Bradley George, the only chief the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District has ever known, was feted at a retirement party Friday at the Greenfield fire station.
George announced earlier this month that he is joining the Greenfield school district as its new transportation supervisor and safety director.
A 1988 graduate of McClain High School, George began dispatching for the volunteer Greenfield Area Life Squad when he was 12 and became an EMT in 1988 before he became a firefighter. 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.
“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,” George told The Times-Gazette when he announced his plans.
Dan Mathews, president of the fire district board, said Manning — former chief of the Lynchburg Area Joint Fire and Ambulance District before joining Paint Creek as assistant chief in March 2016 — will become the interim chief while the board begins the process of finding someone to fill the chief’s position. Many consider Manning the leading candidate for the permanent job.
“I’m still kind of overwhelmed,” George said when he announced his retirement. “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.”