Delta Township Fire Chief Gregory Ginebaugh never expected to feel so welcomed in his new position.
Ginebaugh took up the mantle of fire chief after the former fire chief, John Clark, moved to a position in Oregon in July, but he said he already feels comfortable in his new department.
“I learned that the people here are truly great,” said Ginebaugh. “I was welcomed from day one. When you’re an outsider coming in not knowing anybody … that really set the tone about this department, and the value of the people here.”
Ginebaugh spent more than 30 years working for the Kentwood Fire Department, beginning as a firefighter and finishing as an assistant fire chief before coming to Delta.
Ginebaugh says that the position of head fire chief is more hands-on than assistant fire chief. “I’m more in depth … with things like the budget, with hiring and promotions,” he said.
Ginebaugh’s first two months have been busy ones. He said that the department is short five members and is in the hiring process for firefighters and paramedics. “It’s made for a fun, busy time,” he said.
Transitioning to a new town and new job can be difficult, especially when the department is so short staffed, but Ginebaugh said he had some advantages. He already was familiar with the layout of Delta Township. “When I was on a shift as a battalion in Kentwood, I would teach at the state police training center (in Delta Township). He also attributes his close relationship to Delta Township Assistant Fire Chief Michael Roman for the smooth transition.
Roman described the two chiefs’ success in one word. “Cooperation.” Roman said that rank was rarely an issue when he and Ginebaugh worked together, and rather than being a boss, Ginebaugh was an equal. “My transition occurred working with the assistant fire chief (Roman) as the acting fire chief.”