"We are here to


to meet the needs of our communities, and to help our brothers and those in need.

Central Ohio FOOLS


Monthly gatherings, talks, shenanigans, etc. - Follow our social media (below) to stay updated!

What We're All About:

The Central Ohio FOOLS began in 2006 and are a chapter of the FOOLS International. Our chapter consists of firefighters across the central Ohio region. We welcome members from any department regardless of career or volunteer status, rank, or time of service. We believe in the betterment of the fire service in the central Ohio region. We provide training events at little to no cost and encourage involvement from our members. We have been involved in different fundraisers and charity events and strive to give back to our communities as much as we can.

We are a brotherhood of firefighters that desires to bring back into the fire service that which has been lost: Tradition, Honor, Pride and Brotherhood. We do not represent any one fire department and we are not a political organization. We are here to better ourselves to meet the needs of our communities, and to help our brothers and those in need. We rise above mediocrity and are dedicated to the betterment of our profession. We are the ones who are willing to sacrifice family time and to pay for training opportunities because it’s the right thing to do. We do this because “I am not here for ME, I am here for WE, and WE are here for THEM.”

The Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society was founded in 1995 by a group of Central Florida firemen. This group, known today as the Founding Fools, had a passion not only for the camaraderie and brotherhood that is forged between firefighters, but also for the rich tradition and heritage of the Fire Service.

The "Leatherhead" is a term used for a firefighter who uses the leather helmet for protection from the hazards we face every day on the streets. The Leather Helmet is an international sign of a firefighter, which is a symbol not only in tradition from the early years of firefighting, but also one of bravery, integrity, honor and pride. This helmet is a sign of who we are, not what we are.

The FOOLS, like the traditional leather helmet, has always existed through the brotherhood and tradition of the Fire Service, and will continue to grow and flourish as long as there are fires to fight and emergencies to respond to. All firefighters are welcome to be a part of this great organization; one does not have to own a leather helmet to be considered a "Leatherhead". The only qualification is that you are true to your profession and true to your brother and sister firefighters. Our membership is growing everyday, and we encourage you to start a FOOLS chapter in your department.

One last thing that we as the Founding Fools ask of each and every one of you: Let us never, ever forget those that have gone before us in the line of duty. Because those brave souls have given all, it is up to us to always keep them alive in our hearts and our memories. Long live the FOOLS.

Captain Mike Dugan, Ladder Co. 123, FDNY (ret.) A "Mutt" is someone or thing that will abuse and mistreat a Firefighter. This can be the City, the Mayor, the Chief in Charge, the habitual caller, or the homeless Person who starts a fire and leaves. These are people that have never crawled down a hall or made the last room in an effort to do their job. If they can't get the job done today well maybe next week will do. If we don't get the job done people might die and our brother and sister might also die. So we always lay it on the line and leave a little behind at every fire. I say that in a dark smoky hallway I can't tell the race, creed or sex of my fellow firefighter, I just know that they are with me. I don't care who or what you are as long as you are a firefighter and want to protect your brothers and sisters.

EGH - "EVERYBODY GOES HOME" - "Sulum reverto domus"
Author unknown, possibly Old Gallagher "Although 'EGH, Everybody Goes Home' is not always possible, it is part of what we strive for. It is why we train, it is why we read, it is why we interact with each other. We need to share the knowledge. The more we share, the more we pass on what we have learned, the safer we will be. The fewer funerals we will have to go to, the more of our Brothers and Sisters that will go home. Because it is all about protecting each other." (Pressler, 2002)

RFB - "REMEMBER FALLEN BROTHERS" - "Memor cado frater"
"The Fire service, as a whole, is collectively still trying to recover from the effects of Sept. 11. The 343 members of the FDNY who made the supreme sacrifice that day will always be in our hearts and forever on our minds. As part of our FOOL's "signature", R-F-B, "Remember Fallen Brothers", these heroes should never and will never be forgotten. This should also include ALL of our fallen Brothers, no matter where they were from, or the matter in which they died. Their names have been added to a long list of those that have laid down their lives so that others may live." (Pressler, 2002)

KTF - "KEEP THE FAITH" - "Servo fides"
"Keep the Faith. With all that has happened, we must believe. We must have faith in ourselves and in the others that think like us. They can transfer us, they can make you cut your mustache, the can tell you what you can't wear on your helmet, but never let them break your spirit!" (Pressler, 2002)

DTRT - "Do The Right Thing" - "Operor vox res"
Lieutenant Bob Pressler, FDNY (ret.) "With everything going on in our lives, both personal and professional, this may be sometimes hard to do. We are always pulled in several directions when there are tough decisions to be made. Even after weighing all the possibilities or options, decisions are sometimes still very hard to make. But, under closer examination, there usually is a "right thing". It may take personal sacrifice, it may not be what you really would want to do, but it is the correct thing to do."


Below is your current Central Ohio FOOLS Executive Board (E-board). These positions are voted upon by members of the chapter on a bi-annual basis. These members each have their own unique and important roles and responsibilities to ensure the productivity and growth of the chapter.

Jared Drenik


Jared Drenik

Jared is a firefighter for Deerfield Township Fire Rescue down by Kings Island! Jared is forever a student of the craft and has previously served as the Training Coordinator prior to moving to the President. He has a passion for training and coffee yet loves spending time with his wife and four kids more than anything in this world!

Tim Campbell

Vice President

Tim Campbell

Tim Campbell started his career in 2013 at a small rural department and then acquired his first full time job with the city of Circleville in 2017. Tim now works for Norwich township at station 81. Tim has experienced the rural setting, to the busy city setting, and now cover suburban type area. Tim is a second generation firefighter following in his dads footsteps who is a Lieutenant with Norwich Township. He is very passionate about the fire service and helping to continually better the profession. In his spare time he likes to work on trucks and enjoy time with his Fiancée.

Alex Rafeld

Training Coordinator

Alex Rafeld

Alex started his career full time at the City of Delaware Fire Department in 2018. In 2022 he made the move and now works for Columbus Fire on the east side. Alex has a passion for training and honing his craft, especially when it comes to engine operations. Outside of work Alex is married to his wife Alison who he has two daughters with, Stella and Cece.

Phil Reger


Phil Reger

Phil has been in the fire service since 2017 where he began working in combination departments around central Ohio. In 2020, Phil obtained full time status and currently works for Granville Township full-time along with Plain Township part-time. Hailing from West Virginia, Phil is a first generation firefighter. Outside of work Phil spends his time with his girlfriend, Brooke and their 2 golden retrievers. Phil enjoys his time away from the firehouse traveling and spending time with his close friends.

Chris Wilson


Chris Wilson

Chris began working part time in rural and suburban departments around central Ohio in 2013. Becoming full time in 2018, Chris currently works for Jackson Township at station 202, he holds his fire instructor, rescue tech, and EMS CE Instructor. Outside of work Chris spends his time with his wife Sara and their 3 teenagers. Chris enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and kayaking.

Support Personnel:

Cassie Mays

Social Media

Cassie Mays

Cassie is a firefighter/paramedic who started her career in the fire service in 2013, becoming full time in 2018, and now works for Columbus Fire. She has been a FOOLS member for 5 years and loves being involved in the training and social aspect of the fire service. If you don’t find her at work, then most likely she is hiking, lifting weights or scoping out the next best food place in the city.

Rob Shimits

Graphic & Web Design

Rob Shimits

Rob Shimits is a 2nd generation career firefighter/paramedic, who started his career in 2016 after first starting out as a volunteer with Clinton Twp. Currently, he is a full time member with The City of Delaware (since 2017). He has been an active member with FOOLS since taking over design. When Rob is not working at the station, he is probably working on design, and when hes not working... hes playing – with his lovely 2 maniac daughters, wife, and boxer pup.

Generously hosted by Robintek.   • • •   Design & Development by Robert Shimits.