Phillips a wise choice for fire chief

Published 4:47 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Longtime fire chief Mike Phillips retired Monday.

Mike Phillips had served at the Greenville Fire Department for more than 40 years, spending 21 of those years as the chief.

He left some pretty big boots to fill.

Email newsletter signup

On Monday night, the Greenville City Council appointed the man that will face that challenge.

With Assistant Chief Jeff Presley set to retire in May, the council voted unanimously to appoint veteran firefighter Capt. Chad Phillips to the position of chief.

We believe it was a wise choice.

There are few who better understand the role of the chief and the demands he faces than Chad Phillips.

For the last 21 years, he has watched and learned from the former chief, who just happens to be his father.

You could say that Chad Phillips has been training for this moment for most of his life.

He grew up spending his days hanging around the fire house.

He’s spent 21 years working for the department full-time and another year volunteering at the department.

On Monday, after being sworn in by Butler County Probate Judge Steve Norman, and having his badge pinned on his uniform by his father, Chad Phillips shared that it had long been a goal of his to become a fire chief.

But while the promotion may be the realization of a lifelong goal, it’s just a start for the new chief.

While he certainly doesn’t plan to make sweeping changes to the department, he does plan to implement some changes, such as incorporating new technology to assist the department in its efforts to protect the citizens of Greenville.

“This is a bittersweet time,” Phillips said. “I think that’s the best way to describe it. It’s been an absolute joy to work with my dad, and I hate to see him leave the department, but at the same time I’m excited about the opportunity to serve as chief and do some things differently than we’ve done in the past. We’re going to change some things that will hopefully help us serve the people of Greenville even better.”

We certainly wish the new chief all the best as he endeavors to serve the people of the Camellia City.