By Scott Bolthouse
The Huron Township Board of Trustees unanimously appointed James Hinojosa as fire chief of the Huron Township Fire Department during their Oct. 26 meeting.
Hinojosa is a long-time Huron Township resident, who was a member of the Huron Fire Department from 1984 through 2004. During his time with the township’s fire department, Hinojosa held the rank of battalion chief.
He was a career firefighter with the Detroit Metro Airport Authority Fire Department, holding ranks as a firefighter, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and deputy fire chief.
“Chief Hinojosa presented many great ideas to move our fire department forward throughout the interview process. There was no question that he was the right person to lead the great men and women of our fire department,” said Everette Robbins, Huron director of public safety.
Hinojosa will replace current Fire Chief Edward Gillman, who is retiring after more than 35 years with the Huron Fire Department. Gillman was fire chief for the last six years in Huron Township.
“I thank Chief Gillman for all that he has done during his tenure as Fire Chief. I was fortunate to see all the hard work that he put in every day behind the scenes. He is a man of few words, but you will not find a better person than Ed Gillman. We will certainly miss him, but I am happy for him that he will get more time at home with his wonderful wife and his grandchildren,” Robbins said.
Supervisor David Glaab noted that he is pleased with the appointment of Hinojosa as the township’s new fire chief.
“We are pleased by the addition of Chief James Hinojosa to our public safety team. His years of experience coupled with his passion for his work made him the stand out for the position of fire chief,” Glaab said.
Hinojosa has been a resident of Huron Township since 1965. He attended St. Stephen Catholic School, Riverside (Brown) Elementary, Renton Middle School, and graduated from Huron High School in 1973.
He has been married to his wife, Deborah Russow, for 30 years. Their Daughter, Kaitlyn, graduated from Huron High School where she was a standout on the softball field.
Kaitlyn recently was hired as a Kindergarten teacher in the Huron School District at Brown Elementary.
“When you live in a small tight knit community like we all do, you get to know through many avenues a person’s reputation, character, and integrity. Anyone that knows Chief Hinojosa knows he will be a chief that will represent us all in a way that we can be proud of,” Robbins said.
“Chief Hinojosa never wavered from his belief that we currently have a great core of firefighters. His enthusiasm and ideas about how to give them the tools, training and opportunities they need to succeed is contagious. I have spoken to many of our fire department staff and they have all told me that they cannot wait to work with Chief Hinojosa and begin moving the Fire Department forward.”
Robbins said that his decision to hire new employees into the township’s Department of Public Safety are made from the perspectives of being both a resident and public safety director.
“Every decision I make as it relates to public safety, I have to make as not only the Director of Public Safety, but as a resident as well. I am truly confident that if my family needs our Fire Department during a time of an emergency, they will get the quality service they deserve as will all of our residents. I am very proud of the men and women that put on the Fire Department uniform everyday here in Huron Township,” he said.