By Kevin Kelley
Bud Williams, the Fairview Park fire chief for the past three years, will retire this spring.
“I’m young and healthy and I can,” Williams replied when asked why he’s retiring.
A North Olmsted resident, Williams has been a member of the Fairview Park Fire Department for 31 years. He succeeded David Simon as chief.
The city’s civil service commission is taking steps to schedule an exam to determine who will be Williams’ successor.
Williams said he and his wife, Nancy, have no specific plans for retirement. He added that they have many family members across the country, particularly in the western states, and may spend time visiting them. Williams said they may also visit several national parks.
“It’s time to move on to the next chapter in our life,” Williams told West Life.
Williams said he feels very fortunate to have joined the fire service three decades ago. He added that he enjoyed working with the different department directors in the city’s government.
Asked if there was one area of accomplishment that stood out during his tenure as fire chief, Williams spoke of the fire prevention bureau. He said through cooperation, communication and education, the fire department made great strides with businesses, apartment complexes and schools in the community in reducing the chances of a fire.
Williams grew up in Bay Village, where he attended St. Raphael School. A graduate of St. Edward High School, Williams received an associate degree in fire technology from Cuyahoga Community College and completed several programs at the National Fire Academy in Maryland.