Chief Highwood was adopted into a family of public servants. Skip's father was a Chesterton Volunteer Firefighter and his uncle was a Secret Service Officer. In December 1942 a tall thin man walked into the Chesterton Volunteer Fire Department with a blue bundle in his arms and said "Hey guys meet your future Fire Chief". His father was so proud to show him off. As a young boy, he often played rescue firefighter with his friends. At the age of 11, he made a trailer out of old wood and put 2 old Indian Tanks on top to be pulled on the back of his red Schwinn bicycle. As he got older he would spend much of his free time at the Fire House getting to know all the firemen and learning as much as he could about fire fighting.
Chief Highwood became a member of the Chesterton Volunteer Fire Department in 1962 at the age of 19 after the Chesterton Fire Officers changed the by-laws to accommodate his age. Skips father had retired by the time he joined, Skip asked if he could have his fathers call number Chesterton 13 assigned to him. In 1972 he became Chesterton's first full time Fire Fighter. He graduated from Ivy Tech Community College with a degree in Fire Science. In 1990 he served as Fire Chief until he retired December 31st 2008. In 2002 the Chesterton Fire House was named in his honor. In 2009 the new 2010 Rosenbauer Aerial Fire Truck was dedicated in his name.
Among the many associations Chief Highwood was a member of, he was a long time career member to the Indiana Volunteer Fire Association, The Indiana Fire Chief's Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He was a founding member and past president of the Porter County Fire Association. He was a founding member of Duneland School of Emergency Response, and used a lot of his own money to start this school. In 1983 he formed the Duneland Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team. He was a member of the Local Emergency Planing Committee and belonged to many more committees.
Along with the many awards in his 46 year career, Chief Highwood was awarded in 2006 The State of Indiana's Highest Honor - The Sagamore of Wabash Award - by the Governor. In 2002 he received the Governor's Meritorious Service Award, The Paul Harrris Award and was named by the VFW Fire Fighter of the Year.
Skip loved to travel, golf, hunt and spend time at his cabin in Missouri with his extended family and friends, But most of all he loved to spend time with his family and go for long Sunday afternoon drives and watch old cowboy movies. He was a member of the Indiana Masonic Local Chapter Lodge and a member of the Chesterton Moose Lodge
Skip was a Loving, Dedicated and Caring Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and Brother. He was a Loyal and Trusted Friend, His Wisdom and Inspiration in Leadership was valued by all who knew him. His lifelong commitment and dedication was to the safety of our communities.
Chief Highwood's Last Call was January 22, 2009 when he lost his long courageous battle to cancer. Chief Highwood Dedicated his life to the Brotherhood of Fire Fighting.