If Chief Thomas Bell of the Greensburg (Pa.) Volunteer Fire Department had a nickel for every time someone remarked that he had some “big shoes to fill” after taking the reins from a local legend who had 60-plus years on the job, well, he’d have a LOT of nickels. But the new chief had a simple plan – being himself. Bell vowed to create his own destiny – in even bigger shoes – and revamp a department that needed a culture change in a big way. Bell shares his focus on firefighter safety and health, fireground accountability, recruitment and retention (even duty crews) and communications among members. And the sleepless nights paid off when Bell was named IAFC Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year.
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