William Wright Jr. to become fire chief in Southwest Greensburg
In a few days, Shaun Teacher will be turning in another of the many hats he has worn in service to Southwest Greensburg.
On Monday, Teacher, formerly borough mayor, will be replaced as borough fire chief by a friend, Bill Wright Jr.
“I was nominated for (chief), and I declined it,” Teacher said. “There are other candidates in the fire service that I think … are ready to take over. I think it's their time.”
Teacher, 33, served three years as chief and nine as deputy chief.
“I'm humbled and proud to be elected by the guys as the new chief,” said Wright, 34, who has served as deputy chief.
Wright said he was surprised during the Dec. 3 fire company meeting when Teacher said he was not seeking re-election.
“It was a surprise to all of us,” Wright said. “He worked hard and did a good job for us. I have big shoes to fill. Hopefully I can continue to keep us on the same path.”
Wright's father had served as company president.
Teacher also served two terms as borough mayor, waging a write-in campaign and taking office when he was only 22.
“I didn't like ... what (the other candidates) were for, so I ran against them,” he said.
He learned, both as mayor and fire chief, two important skills to have are the ability to listen and to deal with others, Teacher said.
A few people questioned him because of his age, he said.
“You have to convince people you're serious and there for the right reason,” Teacher added.
The Southwest Greensburg mayor's primary duty is overseeing the borough police department. The mayor breaks ties if a council vote ends with a deadlock.
Shortly after his election, Teacher learned another lesson that applied to his role as fire chief.
“Everything revolves around the budget, funding,” he said. “Everything revolves around the budget and trying to raise the funds to get equipment.”
During Teacher's tenure as fire chief, the department got its first aerial truck with the help of a $585,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The local department raised 10 percent of the needed money to purchase the truck in 2010.
Also during his tenure, drivers of fire department vehicles underwent more training.
“This required all the drivers to put in over 80 hours of training and testing,” Teacher said. “Now they're all required to be certified (under federal guidelines) to drive, which is a big step.”
The commitment of others made his duties easier, Teacher said.
“I've had very supportive members of the fire department and police department,” he said.
Wright said he plans no major changes, initially.
Teacher, a married father of three children, will remain active in the 50-member fire department, serving as president.
He didn't rule out a return to government or as fire chief in the future.
“If I see a need for the seat to be filled, I'll take it up,” Teacher said.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.