WHITMAN — The Whitman Fire Department is pleased to share that many fire chiefs from the region, local firefighters and public safety professionals, state and local officials, members of the Whitman community and friends and family gathered this week to celebrate the retirement of Chief Timothy Grenno after 37 years of dedicated service to the Department and Town of Whitman.
The celebration took place at the Whitman Central Fire Station on Temple Street on Thursday, July 8. Chief Grenno’s official last day is today, July 9.
Chief Grenno, who also served as the Town’s Emergency Management Director, has served as Chief of the Whitman Fire Department since 2008. He was appointed as a call firefighter in 1984 by his father, Chief Richard Grenno. He was named a fulltime firefighter in 1992 by Chief Tim Travers, and then named a lieutenant in 1999.
“Chief Grenno has given tirelessly to the community over many, many years and on behalf of everyone who has ever had the pleasure of working with him I wish him well in his retirement,” said Brockton Fire Department Deputy Chief Brian Nardelli, one of the many fire officials who stopped by the station yesterday. “I’ve known him since I was 18 years old, and I’ve seen firsthand how much he cares about the community he serves and those he leads.”
Some of Chief Grenno’s achievements and accomplishments during his years in fire service include:
- As Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director, helping to guide the Town through the COVID-19 pandemic, including COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts.
- Establishing an inclement weather program in collaboration with the Town’s Civilian Emergency Response Team that provided shelter to residents who were unable to stay at home during storm damage.
- Replacing the Department’s emergency vehicle fleet to include pumping engines and ambulances (a cumulative cost of more than $2 million worth of vehicles).
- Securing a new ambulance last year through COVID-19 funding at no cost to the Town.
- Securing the passage of a Proposition 2 1/2 override to increase staffing levels at the department from five per shift to six. This decreased response times, provided for more efficient operations, improved patient care, and created a safer environment for firefighters.
- Continuously building and strengthening of relationships with area governments, departments, and agencies to manage effective planning and implementation of emergency response strategies.
- Overseeing the transition to a Regional Dispatch Center (Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center), which led to increased staffing on emergency response, the ability to safely staff apparatus, and improving firefighter safety in the field.
Chief Grenno graduated from Massasoit Community College with an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science in 2000, and graduated from the Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program from the National Fire Academy in 2010. He served as the President of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts from 2018-2019, and as the President of the Fire Chiefs Association of Plymouth County from 2012-2013.
“I’ve known Chief Grenno for 30 years and consider him a very close friend as well as a terrific colleague,” said Steve Hooke, Executive Director of the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center. “Ever since the Whitman Fire Department came on board with HRECC in 2012 he has been a huge supporter of us and his passion for emergency response and communication is very evident. He’s a terrific leader during an emergency, and any time a crisis came up he’d always be one of the first people I would go to.”
Chief Grenno received multiple citations from elected officials, in addition to numerous well-wishes from those in attendance.
“Chief Grenno has been great to work with over the years, and he leaves very big shoes to fill,” said State Representative Alyson Sullivan. “Personally, whenever I needed guidance on fire legislation or something similar he would always be more than happy to get back to me. And especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he would frequently reach out and ask how he could help. He will be very missed in more ways than one.”
Many members of the Whitman Fire Department came out yesterday to show their support, including incoming Fire Chief Timothy Clancy.
“I want to thank Chief Grenno for everything he has done for the Whitman Fire Department and the Town of Whitman over the years, and wish him well in his retirement,” Chief Clancy said. “I am eager to be taking over a department that is so well run and that has a proven track record of dedicated service to the community, which is in large part due to Chief Grenno’s leadership since he took over in 2008.”
Chief Grenno said he plans to enjoy some well-deserved time off in the coming months spending time with his family.
“It has been a pleasure serving the Town of Whitman for so many years, and it has been an honor to lead the Whitman Fire Department for more than a decade,” Chief Grenno said. “A Chief is only as effective as those he or she serves, and the men and women of this department work tirelessly every single day to keep our residents safe. I also thank my Administrative Assistant Lisa Riley, the many Town officials, elected officials, residents and family members who have been there for me along the way. It’s meant a great deal to serve each and every one of you.”