Changes in Fire Department’s command staff

Covington Fire Chief Mark Pierce posed with the newly promoted members of his department. From left, with their new titles: Assistant Chief (in charge of training) Jimmy Adams, Lt./Paramedic Brian Moellinger, Assistant Chief (in charge of prevention and education) Joe Vance, Pierce, Deputy Chief Corey Deye, Capt./Paramedic Josh Campbell, Firefighter/Paramedic Phillip Krallman, and Lt. Benjamin Erdman.

Bloemer and Salmons retire; Deye, Vance, and Adams move up

COVINGTON, Ky. – During an event that Covington Fire Chief Mark Pierce said was “filled with both excitement and apprehension,” the City this week both saluted and replaced two long-serving members of the Fire Department command staff … then approved a cascading series of promotions to fill positions that came open as men were moved up the ranks.

Leaving the department are Deputy Chief Mike Bloemer and Assistant Chief Greg Salmons, who are retiring come Jan. 1 after more than two decades in Covington alone.

“After a combined 44 years of service, they have completed their mission and are able to walk out the door with both their head held high and their mental and physical being intact,” Pierce said.  

But while lamenting the loss of experience and institutional knowledge, Pierce said their departure opened the door for others to step up.

“We are fortunate to have individuals who have invested in the time and in themselves and prepared for opportunities in the department,” he said. “We feel very confident that those we are recommending for promotion are prepared and will do a great job in their new roles.”

After accepting the retirements of Bloemer and Salmons, the Covington Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night approved seven recommended promotions:

  • Corey Deye, who is currently assistant chief in charge of training, was named deputy chief (to replace Bloemer), which in the leadership chart sits below the chief and above the three assistant chiefs.
  • Capt. Joe Vance was named assistant chief in charge of prevention and education (to replace Salmons).
  • Lt. Jimmy Adams was named assistant chief in charge of training (to replace Deye).
  • Lt./Paramedic Josh Campbell was named captain/paramedic. Campbell came to Covington in October 2005 and had been appointed lieutenant in August 20011.
  • Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Moellinger was named lieutenant/paramedic. Moellinger came to Covington in May 2013 and became a paramedic in February 2014.
  • Engineer Benjamin Erdman was named lieutenant. Erdman came to Covington in October 2015 and became an engineer in August 2023.
  • Firefighter/Paramedic Phillip Krallman was named engineer/paramedic. Krallman came to Covington in October 2011 and became a paramedic in March 2012.

All of the promotions are effective Jan. 1, 2024. The new chiefs were recommended by a committee that reviewed their experiences and conducted interviews. The other four men who were promoted scored at the top of the promotional eligibility list, Chief Pierce said.

More about the retiring and newly promoted chiefs:


Came to Covington in September 1999 and worked his way up the ladder, being promoted to battalion chief in September 2017, assistant chief of training and operations in July 2018, and deputy chief of operations in December 2021. He spent 11 years as House Captain at Co. 6.

He has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Kentucky University.

“I’m just appreciative of all the opportunities the City gave me,” Bloemer said. “This was the only fire department I applied to, and the only place I ever wanted to work.”

Said Pierce: “Mike was the first deputy chief in the department and took the newly created position and molded it into a true director of day-to-day operations, leaving Corey big boots to fill.”


Came to Covington in July 2004 in the initial group of 15 paramedics who were hired when the level of care for Covington’s Department was increased to Advanced Life Support. He worked his way up the ladder and became assistant chief of the fire prevention bureau in December 2019.

During his career, he implemented a bike helmet program for kids and collaborated with the U.S. Coast Guard, Marathon Petroleum, and T&T Salvage to improve training and responses to marine firefighting emergencies. He is a member/board member of arson investigation organizations on the county, regional and state levels and the Northern Kentucky Incident Management Team,

Salmons has a master’s degree in business administration from Thomas More University and has joined the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Trident Program to expand the marine firefighting class throughout the United States.

“Tonight wraps up nearly 20 years of public service to the citizens of Covington and 35 years in fire service,” Salmons said. “The Fire Department provided me with the job I love as well as the avenue to help those in need.”

Said Pierce, “Greg’s outreach and collaboration with outside agencies and groups has continued to transform the prevention and inspection bureau into a very respected division in Covington’s department.”


Came to Covington in July 2004 and was appointed battalion chief in September 2021 and assistant chief in December 2021. He has an associate of applied science degree in fire service technology from Cincinnati State Technical & Community College.

Deye helped create the Department’s EMS Peer Review program and the Covington Police Department’s SWAT Paramedic Program, improve testing of fire hydrants, and has been working to improve the Department’s record management software, officer training, swift water response, and active fire training facility.


Came to Covington in May 2013 and was promoted to Captain focused on inspection and investigation in August 2021. He has a bachelor’s degree in fire protection administration from Eastern Kentucky University.

Vance has earned an array of certifications related to fire investigation, evidence collection, inspections, and hazardous materials awareness. In Covington he has worked with police and other agencies to prosecute arsonists, has set up scenes to teach arson investigation, has helped keep records of smoke detector installation and inspection in residences, and has inspected food truck vendors.


Came to Covington in April 2008 and was promoted to lieutenant in June 2017. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fire science from Columbia Southern University.

Adams has taught training classes to all shifts in Covington on a variety of skills, protocols, and equipment uses and has acted as lead instruction in Covington’s formal training of new recruits. Several of his suggestions on new equipment to be purchased and used have been implemented.

# # #