News Release

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Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Chief Brad Tadlock Announces Retirement

August 10, 2022

After 34 years of dedicated service, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Chief Brad Tadlock has announced his retirement, effective October 3, 2022.

"It has been an honor to serve the residents and visitors as a member of Fire Rescue for the last 34 years. I am fortunate to have served alongside and learned from many great colleagues and professionals going back to the 1980s when I started and right up to today," Tadlock said.

Throughout his career, Chief Tadlock embodied a spirit of service and compassion toward others, leadership, teamwork, and professionalism.

"I know the organization and the community values and greatly respects Chief Tadlock. He is an essential part of the organization and will be greatly missed. His legacy will live on through the great men and women who serve in our Fire Rescue Department," said Town Manager Marc Orlando. "On behalf of the Town, I thank Chief Tadlock for his strong leadership and for guiding the department through a series of accomplishments and challenges over the years."

Tadlock arrived on Hilton Head Island in 1988 from rural Illinois, where he grew up. He always wanted to work in fire and rescue and landed his first job in the industry with the Hilton Head Island Fire Department. From that time to now, he climbed the career ladder and witnessed many changes along the way including the consolidation of the former fire department, fire district and rescue squad in 1993 into the Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Department.

Tadlock began his journey as a firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) and quickly advanced through the ranks as station captain and deputy chief of operations before becoming fire chief in June 2014.

During his tenure as the fire chief, Tadlock identified ways to improve the department, including reinstating the Emergency Medical Services Division in 2017 and guiding the department through two international reaccreditation cycles in 2017 and 2022. Under Chief Tadlock’s leadership, the department’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating improved from a Class 3 designation to a Class 2 designation in 2019. Also, Tadlock credits the support of a great team and Town Council for the department’s ability to continue upgrading facilities and equipment. Fire station # 2 was replaced last year and a new fleet of 10 engines are on order.

Chief Tadlock and his team also faced some challenging events during his tenure. Among them were the response and recovery to Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the COVID-19 public health pandemic that gripped the Island and nation for more than two years. But despite those challenges, Chief Tadlock and his team continued to operate under high standards to deliver service to the community.

"My time at Fire Rescue has always been a career to me, never just a job," Tadlock said. "The Town's leadership and citizens have shown great support to the department over the years, and the Fire Rescue team has always strived to return this valued support with the highest level of professionalism in all aspects of our public service. I am proud of the department’s accomplishments and know they will continue to find new ways to serve the community, while always being prepared for the next challenges that lay ahead."

Upon retirement, Chief Tadlock said he looks forward to traveling, spending time with family, playing golf, and working on some home renovation projects.

Please join us in congratulating Chief Tadlock on his retirement and thanking him for his outstanding leadership.

Carolyn Grant, Communications Director