MOUNT GILEAD — Chad Swank is no stranger to fire stations.
“I literally grew up in the firehouse,” Swank said shortly after being sworn in as the new village fire chief Monday night.
Swank, who has been with Mount Gilead Fire Department 14 years, was chosen to succeed retiring chief Greg Young.
“I started in 1997 in Johnsville as a volunteer. I am a third-generation firemen,” he said.
The room was packed with Swanks, including his wife Monica, his children and others in the firefighting community.
“Firefighting is what I know. My grandpa is here. He was a volunteer as was my mom and step-dad. I lhad two uncles and one was a line-of-duty death.”
Swank said he’s ready for the leadership challenge.
“The last few years the chief has let me do a lot; grants, writing some policies and making some administrative changes,” Swank said.
He said he has his kids’ baseball, volleyball and basketball games to attend, so the job will be a balancing act.
“I have a really good staff here to pick up the slack. So I don’t have to be here 24/7.”
In other business:
• Village administrator Dan Rogers reported “since we last met the plant has received large volumes of waste water from our system. Many basements have flooded due to infiltration and inflow. With all of the work done on the sewer system this does not seem to be getting better.
“We need to remain vigilant in the continuation of replacing manholes and relining sewers in the village.”
Rogers also cautioned that the sewer plant would become more costly to operate. “It is now 14 years old and equipment is starting to wear out.”
• Two picnic tables at the pool should be replaced this week.
• The emergency project between Hickson and Dogwood is now complete.
“J & T Excavating did a great job resolving the problem by removing the manhole and pipe, and fixing the quick sand under the manhole,” Rogers said.
It took almost 50 tons of stone to bed the manhole and the 30-inch pipe.
“We started restoring the residents’ lawns where the construction took place. We started on July 8 and completed seed and straw by Wednesday morning.”