Robert Finnan Enlarge
LIVERPOOL TWP. — Greg Smith, assistant fire chief for 24 years, was sworn in as chief of the Valley City Fire Department at Tuesday night’s trustees meeting.
“I joked with people they should either promote me or fire me,” Smith said earlier.
They promoted him. Smith had been serving as interim chief after the retirement of longtime chief Jack Petrone in September.
“Being in this as long as I have, I wasn’t sure anything would ever happen,” Smith said. “I’ve been here quite a while.”
Smith, 59, said he’s heard nothing but good reviews since taking over for Petrone.
“I haven’t heard any negatives,” he said. “I heard some people say they were pleased for me.”
Smith will lead a department of 33 part-time personnel.
“He was assistant chief for a long time,” Petrone said. “He was my assistant chief for 6ﾽ years. I built a good relationship with him and mentored him to where he’s ready and quite capable to take over — probably more capable than me.”
Trustees delayed the announcement of Smith’s hiring about a month so family and members of the fire department could attend Tuesday’s ceremony.
“He’s ready,” Petrone said. “He’ll be a great chief.”
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.