Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Ashland's Long-Serving Fire Chief Sets Retirement for End of 2024

Earlier this month, Ashland Borough Fire Chief Phil Groody announced he will step down from the position at the end of 2024.
The announcement came during the monthly meeting of the Ashland Borough Council on Wednesday, November 8th, 2024.

Chief Groody, a reliable and well-known figure in the Ashland community, has served as the Fire Chief for an impressive 23 years and has been an active volunteer firefighter for over five decades.

Chief Groody assumed the role of Interim Fire Chief in August of 2000, following the retirement of then Fire Chief Tom Towers. He was officially appointed to the position by the Borough Council in January of 2001.

Chief Groody submitted his letter of resignation to the council, outlining his desire for a smooth transition. His last day as Fire Chief is set for December 31st, 2024, affording a transition period for the incoming leadership and allowing Chief Groody to conclude ongoing projects. In his letter, he also thanked borough of Ashland, the Ashland Fire Department, Ashland Police, and Ashland Code Enforcement.

"Ashland can be proud to have two top notch fire companies and very well staffed with front line equipment." Groody stated in the letter.  He also specifically thanked borough fire chiefs Charles Orth, Chris Groody, Bill McFadden, Charles Steinhilber, past Assistant Chief Ray Jones, and company officers for their never-ending help.

Beyond his role as Fire Chief, Groody holds the position of President of Ashland's American Hose Company #1.

To honor Chief Groody's remarkable years of service and celebrate his contributions to Ashland, the American Hose Company #1 will host an event titled "The Roast of Chief 38." on Sunday, February 25th, 2024.

The fundraiser event is expected to be a lighthearted affair, reminiscent of the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, where Chief Groody will be celebrated but allow for some jabs from his friends in the fire service. Organizers anticipate that the event will bring together the Schuylkill County Volunteer Fire Company community in a show of appreciation for Chief Groody's dedication.

Details for "The Roast of Chief 38" will be announced in the coming weeks, promising an evening of laughter and camaraderie as the community bids farewell to a beloved leader.  Members of the fire service are encouraged to participate in this special event to express their gratitude for Chief Groody's unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of the community.

Story by J. Reed / Skook News