Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations
Daryl Payton became a Memphis firefighter on April 7, 1986 completing probationary fire recruit class number 62. In the rank of fire private, he worked on Truck Company 15 B, Engine 8 B, and Engine 12 B shift.
In January 1991, Payton was promoted to Driver serving on Truck Company 10 C shift. Payton was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in July of 1993 and assigned to Claude Armour Fire Training Academy. In the rank of firefighting Lieutenant in March 1996, Payton was assigned to Truck Company 3 B shift, and in January of 1998, he was assigned to Engine Company 14 B shift.
In February 2001, Payton was promoted to firefighting Battalion Chief responsible for serving the Orange Mound area on Battalion 6- B shift. In July 2004, Payton was promoted to Division Chief assigned to Division 1- A shift. Payton was assigned as the Division Chief of the Chester Anderson Fire Training Campus in November 2004. Notably, Payton became the youngest and first African American to serve in the position of "Drillmaster". In 2007, Payton was assigned to Division 2 C shift. In 2008, Payton was assigned to Fire Administration as Executive Administrative Division Chief.
In September 2008, Payton was appointed to Deputy Chief of Operations and assigned responsibilities over Suppression, Fire Training, Airport Rescue, and Special Operation Bureaus. During his tenure as a Fire Division Chief, Payton completed his undergraduate degree at Bethel College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management in 2006. In 2008, Payton earned a Master of Education, Curriculum, and Instruction degree from the University of Phoenix.
Chief Payton holds a diverse set of State of Tennessee Commission on Firefighting certifications that includes firefighter II, firefighter III, fire instructor I, fire instructor II, fire officer I, and hazardous material technician. Daryl and his wife Loretta was married in 1994. During his fire service career, Payton has progressed through the fire service ranks from Fire Private to Deputy Chief of Operations and has served on various training, labor/management committees, entry level hiring review boards, and promotional testing projects.