MCCC Fire Science Grad Tim Lynch '15 Appointed West Windsor Fire Chief

Story by Brandon Johnson

West Windsor, N.J. –  No sooner than one Mercer County Community College (MCCC) graduate retired from the West Windsor Fire Department did another take his place.

Following the retirement of former MCCC student and Professor Jim Yates, who graduated from the college in 1978, MCCC graduate Tim Lynch was promoted to Chief of the West Windsor Fire Department on April 1.

A third-generation resident of Hopewell Township, Lynch graduated from Mercer in 2015 with an A.A.S in Fire Science. From there, Lynch took his Mercer degree and earned his B.S. in Public Safety Administration at Holy Family University in Philadelphia in 2017.

In 2018, Lynch passed the Managing Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. Earlier this year, he attended the National Fire Service Staff and Command Course at the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute, University of Maryland, and is currently working on his master’s in public administration at Rutgers University.

“Tim was an excellent student who showed a passion for learning,” said James McCann, Senior Director for the Mercer County Fire Academy. “He recognizes the value of education and the role it plays in professional development. He saw that a solid educational plan was important to his personal and professional growth.”

“He is a true leader and it is not a surprise to see him rise through the ranks to Chief.”

In 2006, four years after he began volunteering at the Union Fire Company & Rescue Squad in Titusville, Lynch was hired by the West Windsor Fire Department. He has held positions ranging from Emergency Services Specialist, Fire Inspector, Firefighter, Fire Lieutenant, and Fire Captain.

Additionally, Lynch has served as President and Vice President of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local Union 3610.

As Lynch continues to uphold his predecessor’s directive of cultivating a team atmosphere, he does so while managing a burgeoning health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has tapped all manner of emergency personnel, calling them to the front lines as the United States attempts to slow the spread of the disease.

Before the pandemic Lynch was a shift commander, overseeing fire and EMS response.

“I was also assigned as the Fire Code Enforcement Program Commander where I oversaw all fire code enforcement, community risk reduction, fire prevention education, and emergency management,” Lynch said.

Now, newly promoted to Chief, Lynch is directly organizing local emergency strategies.

“A lot of things have changed for me over the past month,” Lynch said. “With my promotion, I am now responsible for all EMS and Fire Code Enforcement activities in West Windsor. I also work in conjunction with the two community volunteer fire companies to provide for fire suppression in the community.”

Administratively, Lynch also works to acquire the essential supplies medical workers need to arm themselves against the spread of COVID-19.

“It is my responsibility to try and procure any supplies or equipment they need, and track all expenses associated with this event to obtain reimbursement through state and federal Programs,” Lynch said.

Though he’s come a long way since his days at the Mercer County Fire Academy, Lynch is quick to acknowledge the role Mercer had in his formative years.

“MCCC was the foundation of my education which has taken me through to a master’s degree - as long as my graduation application is approved next month,” Lynch said. “The Fire Science classes provided me with insight into areas of the fire service far beyond those in the public eye.”

He also touted the English and Public Speaking class he took with Professor W. James Franklin as equipping him with a skillset he uses every day.

“That may be have been the most applicable general education course I have taken in my entire experience with higher education,” Lynch said. “I still have the textbook on my desk today and refer to it regularly.”

But for all of those who aren’t professionally trained like Lynch to serve on the frontlines of emergency response and pandemic efforts, he assures that departments like his are always looking for volunteers who are willing to help make a difference.

“Even for those who may not be interested in emergency response, each one of these organizations needs help with administrative roles, fundraising, building maintenance, technology infrastructure, and many other non-emergency response roles,” Lynch explained.

Are you ready to help us keep our students on track to finish classes and graduate? Then share and support our MCCC Student Emergency Fund. Donating at, or by texting MercerMatters to 41444, will help keep students enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every dollar matters!


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Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch was sworn into his role as Chief of the West Windsor Fire Department on April 1.

Tim Lynch fire gear

Following social distancing guidelines, attendance at Lynch's ceremony was limited.