TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Bill Berry has been named the new Terre Haute fire chief.
Mayor Duke Bennett announced Berry as the chief, Jeff Fisher‘s replacement following his Monday retirement.
“It’s important for me to move forward in a way that we build upon the past,” Bennett said, noting that is why he selected Berry for the role. “I selected Bill for a variety of reasons, but that’s one that I really believe that he will do for us is take it to that, take those next steps and what we need to do as a community.”
Berry is a graduate of Indiana State and an Army veteran. He came to the Terre Haute Fire Department in 1993 and immediately went through EMT school and then paramedic school. He has served as an EMS operations chief and hazmat chief and later served as a captain with the THFD.
“I’m honored. I mean, there’s no doubt I’m honored,” Berry said of being named chief. “We’ve got some fantastic men and women on this fire department and I’m looking forward to, basically looking forward to the challenge.”
He noted that the administrative position will be a “big change.”
“My love has always been firefighting and being out, you know, getting dirty, you know, fighting fires,” Berry said. “I don’t want to fight fires. None of us want to fight fires. If we’re fighting fires, then somebody is having a bad day. But if we have to, I’m all for being there.”
Over his past 28 years, Berry has become good friends with previous fire chief Fisher. Though he says he wouldn’t change anything about his path in life, this wasn’t the profession he thought he would be in during his younger days.
“I had absolutely no interest as a child, as a youngster to be a firefighter. I’m glad I did. It’s been a great career,” said Chief Berry. “I wouldn’t change it for anything. Its raised my family, raised my son and it got me to where I am today.”
Chief Barry says his son being there to see him become the new fire chief was a very special moment for him. He describes his son as not only his child but his best friend and his rock.