Greg Brush steps in as Tusayan's new fire chief

New chief looking to find financial sustainability and build up volunteer ranks at Tusayan Fire Departnment

Greg Brush was sworn in as Tusayan Fire Chief Sept. 2. Loretta Yerian/WGCN

Greg Brush was sworn in as Tusayan Fire Chief Sept. 2. Loretta Yerian/WGCN

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - Tusayan Fire Department has said adieu to one of its own, former Fire Chief Robbie Evans, and has welcomed long-time Grand Canyon resident Greg Brush as its new fire chief.

Brush has over 10 years of experience, from volunteering with Tusayan Fire to working at Grand Canyon Fire Department. His experience and dedication to his job is evident from the many hours he devotes to his work and his willingness to step up as Tusayan's new fire chief.

Originally from Illinois, Brush lived in Phoenix for almost 20 years before moving to the Grand Canyon in 2003. He has volunteered off and on since 2003 at Tusayan Fire and worked at the Grand Canyon Fire Department in the national park, eventually serving as their captain.

"When this came up, I stopped doing that up there (at the park) and came down here full time," Brush said. "I really feel lucky to be here - big time."

In spite of his extensive experience, Brush shadowed Evans during the month of August.

"I'm glad we had the overlapped time, because there is just so much to pass on," Brush said.

As fire chief, Brush said he wants to continue the goals the department has been working toward over the last several years, which include finding adequate funding for the department and continuing to build up volunteers at the department

"With any fire department in the U.S. right now, budget is a huge thing, without exception and who you got for your manpower is also woven into that," Brush said. "(We want to) make sure we are well funded to do everything we need to do in this community and constantly try to build up the ranks."

Brush said the department is always looking for volunteers and wants to make sure people realize there are not special qualifications or rigorous guidelines for volunteers.

"I think some people are a little bit shy about doing it, but we're trying to reach out and get some people from the school, maybe some of the younger people in the community," he said. "Or folks that already have had jobs here and have just never considered it."

The department provides training for volunteers and can be flexible in working with volunteers scheduling

"We'll work with anybody, as much as or as little as it takes," Brush said.

According to Brush, anyone can be a volunteer and what makes a good volunteer is willingness to learn and being reliable.

"It's attitude, we want someone with a good work ethic and reliability as far as coming in to cover shifts," he said. "Honestly, I think a lot of time people are intimidated by the skills they perceive that you need to walk through the door, however, it's really just having those core values. Really there are two types of people that you get here (Tusayan), people that are paid, usually they have certifications for firefighter, EMT but then there's also the volunteer and they're really the backbone of the department."

More information about volunteering is available from Tusayan Fire Department at (928) 638-3473 or by stopping by the department Tuesday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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