Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Chief Bradley George is heading back to where his career got its start.
Monday evening the Greenfield Exempted Village Schools Board of Education hired George as its new transportation supervisor and safety director.
George said he gave his two weeks notice to the fire district Monday and that he will start full-time with the school district following the Highland County Fair.
“I’m less than a year from the option of retiring, have driven a bus about 14 years for the school district, and kind of always had my eye on the (transportation supervisor) position,” George said Tuesday. “The fire district is in good hands with (assistant chief) Dave Manning behind me and I thought this was the best time to try something different.”
Dan Mathews, president of the Paint Creek Board of Trustees, said early Tuesday afternoon that the chief’s position was not officially settled because many board members did not know yet that George had resigned. He said Manning will become the interim chief, then the board will go through the process of finding someone to fill the assistant chief’s position.
“I just wish Bradley the best. He’s going to benefit immensely from the position he’s taking,” Mathews said.
George is replacing longtime Greenfield Transportation Supervisor Sue Buchhammer, who superintendent Joe Wills said retired this summer.
“We’ll certainly miss her work with the district,” Wills said.
The superintendent said that George is already doing some work for the school district behind the scenes. He said that once George takes over full-time his responsibilities will include managing the bus routes, supervising the bus drivers, planning bus purchases and keeping track of inventory. As safety director, Wills said George will assist with things like chemical inventory and planning emergency procedures at all the district’s buildings.
“We look forward to working with him in the future,” Wills said of George. “He’s actually been a sub bus driver for several years and he’s also been a swimming coach for a long time, so he’s well known within the staff and community.”
A 1988 graduate of McClain High School, George has a long record of service to the Greenfield community. He said he started dispatching for the volunteer Greenfield Area Life Squad when he was 12 and became an EMT in 1988 before he became a firefighter. He said he was a member of the last firefighter class at Laurel Oaks his senior year in high school and became a member of the Greenfield Fire Department in August of 1989.
He stayed with the fire department until October of 2007 when he became a code enforcement officer with the State Fire Marshal’s Office. He stayed there until January of 2010 and then joined Paint Creek when it became a fire district the same year. Since then, the Paint Creek district has expanded to become the largest firefighting and EMT force in Highland County, along with parts of neighboring counties.
George’s career hit a bump in the road when he was suspended in 2015 following complaints and allegations by some staff firefighters. But after an investigation was conducted, George was reinstated later that same year.
Paint Creek will hold a retirement celebration for George from 2-4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25 at its Greenfield firehouse, 640 N. Washington St., Greenfield.
“I’m still kind of overwhelmed,” George said. “I’d like to thank everyone with the fire district for their support and look forward to continuing to serve the community and working with the school district.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.