CLAYTON — During a special presentation city council recognized longtime Clayton Fire Department Battalion Chief Paula Creech upon her retirement.
“It’s a sad day for some of us and a good day for others, obviously,” said Fire Chief Brian Garver. “Paula has been in the fire service for over 34 years and has been with Clayton for 20 years. She is one of the few that were hired right after the merger.”
Garver recalled how he met Creech at one of his first jobs when he worked for Harrison Township where she taught him how to be an EMT and paramedic.
“She has been a staple around here for many, many years,” Garver said. “What’s funny is her main responsibility was EMS. When you go down the list and see what she was responsible for and you are passing it in to a new person coming in, the list is almost three pages long. It is like, ‘How do you get all of this stuff done?’ It is just amazing the work that she did, how efficient she was and where she took the department EMS wise. Over the last 20 years we have grown into a department that is at the forefront of EMS. We start the trends and are always changing things to do it better, buying the better equipment and a lot of that is because of Paula.”
Garver noted that the department receives great reviews for its EMS care and credited Creech for the department developing such high standards.
“She truly did make it better and the service she provided to the department and to the community is remarkable,” Garver stated. “It will be hard shoes to fill. I am glad she is retiring because she has been wanting to do that. She has grand kids and she just bought a brand new RV, so I don’t think she is going to be in town a whole lot. Her husband has been retired for about 10 years so he is ready to go with her.”
Garver pointed out that the entire Creech family is involved in public service. Her daughter serves on the Eaton Fire Department and her son is a lieutenant with Miamisburg and her husband retired as the police chief in Lewisburg.
“It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to Paula,” Garver added. “She will be missed. Hopefully she won’t be a stranger. She has done a tremendous job here and I think deserves applause because she has done a wonderful job.”
As part of the department’s tradition, Creech was presented with her last service helmet upon her retirement.
“Thank you council and mayor, Mr. Rose (city manager),” Creech said. “I have truly enjoyed my time here with the city of Clayton and it is largely because of you all. You’ve made this a welcoming, fair, professional place to work. Everyone would like to work here. I would like to thank Chief Garver who has been my coworker, boss, teacher, and student for many, many years. He is my longest working friend. He has always been fair and has been a true friend to me. My coworkers, my friends, my second family… I will miss them terribly. I have no doubt that they will continue to keep the Clayton Fire Department a great place to work and will keep moving forward.”