John Whisenant

Beaver Lake Fire Department

Contact Details

Beaver Lake Fire Department


Chief Whisenant is a 16-year veteran of the fire service, starting as a volunteer firefighter with the Gallatin Fire Department. 

Whisenant served as a Firefighter, Driver/ Engineer, and Fire Prevention Officer in Iraq for four years. There he was part of an emergency service organization of over 700 personnel. As Fire Prevention Officer, Chief Whisenant managed programs as large as 7500 buildings and achieved 98% compliance on an operational readiness inspection. 

Since returning home from Iraq Chief Whisenant has worked for an emergency dispatch center at a regional airport and as an Aircraft Rescue Firefighter /EMT. 

Joining Beaver Lake Fire Department in 2008, he has served as a Firefighter, and Captain of Training. During his tenure as Captain of Training Whisenant facilitated and taught multiple certification courses helping to certify more than 70 personnel from nine area fire agencies, in a 14 month period. In 2014 Whisenant was selected as interim Fire Chief, and after a regional candidate, search was hired as the fourth full-time fire chief of Beaver Lake Fire Department.

Whisenant is a member of the NW Arkansas Metro Chiefs, and International Association of Fire Chiefs. He has been an ambassador for Fire Rescue International, is a current member of the IFSTA Marine Firefighting for Land-Based Firefighter validation committee, and is a graduate of the Texas Chiefs Association- Certified Fire Executive program.

Since becoming Fire Chief, Whisenant has improved the training standards for all ranks within the organization, in line with NFPA. He has added water rescue capabilities, Basic Life Support ambulance service, and updated the departments rolling stock to meet the growing demands of the community. Whisenant has led the department from an all-volunteer to a combination model agency, bringing 24-hour staffing into the agency. 

Whisenant is engaged to his best friend, together they have three children 5,7,9 and 12 months.