Greenville Fire Chief Retires, Son Appointed As Chief

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By Catalina Trivino

Changes are coming to the Greenville Fire Department -- after 21 years serving as fire chief, Mike Phillips is stepping down... and he has a close tie to the man taking over...

Mike Phillips tells us he's retiring after 40 years in the force, because it's simply his time to go -- but it's a bittersweet goodbye as he watches his son step up as the new fire chief.

They say most fire departments are like family. And in the case of the Greenville Fire Department Chief, Mike Phillips says it's very true...

He says his time in the fire department has changed his life for the better.

"That's what this job and this profession is all about -- it's helping other people. When we come to work each day, we never know what exactly we are going to end up doing, but we know whatever it is, even if it's a medical call, or a fire alarm... we're going to help somebody," Said Mike Phillips.

It's helping people that's become his passion. He tells us he's been involved in hundreds of fire and emergency calls the last forty years.

"Probably the ones that stick in my mind the most are the ones where we had fatalities and loss of lives that take place, especially with children. That thing really sticks with you," Said Mike Phillips.

As he retires from his position, he's known to many in the community as more than just a boss, but also a dad. And it's his son, Chad Phillips, who is the incoming fire chief. He's served the fire department the last 22 years and is currently the EMS Director at the station. He says watching his dad growing up inspired him.

"Well of course, this is bittersweet for me, I hate to see my father retire, but I think he'll do well and we wish him well in his retirement. But at the same time, there's so many responsibilities that have been given to me, some changes that we want to make," Said Chad Phillips.

 

Chad Phillips took his official oath of office Monday night.

Mike Phillips is also a pastor at a Butler County church. He says with his time off, he hopes to do more church work there and spend more time with his family.

Alabama News Network wishes him all the best.

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