Nick Ford found the fire service purely by accident in 1983 while trying to earn elective credit hours toward a college degree in Computer Science. He enrolled in a course to become certified in Illinois as a Firefighter and immediately recognized that a career in emergency services was his calling. He became a volunteer with Spring Bay Fire Protection District (in the Peoria area) later in 1983 and completed an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science before moving to Florida in 1985 in pursuit of employment.
Early 1986, he began his career at North Naples Fire Control and Rescue District, steadily rising through the ranks as the department grew from 2 stations, to 7 stations as of the date of his retirement as a Captain in May 2013. During his tenure with North Naples, he gained valuable training and certifications in various specialties including hazardous materials, technical rescue (including structural collapse and rope rescue), and maritime fire and rescue response.
In 2013, Captain Ford and his wife, Kelie moved to Mount Juliet with their children, McKenzie and Gavin. Shortly after moving to Middle Tennessee, he realized his hopes of being part of the newly-formed fire department. Since being hired with FDMJ, in addition to managing the daily functions of “A Shift”, he has assisted in development of hiring and promotional processes, works steadily to improve Google Maps in our rapidly growing community and his currently tasked with development and implementation of our pre-incident planning program.
Captain Ford is a Founding Member of FDMJ.
Captain Sills is a Founding Member of FDMJ.
Mike Leal comes from his hometown of Naples, FL to begin a new life with his wife of 23 years Terrylynn in her hometown of Franklin, TN. Terrylynn and Michael’s grown children remain in Florida living the beach life. The Leal’s are preparing for their first grandchild.
Captain Leal, a Tennessee certified FF1, FF2, Fire Officer and Fire Instructor, utilizes his many years of experience as C-Shift Commander, protecting and serving the Mt Juliet community. Captain Leal comes to us with over 22 years of diversified fire & rescue experience. He served his hometown community for over 20 years, retired and moved to Tennessee. Leal worked 5 years as a firefighter paramedic with the City of Naples Fire Department and then 15 years with East Naples Fire Rescue. Leal worked and promoted his way up through the ranks from Firefighter, to Engineer, to Lieutenant and then to Captain of Training. During his service he helped his community by instructing citizens in a variety of ways, from placing public access AEDs and CERT programs to Disaster Preparedness. Leal served his brothers and sisters of these departments as a team member, trainer and a labor relations officer for many years.
Lieutenant Jason Ross - Officer in Charge - Squad 103 A Shift
Jason Ross is a Middle Tennessee native, growing up in rural Dickson County and has 9 years of active firefighting experience. After graduating high-school in 2001 he spent several years volunteering overseas helping to build schools & bush clinics in Western Africa. In 2005, he started his fire service career as a Volunteer Firefighter / EMT-B in North Eastern Ohio with Wooster Township Fire Rescue. He moved to Florida and enrolled in Firefighter Minimum Standards at First Coast Technical College in St. Augustine, Florida, a satellite school of The Florida State Fire College. Shortly after graduating he was employed full-time with Alachua County Fire Rescue where he completed Paramedic School at The College of Central Florida in the Associates of Emergency Services Program. In 2013 he returned to Middle Tennessee as an employee of Mount Juliet Fire Department.
Lieutenant Ross holds Paramedic licensure, Pro-Board Firefighter I & II, Pump Driver Operator, Fire Instructor I and Fire Officer I & II.
Lieutenant Ross resides in Mt. Juliet with his wife Yael and their two children, Teja and Brenna.
Lieutenant Ross is Founding Member of FDMJ.
- Officer in Charge - Squad 103 B Shift
Drew Noland entered the fire service in 2004 as a full time firefighter and became an EMT-IV in 2009. Drew is in charge of station and EMS supplies. He also serves on the training and uniform committees.
Lieutenant Noland was previously a career firefighter in Smyrna, TN and a volunteer firefighter with FDMJ. Lt Noland is an AEMT, FF1, FF2, Fire Instructor 1, Fire Apparatus Operator, Fire Officer 1 & 2. He strives to learn as much as possible about the fire service and pass it on to fellow firefighters. Lieutenant Noland is currently enrolled at Columbia Southern University pursuing his associates in Fire Science.
Drew is married to his wife Rachel, of 20 years. They have two children, Seth and Emma and have called Mt Juliet their home since 2003. He welcomes the opportunity to serve the community where he lives.
Lieutenant Noland is a Founding Member of FDMJ.
- Officer in Charge - Squad 103 C Shift
- Officer in Charge - 1st Company
Ryan Benson has over twenty years of fire service experience, entering the fire service in 1991 as an Explorer with the Hilton, NY Volunteer Fire Department. He has served as a Fire / EMS dispatcher, full-time and volunteer firefighter, volunteer lieutenant, and Chaplain. He is employed full-time as a Children's Pastor at Joy Church. Lt. Benson is a member of FDMJ's Uniform Committee.
Lieutenant Benson and his family reside in Lebanon.
Lieutenant Benson is a Founding Member of FDMJ.
Brian Diehl has over 20 years of fire service experience, entering the fire service in 1992 as a volunteer firefighter with the Red Oaks Mill fire company in the Arlington Fire District in Poughkeepsie,NY. He has served as a full-time and volunteer firefighter, and volunteer Lieutenant . Brian has also volunteered with the Box 55 association (http://box55.org(, the rehab unit for the Nashville Fire Department. He is a supporter and 10 year volunteer with the TN fire fighter burn foundation http://www.tnfbf.org which help kids ages 6-16 that have been burned.
He is employed full-time with the Metro Nashville Fire department.
Lt. Diehl has a Associates of ScienceDegree in Criminal Justice from Dutchess Comunity College.
Lt. Diehl residences in Mt. Juliet, is married to his wife Malinda , and has three children, Lane , Mykaela , and Parker.
Lt. Diehl is a Founding Member of FDMJ.
Marshall McGough has been in the fire service since 1998, first as a volunteer firefighter in Jackson, TN and then in Knox County, TN. He currently serves for the City of Mount Juliet in a volunteer capacity as a Lieutenant-firefighter who oversees the 3rd Company. He is also a member of the department's training committee. Marshall is employed full-time as a Registered Nurse at a Nashville hospital. He enjoys teaching for the American Heart Association and the Emergency Nurses Association.
Marshall is a certified Advanced EMT and an IFSAC certified Fighter I, II, and Instructor. He has an Associate's Degree in Applied Science and a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Nursing.
Lt. McGough resides in Wilson County with his wife Erin and their son Nolan
Lt. Combs has been in the fire service since 2007 when he joined the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department in Sewanee, Tennessee while attending Sewanee: The University of the South. There he spent three years as a firefighter and was elected Student Fire Chief by his peers in 2010 and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. After graduating from the University in May of 2011, Lt. Combs returned home to Mount Juliet where he joined the volunteer division of Wilson County Emergency Management. Upon creation of the FDMJ, Lt. Combs joined the ranks as a volunteer firefighter and was promoted to lieutenant in October of 2015. Lt. Combs currently oversees a company of three volunteer firefighters. He is also an advisor for FDMJ’s Explorer Program. Lt. Combs is employed by the State of TN in the Department of Commerce and Insurance.
Lt. Combs has a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Global Studies: International Development from Sewanee: The University of the South and is currently in school at Middle Tennessee State University to earn his Master’s of Arts in International Relations.
Lt. Combs is a Founding Member of FDMJ.