal. There he was responsible for conducting life safety inspections in public buildings, and performing origin and cause investigations. He joined the Pike Township Fire Department as an Investigator/Inspector in December 2019.

Throughout Investigator/Inspector Martin’s career in the fire service, he has obtained numerous certifications from the International Association of Arson Investigators and National Association of Fire Investigators. He currently holds certifications as a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), Certified Fire Investigation Instructor (CFII), Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator (CVFI), and holds a certification in burn pattern recognition through the Public Agency Training Council. Investigator/Inspector Martin also holds additional certifications through the National Fire Protection Association. Investigator/Inspector Martin earned an Associate’s degree in Fire Science from Ivy Tech College in Gary, Indiana

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