New BG fire chief named

In a picture from his sixth birthday, Stephen Meredith was wearing a red, plastic firefighter hat.

But despite what might be seen as early signs leading up to his most recent promotion, Bowling Green Fire Department’s newest fire chief didn’t join the department until after graduating from BGSU.

Meredith, who grew up in Hastings, Ohio, graduated with bachelor’s degree in sociology and speech communication planned to be a social worker.

It wasn’t until he moved to Bowling Green with his wife that he even considered being a firefighter.

“My wife was working with the wife of a firefighter who talked about how much he enjoyed it,” Meredith said. “I took the test, and two years later I was hired.”

Meredith joined the Bowling Green Fire Department in 1981 as a firefighter and became a lieutenant in 1985.

For the past 17 years, Meredith served as a captain.

Monday he was officially named Bowling Green’s new fire chief.

Meredith said he had no aspiration to be Chief when he was first hired, and it was more of a gradual process.

“As you move up, you see things you’d like to change, but you’re not in a position to change until you get there,” Meredith said.

Now he’s in the position to make those changes.

Fire department secretary Abby Bame said she’s looking forward to seeing what changes Meredith has planned for the BGFD.

“It will be exciting and interesting to see what changes he makes,” Bame said.

As of now, Meredith has plans for working towards faster response times for the campus and the city.

“I’d like to work on fire response,” Meredith said. “I’d also like to see another station built.”

By building another station, Meredith believes firefighters could arrive on the scene faster, shortening response time.

But with only two days as fire chief under his belt, these changes won’t be happening immediately; Meredith is still adjusting to his new role.

Not only is Meredith’s new office on the opposite side of the station, his hours have been drastically changed from a 24-hour shift to eight-hour days, five days a week.

Needless to say, Meredith’s first day on the job felt short.

“It seemed like I just got here and it was time to go home,” Meredith said.

Meredith spent his short first day getting organized and getting acclimated to his position.

Although there are still boxes in his office and paperwork to be finished, Meredith is ready to take on his new role as chief with a confident staff backing him up.

“He has our full and utmost confidence and respect,” said firefighter Anthony Zmarzly.