Volunteer Spotlight: Dennis Smith

Name: Dennis Smith
Title: Fire Chief
Department Name: Grand Blanc City Fire Department
Location: Grand Blanc, MI

Why are you an NVFC member?
After being hired by the City of Grand Blanc, one of my first responsibilities was to recruit new firefighters. I contacted NVFC immediately as my primary resource for recruitment ideas. Membership was easy and NVFC is a terrific organization with tons of useful information.

What is your occupation?
Fire chief

Why are you a fire service member?
I love serving my community, and the fire service has always been a passion for me. I’ve spent my whole career in some capacity working in the fire service.

What year did you join the fire or emergency services?

What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?
We all have many. I guess my first experience was delivering twins. She named one of the children Denise (after me). I met her later in life and it was then that it really hit me what an impact I had on a stranger who needed help and I just happened to be that person who showed up. I remember my first fatal fire, my first fatal arson fire. Too many accidents and the use of extrication equipment to help those in need. But one of my most favorite ones recently was pinning captain bars on my son, who followed in my footsteps.

What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community?
My team and I started a brand-new fire department for our community. And we did it in 90 days! For 85 years the City of Grand Blanc had fire protection service provided through a joint agreement with an adjacent community. This adjacent community chose to end the agreement. The city I work for needed a fire department and hired me to start one. So I did. It’s been a terrific experience and a huge success for the community.

Interested in serving your community? Find volunteer fire service opportunities at www.makemeafirefighter.org.