Fire Department Members
Fire Chief Tim Ogden is a Lowcountry native and has lived in Beaufort since 2004. He joined the fire service as a junior volunteer firefighter in 1992 in Yemasee, S.C.
He then became the first professional firefighter for Yemasee, and began his education there as a fire officer and fire marshal. He joined the Beaufort County Building Codes Department to serve as the fire code official in 2004. Later, he worked as deputy state fire marshal for Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton counties. He joined the Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department as fire marshal in 2016. His most recent position was deputy chief of operations before he was promoted to fire chief in August 2021.
Tim holds several South Carolina Fire Academy, International Code Council, and National Fire Protection Association certifications. He earned both a Bachelor of Science in fire science and a Masters in Public Administration for emergency service management from Columbia Southern University.
Chief Ogden, his wife, Audra, and children are happy to be a part of the Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department family.
Deputy Chief of Administration
Originally from Jupiter, Fla., Ross Vezin moved to Beaufort in June of 2008 to start his career at the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department. Ross is currently the deputy chief of administration.
His responsibilities include
- Managing daily operations
- Assisting with budget development and administration
- Managing personnel records
- Managing public education programs
- Supervising the Training Division
- Supervising the Fire Marshal Division
Ross has a bachelor’s in Fire Science and an MBA with an emphasis on public administration, both from Columbia Southern University.
In 2014, Ross graduated from the South Carolina Leadership Institute through the South Carolina Firefighters Association. In 2015, he graduated from Leadership Beaufort through the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2020, Ross graduated from the Risk Management Institute through the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
Ross currently serves on the Executive Committee as the chair of the Member Benefits Committee for the South Carolina Firefighters’ Association. He is also the President of the Burned Children’s Fund where he has served as a volunteer camp counselor since 2010. In 2016 and 2022, Ross attended the International Association of Firefighters National Burned Children’s Camp.
In April 2017, Ross was selected as a “Key Influencer” in the Beaufort community and was awarded with a ride of a lifetime with the United States Navy Blue Angels. In 2019, he was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Beaufort Alumni award at the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce Civitas Awards.
Deputy Chief of Operations
Deputy Chief Matt Bowsher moved to the Lowcountry in 2008 when he joined the City of Beaufort/ Town of Port Royal Fire Department.
He started his career as a volunteer with Bremen-Rushcreek Fire Department in Bremen, Ohio. Matt obtained his basic firefighter and National Medical Technician Certification during his time with Bremen. He started as a recruit with the City of Beaufort Fire Department, working his way up to each rank in the department. Matt was battalion chief for four years on shift two before promoting to deputy chief.
During his career, he has taken multiple South Carolina Fire Academy classes in addition to becoming an instructor for various classes. In 2014 and 2015, Matt attended the National Fire Academy and studied Leadership Administration and Incident Command for Multi Alarms. He was a key component in starting the department with the state on medical response at the basic level. Chief Bowsher obtained his Fire Science degree from Greenville Technical College. He is currently a member of the South Carolina chapter of the International Fire Arson Investigators.
Chief Bowsher and his wife, Rachel, have four children -- Riley, JJ, Noah, and Bentley.
Capt. John Badgett is the fire marshal for the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department.
John was born and raised in Norfolk, Va., and moved to Beaufort in 2005.
John began his career at the Fire Department in August 2011. He was promoted to lieutenant in November 2017, and most recently was promoted to captain and fire marshal in January 2020.
John earned a National Registry Emergency Medical Technician Certificate in 2010 and has obtained International Code Council Certificates for fire inspector I and II. He also has multiple certifications from the South Carolina Fire Academy and National Fire Academy.
John received a lifesaving medal for a successful resuscitation. He was named Firefighter of the Year in 2015, and Fire Officer of the Year in 2019.
John and his wife, Jenny, have two wonderful children, Bodie and Lia.