BEST OF SPRINGFIELD: DJ Chill recognized for firefighting, music careers

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Credit: Bill Lackey

Some know him as DJ Chill, others as Firefighter Chill. Chris Chilton happily answers to both.

The community warmed to both sides of Chilton in the 2021 Best of Springfield contest, voting him first in Best Band or DJ and second in Best First Responder, a new category added this year. These accolades are a reflection of his dedication to both professions.

In November, Chilton will celebrate 24 years as a firefighter/paramedic for the City of Springfield Fire Rescue Division, a career he’s eager to continue.

“It’s for my love of this city, and I’m happy to serve,” he said.

» ALL THE WINNERS: See the new champs in 43 categories in Best of Springfield

While some children know they want to pursue a certain profession, he was unclear about his future upon graduating from the former Springfield South High School. His police officer father suggested looking into firefighting.

“It has literally changed my life. It has provided income for my family and allowed me to go places and see things I’d have never gotten to see,” he said.

He recounted the story of a recent run that required a lot of quick decision-making and complete concertation. Someone said something positive in the midst of it, and it sunk in only later.

“Sometimes we are too busy to think about it, it’s the job we do. When a random person says something positive, those little things do count,” Chilton said.

Being DJ Chill is a welcome release from the demands of his day job. Chilton mentioned the two are often interconnected, including his first DJ job being at the wedding of a fellow firefighter.

Check activities around the area, and if they feature music, there’s a good chance DJ Chill may be the guy spinning the tunes, whether it’s as a DJ or at his own business, Not So Loud Silent Party.

“I just love it,. It’s the most fun, and I’ve met people I wouldn’t have been able to meet without this,” he said.

While he’s a Springfield guy first and foremost, his DJ travels have taken Chilton north to Milwaukee, south to Atlanta, east to Connecticut and all over the Buckeye State. He also rents out his equipment to other states and operates a photo booth.

In the mid-2010s, Chilton helped usher in a new form of entertainment with silent parties and silent discos. These use headsets playing one of three genres of music so some at the event are hearing the same thing and some are hearing different, then people interact.

Proud as he is of his professional success, Chilton has equal pride in his city. He recently purchased land and is looking forward to building on it and moving his family there.

Given the Best of Springfield results, voters are equally eager to keep him here.

“Springfield is my home. I’m not going anywhere,” he said.

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