From left, retiring Battalion Chief Dan Geffert, driver engineer Ian Griffin, Lt. Scott Campbell and Battalion Chief Ryan Koepp stand in Central Fire Station after the Nov. 29 promotion ceremony.

From left, retiring Battalion Chief Dan Geffert, driver engineer Ian Griffin, Lt. Scott Campbell and Battalion Chief Ryan Koepp stand in Central Fire Station after the Nov. 29 promotion ceremony.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske


Retirement paves way for St. Clair Shores Fire Department promotions

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published December 10, 2021

 Scott Campbell’s 10-year-old son, Andrew, pins on his new badge as he is promoted to lieutenant.

Scott Campbell’s 10-year-old son, Andrew, pins on his new badge as he is promoted to lieutenant.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

Advertisement

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The retirement of a 25-year veteran made possible the promotions of three members of the St. Clair Shores Fire Department Nov. 29.

It’s because of the efforts of members like retiring Battalion Chief Dan Geffert that the Fire Department is the great place it is, Fire Chief James Piper said.

“The Fire Department could not survive without any one of us but, simultaneously, marches on. We have three individuals who are able to step up and take on those roles, and (they) will be successes from the time they start,” Piper said. “Dan loves God, loves his family (and) loves this place.”

Geffert said his 25 years in service went by in a flash.

“I couldn’t have done it without all of you guys,” he said.

Ryan Koepp was promoted to the position of battalion chief the same day. Piper said the position encompasses an array of jobs: “part camp counselor, part mom and dad, just an all-around leader,” Piper explained. “I know Ryan’s going to fulfill this job very well.”

Koepp said he has taken a non-traditional route through the department.

“I went from lieutenant to training chief to interim fire chief, back to lieutenant to, now, battalion chief,” he said. “It was my goal to finish my career as a battalion chief, and this gave me the opportunity.”

He said he gained a lot of tools as training chief that he wanted to be able to apply in the field. Moving back to the fire suppression side of the department from administration, he said, gives him a sense of fulfillment.

“I was missing a lot of camaraderie,” he said.

Scott Campbell’s promotion to lieutenant was a ceremony that included friends.

“The man who did my wedding is getting promoted next to me,” Campbell said, referring to Koepp. “I’m looking forward to the responsibility, looking out for the guys on the truck.”

Piper said Campbell has been taking on the responsibilities of lieutenant, on and off, for some time, so the promotion was warranted.

“Each day, Scott will be on an engine, leading his crew,” he said, explaining that the job requires an “attention to detail and skills” that he knows Campbell has.

“Every time you put on an officer helmet, it feels a little heavier than the firefighter helmet before it did,” he added.

New driver engineer Ian Griffin said his new role comes with a little more responsibility.

“The job, in itself, is awesome,” he said. “It’s a different way to serve.”

The role isn’t about just being able to drive to the scene, Piper said. “It’s knowing what to do once you get there. It’s another large responsibility in the department and one I know Ian is ready for.”

Advertisement