Hilliard Northwest News

New battalion chief

Grile grateful for 'incredible opportunity' with Norwich


Chris Grile will begin his tenure with the Norwich Township Fire Department as its administrative battalion chief.

Grile, 35, joined the department April 21, moving from his previous post as assistant fire chief at the Franklin Township Fire Department.

"My first week was a whirlwind," Grile said. "I've got about 90 new faces to learn. I'm fortunate to have this opportunity."

The administrative battalion chief is a new position in the Norwich Township Fire Department. It essentially replaces the post of assistant chief.

Fire Chief Jeff Warren, 41, upon being promoted from assistant chief March 10, opted to tweak the department's chain of command.

Rather than naming an assistant chief to succeed him, Warren reclassified the job as administrative battalion chief and increased the number of battalion chiefs from three to four.

The other three battalion chiefs are assigned to the department's three units and work 24-hour shifts followed by two days off. The administrative battalion chief will work a standard five-day, 40-hour week.

Warren said he will rotate the battalion chiefs so each can serve as administrative battalion chief and gain the administrative experience necessary to one day serve as a fire chief.

Grile arrives at Norwich Township with a lifetime of experience as a firefighter.

"It is literal to say I was raised in a fire station," Grile said.

Both his grandfathers, his father and three uncles served as firefighters.

His father, Tom Grile, received the distinguished service award from the State Fire Marshal's Office and served as chief of the Huber Heights Fire Department in suburban Dayton for 23 years until his retirement in 2001.

His uncle, Carl Reedy, succeeded Grile as the Huber Heights chief.

Another uncle, Fred Reedy, served as chief of the Franklin Township Fire Department until he retired in 2003.

"I remember being at a ball game and my dad would get a call (and) we would leave with lights and sirens on," Grile said. "He told me to stay in the car and not move ... but I watched (all the activity) and I knew from when I can remember that I wanted to be a fireman.

"I still get chills today just to see a fire truck rushing down the street."

Grile first began working as a part-time firefighter for the Butler Township Fire Department in suburban Dayton.

He gained his fire certification at the age of 19 and worked full-time for the city of Riverside before joining the Franklin Township Fire Department in 2001.

"Being so close to Norwich, I got to know a number of firefighters and respected all of them," Grile said. "When I learned of the opening, I thought it was too good to be true (and) an incredible opportunity."

Grile and his wife, Andrea, have two sons, Jack and Alex, ages 6 and 5.