TROY — Assistant Fire Chief Gary Stanley has retired from the Troy Fire Department after nearly 29 years of service.
“Even though this job has had its difficulties, there were a lot of bright days,” said Stanley. “Giving back to this community and helping people out has been great and it just makes you feel really good.”
During his 11 years as the assistant fire chief, Stanley oversaw the creation of a quick response team to aid in combating the opioid epidemic.
“It was able to bring us into the community with police and mental health agencies. And we really built a nice solid foundation of helping those in need in our community,” said Stanley. “I have been to the drug court graduations of those people that our guys have gone out for. To see them make it through that program, become clean, and productive citizens — as well as their families and how they have benefited — was just amazing.”
Stanley was also at the helm of various community outreach programs including the Safety Squad and school outreach programs.
“We have been able to create a lot of programs that are still ongoing today. And that is because of the great guys and gals that I work with,” he said.
Stanley grew up in Cleveland and graduated from Parma High School in 1983. From there he joined the U.S. Air Force and served as a firefighter for eight years.
For most of his Air Force career, he was stationed at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. But after being ranked in the top 10% of firefighters in the Air Force, Stanley was nominated and selected for a black ops program out in Nevada.
There, Stanley, who would fly to work, was a firefighter during the testing of the now-declassified stealth fighter jets.
“It was a great honor to be a part of that program,” said Stanley.
During his time at Wright-Patt, Stanley was introduced to Troy and immediately fell in love with the town and decided to get an apartment. And through this decision he met his wife, Melissa.
“I would run into her every morning when I was coming home from work, and I finally got the nerves to ask her out,” he said.
After his retirement from the Air Force, Stanley joined the Troy Fire Department in January of 1993.
“I worked on shift for a while and then at a point in my career I decided I wanted to start moving up,” Stanley said.
He joined the fire prevention bureau and through there he was able to be promoted to platoon commander in May of 2011. The position was short lived as he was selected as the new assistant chief — a position he held until his retirement — in December of 2011.
After 29 years of service to Troy and eight years to the country, Stanley is moving on to the next chapter of his life.
“I am currently finishing up my Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration in leadership. I finished up my research over my last holiday and right now I am putting my last chunk together before I go to dissertation,” said Stanley.
He is also preparing to join the board of the 100 Club, an organization that helps first responders in the community.
“I love giving back to the community. I have done a lot of non-profit work and I want to continue that into retirement,” he concluded.